Nutrition for Zero Hunger: One Step Towards Solving Food Insecurity
By: John Agwunobi, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman
In the early days of my career, I worked as a pediatrician with the goal of helping my patients get a strong, healthy start. To this day, I am thankful for the opportunity I had to help others. But I also became even more aware of the challenges families faced, and I saw how food insecurity – unreliable or inconsistent access to affordable and nutritious food – affected communities and continues to be a significant global issue today.
The United Nations (UN) estimates that between 720 and 811 million people around the world faced hunger in 2020. The UN also predicts that around 660 million people may still struggle with hunger in 2030, in part due to the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Eliminating food insecurity requires urgent action, and the United Nations has rightfully identified nutrition as a sub-target of its Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger. This goal addresses feeding the hungry and transforming how the world produces, consumes, and thinks about food.
As a trusted leader in nutrition, we understand how good nutrition can elevate a community’s wellbeing. We see it through the work of independent distributors who support their customers’ dietary needs. Our passion for fostering the growth of healthy communities around the world led us to launch Nutrition For Zero Hunger in 2019. This global program, which includes support from Herbalife Nutrition and the Herbalife Nutrition Foundation (HNF), combines a range of partnerships and programs to tackle food insecurity, hunger, and malnutrition. Nutrition For Zero Hunger partners with non-governmental organizations to identify sustainable food resources, provide access to healthy foods, improve nutrition education, and raise awareness. HNF, a public charity that chooses to join Herbalife Nutrition in certain initiatives, also aims to address food insecurity by providing funds to community-based charitable organizations so they may provide healthy meals and other support to children and families around the world. In 2021, HNF teamed up with 167 non-profit organizations to support more than 200,000 people in over 59 countries.
Improving access to nutrition information is one way Nutrition For Zero Hunger helps tackle food insecurity. The Hunger Project, a Nutrition For Zero Hunger partner, is an organization focused on finding solutions to ending hunger that are sustainable – locally, socially, economically, and environmentally. This program helps empower communities to gain access to nutrition information regarding healthier, locally sustainable food choices. Nutrition For Zero Hunger’s support of this program, through contributions from HNF, will enable an additional 30,000 women in Bangladesh to attend 1,000 Days Essential Nutrition Education Actions courtyard meetings on child and maternal nutrition. Because these initiatives are championed by the very folks living in these communities, there is greater trust and progress.
Nutrition For Zero Hunger also supports communities through relief efforts and food donations. Natural disasters can leave people vulnerable to disruptions in food supplies and clean water, which can exacerbate food insecurity. HNF has pledged $1 million to World Food Program USA to help address this problem. HNF’s contribution will provide lifesaving support to people at the onset of a disaster or emergency. We also donate our nutrition products to organizations such as Feed the Children, which has helped provide food and other resources to children and their families. Recently, we partnered with Feed the Children to donate our nutrition products to local school districts in Los Angeles through the Boys and Girls Club, reaching children and their families. Additional Nutrition For Zero Hunger partners include the U.S. African Development Foundation and Asociación Mexicana de Bancos de Alimentos (BAMX), among others. Support of these organizations helps raise awareness of and advocates improvement of these communities, and we’re incredibly grateful for the opportunity to help them improve lives.
Imagine not knowing when you’ll eat next or going to bed on an empty stomach night after night. These scenarios are all too familiar for people experiencing food insecurity. Our failure as a society to address food insecurity will only lead to greater instability and distress for millions of people around the world. I believe that we can alleviate this crisis with a unified response from both public and private organizations. And through programs like Nutrition For Zero Hunger, small impacts are adding up. We have, together with contributions from HNF, already reached over 164 million people globally, donated and supplemented over 1 million meals to children and families, donated over 800,000 servings of Herbalife Nutrition products, and reached 87,000 beneficiaries through nutrition education and dietary supplementation programs. This is exciting progress, but there is much more to be done, and we’re eager to make an even bigger impact.
John Agwunobi is the CEO and Chairman of the Board of Herbalife Nutrition, a premier global nutrition company that serves customers in 95 countries. Mr. Agwunobi is a passionate proponent of Herbalife Nutrition’s mission to improve the nutrition habits of people worldwide, strengthening our communities and providing independent distributors a business opportunity to earn supplemental income.