THE BLOG

Power of ONE at the ONE Power 100

This weekend, we are heading to Washington, D.C. to speak at the ONE Power 100 Summit -- a gathering of the top ONE student activists from across the country. The goal of the summit is to energize top campus chapter leadership and create lifelong activists. We are so excited to speak with these student leaders because, being young activists ourselves, we truly believe that one person can make a difference. We believe that students have incredible transformational power in the movement to create widespread awareness of global diseases and extreme poverty.

Back in 2004, when Lauren was a student at Princeton, she served as a Student Spokesperson for the UN World Food Program for a few years and witnessed the horror of hunger. There are 963 million people in the world who are hungry and, sadly, that number is increasing. The impacts of malnutrition go beyond just being hungry. Malnutrition contributes to almost half of all child deaths and more than one in five maternal deaths around the world. Lauren also saw how simple ideas can make a huge impact. For example, she saw how school-feeding works. Serving food at school fights hunger among the world's poorest children and helps get them into school. These children stay in school longer, concentrate better and perform at higher levels. Social safety-net programs like these are essential, especially as countries, communities, and families face rising food prices and declining incomes spurred by the duel force of the global food and financial crises.

The FEED bag project was born when Lauren was in college and studied abroad in Australia. She saw that Australians were good about using reusable shopping bags and she wanted to bring that back home to the USA. She joined with Ellen, who was the new Public Affairs Officer at the WFP office in NY and was willing to try anything to raise awareness and money for WFP's programs to feed hungry kids. Together, we started FEED Projects and began selling the FEED 1 bag on Amazon.com, which feeds one child in school for one year. We have sold over 28,000 of those FEED 1 bags, each one buyer supporting one child for one year. Talk about the power of ONE!

FEED's mission is "to make good products that FEED the world." FEED bags are our way of doing this. With each bag sold, children are fed a free school meal through the UN World Food Program around the world. This lunch meal not only fills their bellies, but also gives them an incentive to go to school and get the valuable education they need to better their own lives. It is an empowering program, giving one child at a time a chance to escape extreme poverty, and we are so proud to support it through our FEED products.

Our view is that small actions, done by lots of people, can make the world a better place. Since our launch in April 2007, the sales of our FEED bags have raised over $5 million for international school feeding efforts. This means that together, everyone's purchases of FEED products so far has provided 50,000,000 school meals for hungry children. That definitely shows us the Power of ONE.

At the Power 100 Summit, we look forward interacting with the student leaders. Our hope is that our story will inspire them to go back to their campus and work even harder to address hunger and poverty. No doubt their stories will inspire us. The movement to fight poverty -- including feeding the hungry -- is growing and students are driving it, one action at a time. We hope others will be inspired by the POWER 100 student leaders and use their Power of ONE to change the world.