Elanco, The Kroger Co.’s Central Division, Rose Acre Farms, Gleaners Food Bank and Midwest Food Bank have joined forces to form a unique new pilot program that brings together consumers, food stores and farmers to provide eggs to undernourished people of all ages.
Called HATCH, this innovative community partnership was celebrated by community leaders, government officials, association representatives and food shoppers during a special event at a Kroger store in Indianapolis, Ind., on April 13.
The first HATCH pilot project, which involves 66 Central Indiana Kroger stores, will provide one egg to a local food bank for each dozen Kroger-brand medium eggs purchased through June 20.
"Fighting hunger and undernourishment through sustainable, local partnerships is a priority for Elanco, and is at the very heart of the HATCH initiative,” said Jeff Simmons, president of Elanco, the company that developed HATCH. “We believe HATCH will become a model for how communities can come together to create food security. That’s why we are thrilled to partner with Kroger, Rose Acre Farms and Central Indiana food banks to bring this first HATCH project to life.”
Undernourishment is a worldwide problem that affects people’s health, and how they remember, solve problems and make decisions. In the U.S., one in five people do not have access to enough protein and other nutrients to meet their body’s needs. “Hunger is a daily reality for too many neighbors in the local communities Kroger serves,” said Jeff Burt, president of the Kroger Central Division. “Programs like our Perishable Donation Partnership -- and now HATCH -- are important ways we help families put nutritious food on their plates every day. HATCH will allow us to focus the generosity of Kroger customers and associates on providing critically needed protein. Kroger has been fighting hunger for 132 years. It’s time to take that fight to the next level and HATCH will do that. Simply by buying a dozen medium eggs, we can ensure our neighbors in need benefit from the nutrients eggs provide.”
“Since one egg provides 6 g of high-quality protein, fresh eggs are a prized item for food banks,” said Amanda Jackson, Rose Acre Farms. “We’re proud to provide the eggs that will be donated to Central Indiana food banks through HATCH, as well as eggs so many Kroger customers enjoy every day. HATCH is a wonderful way people from all walks of life can come together to make a big difference in the community, which is a perfect match for Rose Acre Farms’ family-owned values.” She noted that eggs are rich in protein, vitamins and minerals, with a single egg able to provide almost half the protein and all the iron a young child needs in one day.
To kick off this first HATCH project, Elanco, Rose Acre Farms and Kroger announced their collective donation of 34,560 eggs, which is equivalent to 2,880 dozen. These eggs, along with those donated via purchases of Kroger-brand medium eggs through June 20, will be given to Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, Midwest Food Bank and local food pantries serving Marion County and Central Indiana.
“Although it is just getting started, HATCH is an excellent example of how citizens and businesses can collaborate to make a vital difference in local communities,” said Simmons. “We look forward to building on this first partnership to develop HATCH initiatives in other locales that can bring food security to communities everywhere.”
Elanco is a global innovation-driven company that develops and markets products to improve animal health, food animal production and companion animal care in nearly 70 countries. Elanco, a division of leading pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Company, employs approximately 7,000 people worldwide, with offices in more than 40 countries.
The Kroger Co. has been serving local communities for 132 years. Kroger Central Division has 136 food stores, 114 pharmacies and 89 fuel centers operating under four banners; Kroger, Scott’s, Owen’s and Pay Less, with locations primarily in Indiana and Illinois, in addition to three stores in Missouri, one in Michigan and one in Ohio. Kroger Central Division is dedicated to supporting every local community it serves, contributing more than $13.5 million in 2014 to local organizations, primarily focusing on hunger relief, K-12 education, health causes and diversity.
Rose Acre Farms, now the second-largest U.S. egg producer, provides shell eggs, specialty eggs, liquid eggs, egg protein powder and other egg products. Based in Seymour, Ind., Rose Acre Farms has 17 facilities in six states, but retains the family-owned values of excellence and integrity that characterized the business when it began in the 1930s. As a United Egg Producer (UEP) certified company, Rose Acre Farms ensures its products meet or exceed standards for food safety and nutritional content, while maintaining industry-leading animal husbandry practices.
Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana supplies items to hunger relief agencies and schools throughout 21 counties in central and southeast Indiana. Gleaners was founded in 1980 and is a member of Feeding America the nation’s food bank network. Since its inception, Gleaners has distributed over 320 million pounds of food and critical grocery products to over 250 hunger relief agencies serving needy Hoosiers. In addition to food distribution to hunger relief agencies, Gleaners serves our most vulnerable populations, children and seniors, through specialty programs such as the BackSacks: Weekend Food for Kids, School-Based Food Pantries, and the Summer Meals for Kids programs and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). In Gleaners’ 21-county service area, more than 260,000 struggle with hunger and food insecurity — and 97,000 of them are children.The Midwest Food Bank is a faith-based, nonprofit with locations in Indianapolis, Bloomington and Peoria, Ill. and Atlanta, Ga. Its mission is to alleviate hunger and poverty by gathering food donations, and distributing them to nonprofit organizations and disaster sites without cost to recipients.
For more information, visit www.HATCHforHunger.com or join the conversation using #HATCHforHunger.