Unilever Zimbabwe through its Knorr brand has launched a national campaign to provide nutritious food to children as part of an international endeavour to provide school meals in the developing world.
The campaign in Zimbabwe will culminate in Unilever staging a World Food Day commemoration event at Munyawiri School in Domboshawa on October 16. The highlight of the commemorative event is the feeding of Early Childhood Education (ECD) and grade one and two children at the school.
The event will be attended by government ministers, local leaders, senior government officials and traditional chiefs.
Unilever and its global partner, the UN World Food Programme, have been working together since 2007 to provide school meals in the developing world. During that time, Unilever has provided over $30 million of support to World Food Programme. In 2014, Knorr, Unilever’s largest brand, made its first donation of one million nutritious cooked school meals on World Food Day. Knorr repeated this donation again in 2015 and 2016, helping WFP to provide a total of 3 million school meals since 2014. Overall, the Unilever Global Partnerships team’s mission is to improve quality of life by providing hygiene, sanitation, access to safe drinking water and basic nutrition and by enhancing self-esteem
This World Food Day, Knorr is giving food lovers the opportunity to turn their food posts into a real meal for someone in need. On 16th October, each time Knorr’s #ShareTheMeal post is shared or retweeted on Facebook and Twitter, Knorr will donate the equivalent of one meal via the World Food Programme (WFP), up to a total of 1.5 million meals. Knorr is also encouraging people to download WFP’s ShareTheMeal app which enables them to take a food photo and donate as little as 40 Euro cents, enough to feed a child for a day, with a simple tap on their smartphone.
Zimbabweans are encouraged to share posts using the hashtag #ShareTheMealZW.
The monies donated by Knorr will give families in need – via WFP’s system of cash-based transfers – the means to choose and buy their own food with dignity and freedom. This year’s campaign builds upon the success of previous World Food Day activations, which have seen Knorr donate over 3M nutritious school meals since 2014 through its partnership with the World Food Programme.
New figures reveal that, each day, 3.5 photos of food are posted, liked and shared around the world. That’s an online food conversation totalling 1.2 billion posts in the space of a year.
Cathryn Sleight, EVP Knorr: “As a society, we have never been more passionate about food. There are 1.2 billion social media posts using the hashtag #food each year. Yet 815 million people go hungry. This has to change. As one of the world’s largest food brands, we can’t ignore this imbalance and we feel a responsibility to try and change these statistics for the better. The causes of global hunger are complex, but on World Food Day we invite people to join us in raising awareness of the problem and taking action. Whether it’s sharing our post or actually making a donation themselves through the World Food Program’s ShareTheMeal app, everyone can make a difference.”
“In 2016, WFP empowered over 14 million people with the power to choose and prepare the right food to share with their families,” remarks Prerana Issar, Director of Private Sector Partnerships for the World Food Programme. “This year on World Food Day, Knorr’s call to reach out and share a meal through social media is an inspiring example of how a simple action can make a big difference in someone’s life.”
In Zimbabwe, the programme following an El Nino-induced drought that affected large parts of Zimbabwe in 2016, the Ministry of Health with support from UNICEF initiated a programme to screen all children under five years of age for malnutrition. The program entailed health workers visiting communities screening all children for malnutrition. Those found with severe acute malnutrition were immediately placed into a community-based treatment program which involves treatment with ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF). Children with acute malnutrition are referred to the health facility for treatment and possible admission.
Zimbabwean children have also been affected by stunted growth, a condition that primarily affects people who suffer from malnutrition during childhood. People whose growth is stunted typically have short heights and low body masses for their age group .ABOUT 27% children in Zimbabwe suffer stunted growth, with 9% severely stunted owing to poor nutrition, a 2015 Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Survey (ZDHS) report has revealed.
The ShareTheMeal app is available to download here https://app.adjust.com/u0ts56 on iOS AND Android platforms.