After providing 100,039 eggs to more than 8,000 families in Indiana during a 10-week pilot program, HATCH announced it will extend its program with The Kroger Co. and Rose Acre Farms through 2015.
This announcement was made during a special event at Gleaners Food Bank, one of two food banks distributing HATCH eggs to food pantries throughout Central Indiana.
Officials also said HATCH, which is providing a new way consumers, food stores and farmers can work together to make eggs available to undernourished people, will continue exploring opportunities to expand its reach to other communities.
“HATCH is becoming a sustainable model for how people can work together locally to fight undernourishment and make a real, tangible difference in their communities,” said Bert Payne, operations leader for HATCH for Hunger at Elanco Animal Health, a division of Eli Lilly and Company. “The beauty of HATCH is that it is giving more people access to nutrient-rich eggs, even in the face of today’s higher prices due to reduced U.S. egg supplies.”
The HATCH pilot program, which involved 65 Central Indiana Kroger stores, provided one egg to a local food bank for each dozen Kroger-brand medium eggs purchased from April 13 through June 20. So far, 8,336 dozen (100,039 eggs) have been donated through Gleaners Food Bank and Midwest Food Bank.
“HATCH is gratitude, and gratitude is the smiles and thanks of the people receiving the eggs,” said Cindy Hubert, president and CEO of Gleaners Food Bank. “One mother who received HATCH eggs told me, ‘the HATCH program gave us the opportunity to have healthy food for breakfast instead of just eating junk food … it makes a difference.’ This is what HATCH is all about."
Even as one in four children in Marion County, Indiana, lives in poverty, many more people throughout the United States also are chronically undernourished. Eggs are an excellent source of protein and essential vitamins and minerals, which makes them especially helpful in the fight against hunger. One egg provides nutrients that can improve brain function in people of all ages, and delivers half the protein a young child needs each day.
"Rose Acre Farms is proud to partner with Elanco and Kroger on a project as critical as hunger," said Amanda Jackson, director of sales, Rose Acre Farms. "HATCH has been a tremendous success due to the support of our local communities and Kroger shoppers. We recognize that nutritious foods are often hard to obtain for food-insecure families and that America’s food banks find it incredibly difficult to acquire high-quality proteins. We are thrilled to meet this need by providing healthy, nutrient-dense eggs that will provide the protein and essential vitamins and minerals that are crucial for muscle, brain and eye development."
"We are extremely proud of the generosity of Kroger customers and associates who rallied behind HATCH to help neighbors put nutritious food on their plates,” said John Elliott, manager of public affairs, The Kroger Co. “That’s why we are thrilled to announce the extension of HATCH in 65 Central Indiana stores through Dec. 31. Like our long-standing Perishable Donation Partnership -- which has donated more than 195 million meals to community food banks -- HATCH is another way we can work together to combat undernourishment.”
Elanco, the company that developed HATCH for Hunger, plans to build on the HATCH pilot program to develop similar initiatives that can bring food security to other locations in the U.S. and additional countries.