I am so proud to say that we have been able to provide over 90 million meals and counting to children and families in need, thanks to the amazing FEED community. Every time someone purchases a FEED bag, that number increases. While 90 million is awesome, I’m blown away when I think about the impact of just one meal for one child. Each one truly makes a difference.
We have an amazing remote customer service and operations support team, but there are about 10 of us at the FEED HQ. The women who make this giving machine turn everyday are rockstars at what they do. I’m blown away by how much we have been able to accomplish with a relatively lean team, but I am also excited by the plans we have for the growth of the team and the business this year.
The short answer is that FEED Supper is an invitation to “truly share a meal.” What that translates to are some very special gatherings for good. From September 16-October 16th (World Food Day), everyone is invited to host a FEED Supper where hosts ask guests to make a donation instead of bringing the typical bottle of wine or dessert. Hundreds of FEED Suppers take place in those 30 days—it’s really fun to watch them unfold every night on Instagram with #FEEDsupper. I couldn’t be more excited about our third fall of FEED Supper, and want everyone in the heymama community to know they are each invited to host their own Suppers. We’ll be opening host sign up later this summer on feedprojects.com. After signing up, hosts can download or purchase a FEED Supper toolkit, which comes with great dinner party pieces like placemats and banners. We’re reiterating the toolkit a bit this year, but I’m not allowed to unveil any of our marketing team’s surprises just yet.
To answer this question, I’m going to give a little backstory. I founded FEED nine years ago as a way to support the World Food Programme’s school feeding initiative, which provides free and nutritious lunches to children in 63 of the poorest countries. I had been fortunate enough to travel with WFP in college and see firsthand the power of the school meals they were delivering to vulnerable children. I returned from my travels hungry to find an accessible and tangible way to get my peers involved in the issue of hunger. That’s when I had the idea for the first FEED bag. To this day, WFP is still our biggest giving partner. We know that by investing in school meals, we are also investing in education, and in the futures of little ones all over the world.
Beyond WFP, we also fund initiatives through the U.S. Fund for UNICEF and Feeding America here in the U.S. There’s an entire section of our website dedicated to the full story of our giving for anyone who’s curious!
It’s true we have been very fortunate to have worked with some amazing people and partners over the years. Our approach to partnerships has evolved a lot since we started out. Early on, partnerships were the vehicle we used to get the word out about FEED– being in Whole Foods really put us on the map. At this point in our business, however, awareness isn’t as much the goal delighting our customers. The FEED community loved it when we launched a tabletop collection with west elm, for example, because it provided another way for them to incorporate FEED into their everyday lives beyond the products we sell on our site.
First and foremost, find a cause you really care about, and identify a way you can help and truly make a difference. Second, identify what type of business model you think would solve the problem best. (There’s a reason FEED is a social business and not a non-profit.) Once you have identified this cross-section of cause and business model, pour your heart and soul into it. Starting anything takes a lot of time and passion, but I have found that centering your startup around giving back is not only a motivation for founders, but also for employees and customers.
This might sound cliché, but I am being completely honest when I say that the moment I felt most accomplished was when we hit the milestone of having given over 90 million meals this January. It took me aback when I stopped to think about what that meant to the many lives around the world who, just because of they are born, don’t have access to something as basic as food. It makes me and my team want to work even harder to reach and surpass 100 million meals.
As a mom, I know how much love and care goes into feeding my baby the best nutrients possible so he can grow and develop to his fullest potential. My heart breaks for all the mothers around the world who struggle to provide something as simple as a meal for their babies. Becoming a mom has definitely put the mission of FEED into a new perspective for me. I have never been more resolute to ensure every mother has the nutrition she needs to provide for herself and her children.
To not sweat the small stuff and to have fun with your baby, because it goes by so quickly. All so true!
Everything has been a surprise – mostly in the best of ways – from the rapid pace in which babies develop and start showing their personalities to the amazing bond you feel immediately with your child. Motherhood is a magical experience, and one that continues to evolve and unfold in the most unexpected and beautiful ways.
My mom would often make us cookies after school and we would catch up in the kitchen before going off to do homework or whatever else we had to do. Having some time during the day that is set aside for relaxed catching up is something I hope to share with James as well.
Sleeping, brunching, and lots of baby snuggles.
The FEED Supper program allows amazing mamas and individuals around the world to “truly share a meal.” From September 16th through October 16th FEED invites people to host a FEED Supper where the hosts request that their guests make a donation instead of bringing a hosting gift (aka vino). In order to host, sign up on feedprojects.com and then download (or purchase) a FEED Supper toolkit, which comes with fun dinner party decorations for your #GIVEBACK event! Happy hosting!