The Mondelēz International Foundation today launched three well-being programs aimed at bringing nutrition education, active play and fresh foods to children and their families in Mexico, South Africa and the United States. This is part of the company’s multi-year, $50 million commitment to promote healthy lifestyles and address obesity. These new programs bring global community partners together in an effort to create school environments that encourage children and families to adopt lifelong healthy habits.
According to a 2014 Lancet report, the United States and Mexico have the highest rates of obesity in the world; South Africa is not far behind with the highest rates of obesity and overweight in sub-Saharan Africa.
“The three new well-being programs build on our ongoing commitment to community well-being and the fight against obesity, particularly among children. They are perfectly aligned with United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in the areas of addressing malnutrition and promoting good health and well-being,” said Nicole Robinson, President of the Mondelēz International Foundation. “As many schools begin a new term, we’ll be working alongside our community partners, teachers and parents to establish the foundation for a healthy school year by promoting nutrition basics, encouraging active lifestyles and expanding access to nutritious foods.”
Over the next four years, the Foundation and its partners in Mexico, South Africa and the United States will inspire schools and communities to reach underserved kids and get involved in the following innovative ways:
- Mexico: Save the Children will improve nutrition and physical activity by promoting active play, nutrition education and gardening to approximately 20,000 children and families. Designed for children ages 2-13, the program will operate in early childhood development centers and primary schools. The Mondelēz International Foundation is recognized as one of Save the Children’s Global Corporate Partners.
- South Africa: INMED Partnerships for Children is adapting its award-winning program from Brazil to South Africa. INMED’s efforts, which include school-based gardens, have improved children’s body mass index (BMI) and vegetable consumption in Brazil. The program will now seek to reach 50,000-75,000 children, parents and community members across 100 schools in South Africa.
- United States: After-School All-Stars will expand its middle school program to offer nutrition education, cooking classes, urban vegetable gardens and will add BMI tracking to its program evaluation. This new effort is the Foundation’s first ever after-school program geared to middle school students. The program will reach children and families in more than 150 schools in 12 U.S. locations.
“We’re proud to partner with the Mondelēz International Foundation to prioritize well-being in South African communities and schools,” said Linda Pfeiffer, PhD, President and CEO, INMED Partnerships for Children. “Through our work with the Foundation in Brazil, we’ve seen 65 percent of the children improve their BMI and approximately one-third of these children achieve a normal BMI. In South Africa, we’re hoping to achieve similar results through collaborative partnerships among school administrators, local governments, non-governmental organizations and communities.”
With the addition of these new partnerships, the Foundation’s collective program will now reach more than 1 million children and families across 14 countries. Each community partnership will track progress against a universal set of metrics critical to achieving well-being: nutrition education, physical activity and access to nutritious foods. These metrics were developed with community partners and public health experts convened by the Mondelēz International Foundation in 2013. To date, partnerships in Australia, Brazil, China, India and Russia are on track to deliver results against these global healthy lifestyle metrics.
These new community partnerships support Mondelēz International's Call For Well-being, which is focused on four key areas where the company can make the greatest impact: mindful snacking, sustainability, community and safety. Today’s commitments demonstrate ways Mondelēz International is working with individuals, partners and institutions to develop new approaches to empower communities to address obesity, promote healthy lifestyles and inspire future generations. To learn more about our community well-being approach, please see the related infographic here: http://content.mondelezinternational.com/flash/Social_Media/MDLZ_2015_Comm_Part.pdf