Kraft Foods, U.N. World Food Programme and KaBOOM! Join Forces to Celebrate Play and Fight World Hunger Link copied!

September 13, 2010

Northfield, IL

Kraft Foods today launched a worldwide initiative to celebrate play and fight world hunger. Through an app on Kraft Foods’ corporate Facebook site, the company is encouraging consumers to upload photos of people at play. And for each photo provided, Kraft Foods will donate five meals (up to 500,000) to the United Nations World Food Programme’s Fill the Cup campaign, which aims to feed more than 20 million children around the world who go to school hungry every day.

“While play and hunger may seem unrelated, there’s a remarkable overlap between food deserts and play deserts,” said Irene Rosenfeld, Chairman and CEO. “Access to wholesome foods and safe places to play are necessary for a child’s healthy development. This is why we’ve been at the forefront of fighting hunger and promoting healthy and active lifestyles for more than a quarter century.

“Through our new Facebook site, we want to create a snapshot of the world at play,” Rosenfeld said. “With a few clicks, people can fight hunger by contributing to our photo mosaic that captures the joy that comes from play.”

This “playful” initiative introduces Kraft Foods’ annual global week of service – Delicious Difference Week. From Oct. 4-9, approximately 14,000 Kraft Foods employees in 50 countries around the world will volunteer time to hunger relief and healthy lifestyles service projects in their communities. Together with Cadbury colleagues for the first time, Kraft Foods is mobilizing more volunteers in more communities for much more impact. Delicious Difference Week 2010 will be the largest employee volunteer event in the company’s history. This includes about 1,500 employees in the United States, who will build more than a dozen playgrounds with the national nonprofit group KaBOOM! in eight states. The playgrounds will serve nearly 100,000 children.

In addition to the commitment to build playgrounds across the country, Kraft Foods Foundation becomes an official National Partner of KaBOOM!. As a National Partner, Kraft Foods Foundation supports KaBOOM! in its efforts to spread the message that play is critical to the development of children and to facilitate the ongoing development of tools and resources to ensure that children in communities have access to a great place to play within walking distance of their homes. Kraft Foods Foundation will serve alongside KaBOOM! as a national proponent of the importance of play and will assist in creating solutions to address the play deficit currently existing in thousands of communities nationwide.

“Kraft Foods is a wonderful corporate partner and has helped significantly bring fun and safe play places to countless kids across the United States,” said Darell Hammond, the CEO and Co-Founder of KaBOOM!. Kraft Foods, through its Kool-Aid and Oscar Mayer brands, has built 33 playgrounds in the United States with KaBOOM! since 2007.

“We’re thrilled at a partnership that will provide us with a greater platform to talk about the importance of play while partnering with the World Food Programme to fight hunger and malnutrition,” Hammond said. “At KaBOOM!, we believe play is a fundamental right, and that kids who are hungry or food insecure cannot play and cannot learn. Just as all children must have access to healthy food, they must also have access to unstructured play for their mental, emotional and physical development. A healthy and active life should be the right of every child, everywhere.”

“Hunger and malnutrition are the biggest threats to global health today,” said Monica Marshall, Head of Global Private Partnerships at the United Nations World Food Programme. “Hunger robs a child even of the energy to laugh and play, and malnutrition early on in life can have irreversible effects on a child’s physical and mental development. Investing in children means investing in the future, and everyone can make a difference in the fight against hunger. We’re excited about this new initiative, because we depend on the generosity of companies like Kraft Foods, but also because we need to engage new audiences and new communities around hunger-related issues.”

Kraft Foods has been a supporter of the World Food Programme for more than 15 years, supporting its school feeding programs in Ethiopia and most recently as a chief collaborator in Project Laser Beam, a public-private partnership to eradicate child malnutrition, starting in Bangladesh and Indonesia.