FEED Projects, a socially minded business with hopes of feeding the world, and Whole Foods Market, the leading natural and organic foods supermarket, announced today the new FEED 100 reusable shopping bag is available exclusively at Whole Foods Market stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom on May 1st.
Each bag purchased for US$29.99 will help provide 100 nutritious meals to hungry school age children in Rwanda through the United Nation World Food Programme’s (WFP) School Feeding Programme.
“Creating the FEED 100 bag was inspired by the need to take better care of children and the planet at the same time,” said Lauren Bush, co-founder and CEO of FEED Projects.
Commitment to children
“Whole Foods Market and its savvy customers’ commitment to caring for the planet by choosing reusable shopping bags, make Whole Foods Market the perfect place to introduce the new FEED 100 bag, which will enable WFP to provide millions of school meals to the children of Rwanda.”
FEED Projects, which previously launched the original FEED 1 bag, was founded by Bush, a former fashion model, and former World Food Programme Communications Officer Ellen Gustafson.
“Each purchase of a FEED 100 reusable shopping bag will ensure 100 full bellies, encourage education and lead to a brighter future for school children,” said Gustafson, who serves as executive vice president of FEED Projects.
Supporting education in Rwanda
“Along with Whole Foods Market, our combined hope is to support the entire Rwanda School Feeding programme for all of 2008, and we are well on our way as the first order of bags alone will provide over 42 million nutritious meals at no cost to the families.”
When a Whole Foods Market customer buys a FEED 100 bag, $10 will be donated by FEED Projects’ foundation, FEED Foundation, to the World Food Program’s Rwanda School Feeding operation; with the remainder going to cover the costs of the bag and oversight of the programme by the FEED foundation.
To further help the initiative, Whole Foods Market is not making a profit by offering the bags to its shoppers.
Designed solely for Whole Foods Market by Bush, the FEED 100 reusable bag is made of organic cotton and natural burlap and is produced with a commitment to ensuring fair treatment of workers, livable wages, paid overtime, and safe and clean working environments.
It is a lightweight, fresh white tote that collapses easily into its base, which is a zippered rectangular burlap pouch emblazoned with the FEED logo and the number 100.
“The fact that the bag condenses into a small pouch makes it easy to remember when heading to buy groceries,” added Bush.
“We are thrilled about the FEED 100 bag because besides making an eco-friendly fashion statement, it helps educate people about hunger and what we can do to alleviate it," said Nancy Roman, director of communications for the United Nations World Food Programme.
In 1994, Rwanda lost 800,000 men, women and children to genocide; as a result, the nation’s economy and social structures were decimated. Since 2003, the World Food Program has provided free, nutritious school lunches to Rwanda’s children in 300 schools in the most food-deprived areas.
Each hot, nutrient-rich meal draws boys and girls to school, helps them learn, and may be the only meal they have all day. School attendance has grown from 63 percent to 93 percent, and to help close the educational gender gap, girls with good attendance may receive extra rations to take home to their families.
"This bold and innovative partnership between FEED Projects and Whole Foods Market will make a real difference," said Josette Sheeran, executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme. "Hundreds of thousands of Rwandan children, who might have gone to school hungry, will now go nourished and ready to learn."
The FEED 100 reusable shopping bags can be found at checkout counters at all Whole Foods Market stores starting May 1, 2008. For more details on the bag, visit www.FEEDprojects.org. For a listing of stores, visit www.wholefoodsmarket.com.