CAPE TOWN, South Africa--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Evandro Patricio, a commercial performance and trade finance manager at Kraft Heinz, always enjoyed reading about the meal-packaging events that his company hosted at offices and factories all around the world. It made him proud to know that the hunger-relief sachets his colleagues filled with 23 essential vitamins and nutrients would eventually find their way to hungry families in underserved populations. But Patricio, working in Auckland, New Zealand, never thought he would actually get to meet those families.
On Sunday, April 2, he did. Patricio found himself in the South African capital of Cape Town, surrounded by dozens of preschool children at Masikhule Educare, one of Cape Town’s non-registered crèches (early childhood development centers that currently receive no government funding). He then traveled to another Cape Town crèche, Overcome ECD, where dozens more school children huddled around Patricio and his coworkers, thanking them for the life-saving meals they had delivered.
This was a meal-distribution trip paid for by Kraft Heinz – the first of its kind for employees like Patricio who, along with his colleague Ahmed Saeed of Egypt, were chosen by company leaders to fly thousands of miles for the opportunity to connect with the beneficiaries of the Kraft Heinz Micronutrient Campaign (KHMC). The KHMC has been sponsored by the Kraft Heinz Company Foundation for more than 15 years.
Saeed, a food safety and quality leader at Kraft Heinz working in the Egyptian city 6th of October, had not previously participated in a Kraft Heinz sponsored meal-packaging event. But every month, Saeed and his family prepare, pack and distribute cooked meals to government hospitals and the homeless. Each year, for the 30 days starting on Ramadan, he sets up a public restaurant in the streets to hand out iftar (free meals for the underprivileged). He also collects donations to help the worldwide NGO Sofaraa dig fresh-water wells throughout Africa.
“At Kraft Heinz, fulfilling our vision of Growing A Better World means doing everything we can to end global hunger and malnutrition,” said Saeed. “Getting to meet the children and families who benefit from our efforts has given me a much deeper appreciation for why this work is so important. It was amazing to see how our company’s meals are helping communities in need.”
Every month since April 2012, the international hunger-relief nonprofit Rise Against Hunger (formerly Stop Hunger Now) has delivered three boxes of hunger-relief meals to Overcome ECD and two boxes to Masikhule Educare. Each box contains 36 packages, providing up to 216 meals per box. The meals are packaged at events like those hosted by Kraft Heinz and distributed by Rise Against Hunger to the world’s most vulnerable communities.
Through the company’s partnership with Rise Against Hunger, Kraft Heinz employees have packaged 3.6 million meals. And over the past three years, The Kraft Heinz Company Foundation has nutritionally fortified more than 200 million hunger relief meals like the ones distributed in South Africa over the weekend.
On March 21, Kraft Heinz announced it will donate 1 billion nutritious meals to people in need by 2021 in collaboration with nonprofit partners such as Rise Against Hunger, Feeding America, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the Red Cross.
Marcos Romaneiro, president of the Asia-Middle East-Africa (or “AMEA”) Zone for Kraft Heinz, has been a champion of the company’s effort to eradicate malnutrition across the developing world.
“The focus of this trip was to bring Kraft Heinz employees together for a more hands-on approach to eliminating global hunger,” said Romaneiro, who was also joined on the trip by his leadership team and several employees from the South African office in Paarl. “For the millions of children who receive our micronutrients, we are removing hunger and malnutrition as a barrier to education and employment. We’re giving them a chance to learn, grow and improve the communities where they live. Our micronutrients save lives every day.”
The South African affiliate of Rise Against Hunger facilitated the trip for Kraft Heinz, which was hosted by Saira Khan, executive director of Rise Against Hunger South Africa, along with Silvia Roscot, emergency relief technical advisor.
The Kraft Heinz Company has had a presence in Africa since 2003 with offices currently in Cape Town, Ghana, Lagos, Durban and Nairobi, and manufacturing facilities in Cairo and Cape Town. Today, 11 Kraft Heinz brands – including Wellington, Miracle Whip and Planters – are sold in 17 African countries.
ABOUT THE KRAFT HEINZ COMPANY
The Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ: KHC) is the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world, with eight $1 billion+ brands. A globally trusted producer of delicious foods, The Kraft Heinz Company provides high quality, great taste and nutrition for all eating occasions whether at home, in restaurants or on the go. The Company’s iconic brands include Kraft, Heinz, ABC, Capri Sun, Classico, Jell-O, Kool-Aid, Lunchables, Maxwell House, Ore-Ida, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Planters, Plasmon, Quero, Weight Watchers Smart Ones and Velveeta. The Kraft Heinz Company is dedicated to the sustainable health of our people, our planet and our Company. For more information, visit www.kraftheinzcompany.com.
ABOUT RISE AGAINST HUNGER
Rise Against Hunger (formerly Stop Hunger Now), an international hunger relief organization based in Raleigh, N.C., works to implement immediate and long-term solutions to hunger worldwide. With program locations in 20 U.S. cities and five international offices, Rise Against Hunger has engaged volunteers to package more than 310 million nutrient rich meals for distribution to 74 countries around the globe. To find out more about Rise Against Hunger’s efforts to end hunger worldwide, please visit www.riseagainsthunger.org.