Why We're Invested in Feeding the Hungry

Oct 16, 2013 10:30 AM ET
R. Jeep Bryant, executive vice president for marketing and corporate affairs at BNY Mellon

As part of BNY Mellon's global initiative to raise awareness of food security and waste, R. Jeep Bryant, executive vice president for marketing and corporate affairs, shares his thoughts on the issues. This is the first in a four-part series.

Why We’re Invested in Feeding the Hungry

At BNY Mellon, we’ve given a lot of thought to what it means to be an investments company. The answer, for us, is simple – it means we’re committed to helping our clients succeed. That’s what drives us. But we also have other responsibilities, ones we take just as seriously that fall outside a balance sheet.

We have a social responsibility to be invested in the world, which means that we’re committed to making local communities better places to live and work and that we contribute to solutions for the world’s most pressing issues. It means we care about people having homes and jobs, and about them having clothes and enough to eat.

Hunger, in particular, is an issue that has resonated across our company. Last year alone, together with our employees, we contributed the equivalent of 6 million meals to food related charities around the world.  And we’ve learned a lot along the way.

For example, it’s been thought that hunger was a simple result of poverty and that if poverty was reduced food security would follow. However, it’s now understood that hunger and poverty have a causative relationship and can create a vicious cycle that’s hard to break.

If parents are struggling with poverty, then they won’t be able to properly feed their children, which can lead to a host of long-term and life-altering medical problems. Malnourished children often have their development compromised by health issues, which can affect their ability to get an education, earn a living and escape poverty.

There’s no reason why it has to be this way. The right to food is recognized by several international human rights laws, and there’s more than enough food produced in the world to feed everyone who’s hungry.

We can all help. We can continue to support global organizations that spearhead large initiatives and local agencies that help our neighbors. We can let our employers know that hunger and food security are important and encourage them to direct their philanthropic giving to food-related charities. And we can volunteer for causes we care about, giving the gift of our time. Our employees do this year-round, but we’re especially proud of the nearly 100 volunteer events they’ve organized for World Food Day.

As we’re fond of saying at BNY Mellon, at more than 50,000 employees strong, if we all work together, if we all do something, we can grow our investment in the world. And what if we come together as a global community, putting our resources and best minds to work finding sustainable solutions to ending hunger?  Just think of the possibilities....