At the World Food Prize Borlaug Dialogue in Des Moines, Iowa, today, General Mills CEO Ken Powell addressed attendees on the company’s efforts to fight hunger in Africa through collaboration and employee volunteerism. He shared the company’s experience launching the nonprofit Partners in Food Solutions (PFS), and discussed General Mills’ distinct ability as a food company to help alleviate hunger by leveraging the skills of the many General Mills employee volunteers who are eager to give back. He characterized the company and its employees as “hungry to help.”
“We are hungry to help the entrepreneur in Tanzania who is trying to package her products and access new markets,” Powell said. “We are hungry to help the food scientist in Zambia searching for solutions to retain food flavor and optimize nutrients. And we are hungry to help the farmer in Malawi who, by selling her crop, will generate the money needed to support her family and pay for her children to go to school.”
Powell also announced that Partners in Food Solutions will be expanding through a renewed public-private partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The newly established agreement with USAID will enable PFS to expand the reach of the technical and business expertise it provides to small- and medium-sized food processors in sub-Saharan Africa. The agreement announced today builds on a public-private partnership formed in 2010 between USAID, the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, and General Mills.
Under the new agreement, USAID and Partners in Food Solutions will deepen their collaboration to improve African food security by bringing expertise, knowledge and resources to the continent’s food-processing sector. Partners in Food Solutions will provide more than $8 million in resources to the endeavor, leveraging nearly $7 million in funding from USAID. This public-private partnership – implemented by TechnoServe and part of the U.S. government’s Feed the Future and Global Health initiatives – will continue to help improve African food security.