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Kraft Heinz Joined Us for an Impact Trip to South Africa – Take a Look at Their Journey!

By Amanda Whitmyer on April 25, 2023

At Rise Against Hunger, paving the way for bright futures in remote, last-mile communities starts with a meal and with partnerships like our longstanding work with The Kraft Heinz Company Foundation. Since 2013, the Kraft Heinz Foundation has been a partner in ending global hunger by supporting sustainable agriculture projects, local procurement efforts and packaging millions of meals, including the Kraft Heinz micronutrient sachets. These sachets include 18 essential vitamins and minerals, which have fortified over 400 million Rise Against Hunger meals to date.

To see firsthand the impact they’ve made possible, team members from Kraft Heinz embarked on a journey to South Africa alongside Rise Against Hunger and Rise Against Hunger Africa in early March. During this impact trip, Kraft Heinz visited Early Childhood Development Centers (ECDs) supported by Rise Against Hunger Africa as a part of the ECD Connect program. This program provides nutritious meals for children between the ages of 0 and 6 and helps unregistered ECDs by improving their facilities and teacher training to meet Department of Education standards and obtain registration through the savings created by receiving donated Rise Against Hunger meals. 

But the impact doesn’t stop there. For long-term food security and sustainability, local gardens provide freshly grown vegetables and fruits to the community and ECDs, including employment opportunities and accredited training. Also, through The Women Empowerment SED program, women receive training and are empowered to sell produce, creating social enterprise opportunities. 

Learn more about the life-changing projects and get a behind-the-scenes look at the remarkable Kraft Heinz trip to South Africa to see how a partnership with Rise Against Hunger can empower communities and nourish lives. 

Day 1: March 6, ECD Garden Projects

On the first day, Kraft Heinz visited two ECD garden projects: Place of Hope and Lakeside. Place of Hope, the site of the first Rise Against Hunger Africa pilot garden and animal husbandry, is a local garden dedicated to crop production. They harvest and sell fresh vegetables to the community and support seven ECDs, and they’ve recently added a chicken coop and are also harvesting eggs. Lakeside is a school garden located at Langalibalele Primary School that provides meals to the school children in six ECDs. They have an established market where they sell produce and offer hands-on training to other local youth within the community interested in learning more about farming. These two local ECD gardens are improving food security and stability.

Kraft Heinz Customer Supply Chain Analyst, Lindsey Holloway shares, “This was a life-changing trip. I will always carry the things I learned and witnessed in South Africa.  I have a completely different view of my everyday life and how fortunate I truly am. I am so thankful to Rise Against Hunger for sharing with me the wonderful work they are doing to make sustainable change in the global community. I am so proud of Kraft Heinz for supporting such a wonderful foundation as we both work to make the world a better place for all. As Rise Against Hunger says, “It starts with a meal”, and it evolves into food security, thriving children, and empowered women.” 

Day 2: March 7, HyHarvest and Hydroponics Projects

After visiting the ECD garden projects, Kraft Heinz team members learned more about hydroponics projects on day two of their trip. Hydroponic farming is a water-based, nutrient-rich solution for growing crops, partially vital for areas where traditional farming is not possible or difficult. Inspired by the cutting-edge technology of HyHarvest, an implementing partner in South Africa leading the way for this new farming technique, we’ve developed a hydroponic greenhouse at the Vaal University of Technology in Gauteng, the first purely hydroponics project in partnership with Kraft Heinz. This project seeks to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs interested in innovative farming techniques.

Kraft Heinz R&D Business Project Management, Lizeth Manriquez shares, “South Africa was a life-changing experience for me; this trip has changed me in so many ways… As a passionate about sustainability, it was great to see how Rise Against Hunger is also empowering communities by promoting sustainable agriculture practices and educating people. I’ll be forever grateful for this partnership that KraftHeinz and Rise Against Hunger have strengthened over time and for all the lives changed along the way. Once a meal ambassador, forever a meal ambassador.”

Day 3: March 8, Early Childhood Development Centers

Next up, on the third day of the impact trip, Kraft Heinz visited two ECDs: Mahlasedia and Tanganani. As a level two ECD, level four being the highest to become registered by the Department of Basic Education standards, Mahlasedi has 25 learners. Tanganani, a partner of Rise Against Hunger Africa since 2012, is a level four ECD made possible by savings created through donated meals, and they currently have 69 children. We also visited The Diepsloot Foundation, which began as a church and soon evolved into an ECD, vocational training and harvesting, among many other programs. Our direct partnership with The Dieplsloot Foundation ties to the gardening project to help this Foundation improve its sustainability and agriculture development.

Kraft Heinz Global Head ESG Nutrition, Ana Piekarz shares, “During the visit to the Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centers, I experienced some of the warmest smiles…how our partnership is helping to create brighter lives and helping children to achieve their full potential and the importance of good nutrition and community support to ensure children reach their best possible growth and development.”

Day 4:  March 9, Rise Against Hunger Africa Meal Packaging Event

Lastly, the trip wasn’t complete without hosting a meal packaging event to nourish more lives and empower more communities. While taking in the impactful days of the trip, team members from Kraft Heinz, Rise Against Hunger and Rise Against Hunger Africa came together to package thousands of meals. These meals contained the Kraft Heinz micronutrient sachets – a reminder that our impact together starts with a meal, and it starts with you!

Kraft Heinz Global Ethics & Compliance- Legal, ESG & GA, Acheeria Walters shares,As a Meal Ambassador, it’s always fun organizing the meal packing events and knowing our why, which is to help eliminate hunger around the world, but wow, it really puts the meal packaging events into perspective when you get to follow the meals. The meals are truly so much more than rice, soy, and vegetables once you see the impact. It’s not every day that we get to see the communities and the programs we support, so our impact trip was beyond life-changing. I am very proud of Kraft Heinz and Rise Against Hunger for helping to break the cycles of poverty. What an amazing job to have.”

To learn more about this impact trip, visit this link to hear from Kraft Heinz Global Chief Communications Officer, Kathy Krenger. Also, if your business or organization is interested in partnering with Rise Against Hunger to join us in growing the movement to end global hunger, click here to learn more and submit a form today.