Tag Archives: Food Banks

a business working to end hunger

The piece reprinted below was in my email hunger feed  this morning. I reprint it here because I applaud any effort to help end the unnecessary evil of hunger in a world of plenty.

I also want to encourage all of us to work more collaboratively to change the world. Working together we can create a world without hunger. Here is one new company that is demonstrating that with a new business model.

This Groundbreaking Business Model & Global Movement Is Helping To End Hunger

 
imprint

Imprint Hat Company, a new “self-sustainable” not-for-profit company, is on a mission to eradicate world hunger using their powerful new business model.

You’ve heard the statistics, read the news, and watched the infomercials: children are starving all over the world. It’s become such a commonplace story that, sadly, many of us have stopped paying attention to it. But here’s the thing – we don’t have to accept this reality. In fact, if everyone banded together and worked collectively to find a solution, experts are now saying it would be possible to completely crush this epidemic within our lifetime.

That’s where imprint Hat Co. comes in. More of a movement than an apparel company, their aim is to tackle global hunger head on by using the power of collective action.

Their high-quality, durable snapback hats look amazing and hold up to the major brands you’re used to buying from, with the idea being that if you’re going to part with your hard-earned buck, you should get both a top-end product AND have the peace of mind that comes with knowing your money is being used to make drastic global change.

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To accomplish this, imprint Hat Co. gives back 100% of the profits to this cause. That’s right, 100%! Here’s how it works:

  • 50% of all profits go toward feeding a hungry child in the local community where each hat was sold, through their closest local partnered food bank
  • 50% goes to their international partner, One Day’s Wages, to fight hunger in the developing world

Where Did This Idea Come From?

It began as a passion project between a couple of friends and has since turned into the collaborated effort of a large number of young entrepreneurs and activists from all corners of Canada and the United States.

The idea was to create a new, sustainable model that could inspire change and create real, lasting global impact. They believed the old ways just weren’t cutting it.

The Problem:

  1. There are a lot of non-profit organizations around the globe doing a lot of good; however, most rely on external donations and funding/grants in order to remain sustainable.
  2. There are also a lot of good for-profit companies that make quality products that people want. Some give back portions, but at the end of the day they are still driven to make profits for their shareholders.

Their Solution:

Combine the two models. Find individuals who 1) share the same passion, and 2) don’t need profit as incentive.

Thus, imprint Hat Co. was born.

Seeing as they are still a new start-up without the large marketing budget that some of their competitors are afforded, they have taken a real grassroots approach, relying heavily on word-of-mouth awareness through social media and other channels.

Luckily they have caught the attention of a few big names already, including their new Global Ambassador and online viral video celeb, Prince Ea, to help get the word out.

At the end of the day, they believe tying social and environmental causes to business will be essential to creating the paradigm shift needed to make real, lasting change in the world. The team at imprint Hat Co intends to be the catalyst for this change, but they can’t do it alone.

Check out word from rapper/activist, Prince Ea, himself on their IndieGogo campaign at:http://igg.me/at/makeyourimprint/x

“perfection of the body” comes first

Several days ago I read an excellent article in the HUFFINGTON POST by Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks, the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregation of the Commonwealth.  It is so well written and so forceful that I want to share it in it’s entirety.

All of us need to take the words of Rabbi Sacks to heart.

Why Fighting Poverty and Hunger Is a Religious Duty

Posted: 01/26/2013 7:48

One of my favourite Jewish sayings is, “Many people worry about their own stomachs and the state of other people’s souls. The real task is to do the opposite: to worry about other people’s stomachs and the state of your own soul.” Or as Rabbi Israel Salanter (1810-1883) used to put it: “Someone else’s material needs are my spiritual responsibility.”

I was reminded of these sentiments by the massive campaign, Enough Food for Everyone IF, currently being mounted by NGOs and religious groups, among them several from the Jewish community, to campaign for stronger action on the part of the nations of the world to address the still acute need for food in many countries.

The facts are devastating. Close to a billion people — one-eighth of the world’s population — still live in hunger. Each year 2 million children die through malnutrition. This is happening at a time when doctors in Britain are warning of the spread of obesity. We are eating too much while others starve.

This is not just an economic and political challenge. It is a religious one as well. The Hebrew Bible contains multiple provisions to ensure that no one would go hungry. The corners of the field, forgotten sheaves of grain, gleanings that drop from the hands of the gleaner, and small clusters of grapes left on the vine were to be given to the poor.

Everything that grew in the seventh year belonged to everyone. In the third and sixth year of the septennial cycle, a tithe of all produce went to those in need. As 19th century social reformer Henry George put it, the great concern of Moses was “to lay the foundation of a social state in which deep poverty and degrading want should be unknown.” It was the world’s first welfare state and the first form of redistributive taxation.

One contemporary translation of these biblical imperatives is Leket (“gleanings”), Israel’s national food bank, which rescues surplus food and agricultural produce that would otherwise be destroyed from catering halls, farms and Kibbutzim, restaurants, corporate cafeterias and bakeries and distributes them to the disadvantaged. Where there is a will, there is a way.

In the Middle Ages, Moses Maimonides said that though the ultimate aim of religion is “perfection of the soul,” nonetheless “perfection of the body” — by which he meant this kind of alleviation of poverty and the fight against injustice — came first. You cannot, he said, give your mind to higher things if you lack food to eat or a home in which to live. That is why the alleviation of poverty is a religious duty.

The problem today, as the organisers of the campaign put it, is that the world produces enough food for everyone but not everyone has enough food. There are places where farmers are being forced off their land, and countries in which international corporations avoid paying local taxes. Food prices are often kept artificially high. The result is that the millennium development goals set out by the United Nations at the start of the new millennium are not being reached. Fine words have not yet been turned into deeds.

As chance or providence would have it, today is Tu Bishvat, the special day in the Jewish calendar known as the New Year for trees. Throughout history this served to remind Jews to bring a tithe to Jerusalem where fruit was shared with friends and strangers, or on other years given to the poor.

We are, Jews believe, not owners of the wealth we produce, merely guardians — “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof” — and one of the conditions of our guardianship is that we share our blessings with others.

One of my favourite Jewish stories is of the great mystical rabbi Shneor Zalman of Ladi, who awoke one night to hear his grandson crying. He went downstairs and found his son so intent on his studies that he had failed to hear the cry. So the grandfather went into the child’s bedroom and gently rocked the baby until it went to sleep again. Then he went to his son and said, “My child, I do not know what you are studying, but it cannot be the word of God if it makes you deaf to the cry of the child.”

Today, even in a world of plenty, too many of the world’s children are crying. Let us not be deaf to their cry.

Originally published in The Times of London.