Unilever embraces 30th World Food Day

Today, employees of Unilever, in more than 30 countries, together with global partners will raise awareness on the issue of child hunger and raise funds for the World Food Programme (WFP).

Employees raise awareness & funds for school meals

Last school year, Unilever activities funded school meals for 76 000 children in Kenya, Ghana, Indonesia, Colombia, Pakistan and the Philippines. This year Unilever aims to reach 100 000 children. World Food Day has been an annual event since 1979.

Unilever fundraising activities on World Food Day will include, ‘a meal for a meal’ whereby Unilever employees can donate the cost of a WFP school meal whilst buying their own lunch. In Kenya, employees have volunteered to visit one of the schools supported by the partnership (Makongeni Pri school in Nairobi).

They will serve the children lunch and get involved in other school activities during the day. In Trinidad, Blue Band margarine will donate meals to children’s homes and orphanages across the country. In the Netherlands, Unilever’s CEO Paul Polman will team-up with other Dow Jones Sustainability Leaders, CEOs of DSM and TNT, to raise awareness amongst the business community and the government.

Recently Paul Polman visited Kaloleni Primary School in Nairobi, Kenya to meet some of the children who benefit from Unilever’s partnership with WFP. Polman witnessed the positive results and impact of the WFP. “Global hunger is a serious issue that can only be addressed by organizations and companies working together. I am proud to see that companies like Unilever can play an important role in this serious issue”.

However, experts estimate one billion people on the planet still don't have enough to eat. Polman adds, “Due to the global economic crisis, the number of people failing to get access to food is increasing. 2008 was a year of unprecedented challenges for WFP, 2009 developments are worrying and funds are needed more than ever.”


This week, two global days are organised to create awareness for hunger and hygiene. Yesterday, October 15, via Global Handwashing Day more awareness was created on the importance of hygiene. Unilever raised awareness through various activities with the soap brand Lifebuoy. Hand washing with soap is the single most cost-effective intervention to prevent child mortality. This is needed because Diarrhoea and respiratory infections are amongst the top killers of children around the world and together amount to 3.5 million deaths annually.


Notes to Editors:

Unilever & WFP

2008 contribution total of 3.2 million Euro (corporate donations, cause-related marketing campaigns and donations from employees)

1.8 million euro was used to provide school meals via WFP’s school feeding programme in Kenya, Ghana, Indonesia, Colombia, Pakistan and the Philippines. Other funds were used in expertise, educational programmes and through emergency relief operations.

About World Food Day (16 October)

World Food Day is an initiative of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and has been an annual event since 1979. Its purpose is to heighten public awareness of the world food problem and strengthen solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty.

The World Food Programme (WFP) is FAO's sister organisation within the UN and also takes part in World Food Day. WFP is the UN's frontline agency in the fight against hunger, and the world's largest provider of school meals and take-home rations for poor children. Unilever has a partnership with WFP, called 'Together for Child Vitality', aimed at combating child hunger. World Food Day is an opportunity for us to mark our partnership with WFP and raise awareness about child hunger and malnutrition.

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