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Take Hunger Off the Menu: A Global Hunger Campaign from Heifer International

  

As INFRA retailers, you know how farmers, grocers, and consumers come together to make this whole system work. Food moves from farm to fork, and communities spring up within and around farms, farmers markets and grocery stores. It's not a perfect system and we have much work to do, but the food system infrastructure we have in North America provides a platform for us all to play our part in nourishing people and local communities 

Imagine how difficult it would be for us to do our jobs in a developing country without the food system infrastructure we have here. For farmers to grow food, they need arable land, seeds and starts. They need training, supplies, and a marketplace to connect with customers. These are just some of the base components required to feed a community. But these building blocks are missing or inaccessible in many places around the globe today, and this contributes to chronic hunger and famine. To effectively address food insecurity around the world, the infrastructure, incentives, and systems must be built to start local food production, create capacity, and provide sustainable local markets and develop primary economies. 

Heifer International 80 Years of Delivering Impact Across the Globe 

This is the work of Heifer International, and we are proud to partner with them on the "Take Hunger Off The Menu" campaign to raise awareness and funds to power Heifer's deep and effective development work. While Heifer has been involved in our food system for decades and supports farmer-led projects in the US, the bulk of their work is focused on global hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth 

Heifer has supported 43 million families to reach food security since 1944, and currently works in 19 countries, providing agricultural starters, training, and locally-led development projects that focus on women’s empowerment, climate-smart agriculture and community building. Heifer’s time-tested and proven methods have lifted 168,401 households up out of food insecurity just in the last two years.  

Real People, Real Impact 

 Like 600 million of the world’s low-income smallholder farmers, Emmy Maseta, who lives in Tanzania’s southern highlands, relies on raising livestock for income. When she began raising dairy cattle, though, the market was poor, and it was so difficult to get her milk to buyers that it would often spoil before she could sell it, meaning no sale. Regardless of how hard she worked, Emmy struggled daily to provide meals and other necessities for her family.  

Emmy's life took a turn for the better when she became a part of Heifer Tanzania’s Milk Processing Project a few years later. This project, initiated in 2019, aimed to bridge the gap between farmers and reliable buyers, while also enhancing the delivery and processing infrastructure. The transformation was remarkable from new and upgraded chilling plants to motorbikes and milk jugs, every aspect of the supply chain was revamped to preserve value and quality. The milk collection amounts more than doubled, and spoilage became a rarity.  

Over the last five years, Heifer’s Tanzania Milk Processing Project has helped 54,072 of the country’s small-scale dairy farmers, 40 percent of whom are women, increase their monthly household income by 35 percent through improved milk productivity and better access to reliable markets. This puts families well on their way to year-round food security.  

Heifer’s model is one of empowermentit’s like ‘teaching a person to fish.’ The key to that objective is helping farmers build social capital and solidarity by creating Self-Help Groups, like the UWAWARU women’s group, which Emmy leads. She says the group has not only helped members through training and savings groups, but it’s also created a strong sense of community and collaboration.  

“Heifer united us,” Emmy said.  

Today, Emmy is a successful leader and a role model for others. Her husband has joined Emmy in the dairy business, and together, they will continue to grow stronger and more resilient. 

"They say unity is strength... if you work with many, it's the ideas of many that help" - Emmy Maseta, Dairy Farmer and chair of UWARAWU women's group in Tanzania

A Call-to-Action and Ways to Participate 

We are calling on INFRA members to join our coalition and help power Heifer’s important and effective work. Some ways to participate and support the campaign: 

  • Participate in upcoming promotional brand and product awareness campaigns  

  • Dedicate a round-up campaign at the register to Heifer International’s campaign 

  • Utilize POS and marketing materials in-store 

  • Use this campaign in your employee engagement efforts and team-building events 

  • Post content about global hunger through media and social channels 

We are building a coalition to rally the food industry to raise a few million dollars to get 2.5 million people out of hunger in 2025 and continue to build to our longer-term goal of helping 10 million people by 2030, and we invite you to join us! 

We know how to work together to get big things done, so let’s join forces and empower farmers and families around the world to reach living incomes and nourish communities beyond our own.  


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