For many of us, eating is a social event. We arrange gatherings with family and friends around meals, and look forward to the enjoyment and relaxation these familiar moments bring.
For the nearly 800 million people around the world who do not have enough to eat, an upcoming meal is more likely to produce anxiety. Limited or uncertain access to nutrition – or “food insecurity,” as experts refer to it – affects more than just those sitting at the dinner table, however. It affects all of us.
A strong community depends upon an educated, productive workforce, yet hungry children struggle to learn in school, and hungry adults can’t perform well on the job. It’s a challenge that no single organization can solve alone. Fortunately, we don’t have to.
I am proud to announce – on the eve of World Hunger Day – that Elanco and United Way Worldwide are forging a new partnership to reduce global food insecurity. Elanco’s parent company, Lilly, has a long and productive relationship working with United Way to create lasting change, and today’s announcement builds on that shared history.
To fight global food insecurity, Elanco has committed to “Break the Cycle of Hunger in 100 Communities” by 2020. To expand on its progress, Elanco is donating $300,000 to United Way Worldwide through our International Donor Advised Giving (IDAG) program, which has helped companies like Elanco invest more than $300 million in over 110 nations throughout the last decade.
Our new partnership with Elanco builds upon the great work that we’re already doing together. Last year, Elanco donated $100,000 to United Way Worldwide to tackle food insecurity, and this generous gift is producing measurable results in communities around the world—communities like Liverpool, England, where United Way provided more than 100,000 nutritious meals to children from families struggling to make ends meet.
It takes generous gifts like these – and the passion of volunteers – to build stronger communities. That’s why I’m also thrilled that Elanco plans to commit 200,000 volunteer hours as part of its Global Hunger Challenge by 2020.
Elanco and United Way have so much in common. We share an understanding that we are only as strong as the communities in which we live and work. We share the conviction that no contribution of money or time is too small. And we share the belief that breaking the cycle of hunger can make a world of difference – for individuals, families, communities and entire nations.
No one should have to worry about where their next meal will come from, but the fact of the matter is that food insecurity isn’t something that only occurs in the farthest corners of the globe. It’s happening right now in kitchens and dining rooms not far from you and me.
Elanco has a bold vision for the future—a future without hunger. United Way is proud to stand by Elanco’s side. Together, we will make that vision a reality.
This post originally appeared as a guest post on LillyPad, Eli Lilly's blog. You can access it here.