(BPT) - A recent analysis by Eurasia Group suggests that the number of people facing food insecurity globally could reach 1.9 billion people by year's end.
With that in mind, some organizations have found creative, grassroots ways to fight hunger. Long-time partners Kellogg Company and United Way are an example.
In September, they established the United to Feed Innovation Challenge - a grant program for organizations globally to present project ideas that create sustainable and equitable access to food in a unique way.
A panel of judges from both organizations selected five finalists to receive funding from one of Kellogg's charitable arms to scale up or improve their projects.
United Way of Southern Nevada: The organization won a $25,000 grant to expand its Green Our Planet Farmpreneur and Hydroponics programs at 12 K-12 schools. The programs teach students about sustainable food production, nutrition and equitable access to food. Students build early-stage skillsets in food production and entrepreneurship by growing their own vegetables using raised beds and hydroponics, then selling them at a farmers' market. Students also manage the associated finance, marketing and advertising of the program.
United Way of Cass Clay (North Dakota): The organization won a $25,000 grant to expand a program that repackages food from school cafeterias that is uneaten, thus reducing food waste and food insecurity. The program has a vision to expand to universities, colleges and other unique partners who have an opportunity to reduce waste in their local food supply chains.
United Way Hungary: United Way Hungary founded Junior Magic Chefs, a set of free cooking classes for students at a local school that houses children living with extreme poverty. The $25,000 grant will help the program continue to provide children with daily meals, and teach self-sustaining skills aimed at helping break the cycle of poverty, such as cooking, nutrition and composting.
United Way of Southwest Michigan: The organization won a $5,000 grant to open a new Healthy Corner Store location. The concept aims to improve food access in neighborhoods with limited nutritious food options, as well as provide nutrition education and other basic services.
Maui United Way: Maui United Way won $5,000 for its layered mapping technology tool, which quantifies gaps in the local food system and assesses community need. It also tracks food costs and the type of food that is being grown in the county to help address food security gaps.
'Kellogg and United Way have been community partners for close to a century,' said Stephanie Slingerland, Kellogg Company's Senior Director, Philanthropy and Social Impact. 'Programs like the United to Feed Challenge - especially the efforts it's supporting and funding - can help create long-term impact in local communities.
'We are thrilled with the important work that will be supported by this Challenge and look forward to our continued partnership with United Way to advance sustainable and equitable access to food.'
The United to Feed Challenge is part of Kellogg's Better Days environmental, social and governance strategy to advance sustainable and equitable access to food by addressing the intersection of wellbeing, hunger, sustainability, and equity, diversity and inclusion in order to create better days for 3 billion people by the end of 2030.