Sep 20, 2011 • By

The FWD campaign to fight hunger

All this week in New York City, the 2011 Social Good Summit presented by Mashable, 92Y and the United Nations Foundation is a-Twitter, discussing ways companies, the government and passionate activists can use social media to address some of the biggest issues of our time.

I was there yesterday and had the privilege of hearing from speakers like Erin Schrode from One Young World who talked about the “youthquake” spurred by young people using technology to positively change the world, and Simon Mainwaring, founder of WE FIRST who talked about leveraging the strength of the private sector to impact social change in a systemic and sustainable way.

Dr. Raj Shah, administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), also spoke at the conference.

Dr. Shah made news by unveiling a compelling new campaign dedicated to raising awareness around the crisis in the Horn of Africa. The FWD campaign will encourage Americans to spread awareness of the crisis, support humanitarian organizations conducting relief operations, and learn more about Feed the Future, an initiative to prevent these types of disasters from happening in the future.

As a call to action, the FWD campaign is directing people to text GIVE to 777444 to donate $10 to a consortium of humanitarian organizations – American Refugee Committee, CARE, Catholic Relief Services, Mercy Corps, Save the Children, UNICEF USA, World Vision and World Food Program USA. All are working in the Horn of Africa.

The General Mills Foundation stepped forward as the first corporate partner to pledge support for the FWD campaign. USAID announced that the General Mills Foundation has committed to matching the first 2,000 text donations of $10 (up to $20,000) to the FWD campaign.

Fighting hunger is a key area of focus for General Mills. Other immediate relief efforts by the General Mills Foundation that address the famine in the Horn of Africa include a pledge of $100,000 to the American Refugee Committee to support a team in Somalia distributing food in the nation’s capital of Mogadishu.

To foster long-term solutions to ending hunger, General Mills is sharing technical expertise with African food processors to build a stronger food industry in Africa through our Partners in Food Solutions program. By improving technology at the local food processor level, these food processors are able to expand, hire and source more products from small-holder farmers. The farmers, with additional income, can stave off hunger, pay school fees, get better medical care and start new businesses.

For more information about the FWD campaign and how you can get involved, visit the FWD website.