One in five U.S. children is starving – not for calories, but for real, nutritious food. And the results are both serious and severe: malnutrition, diabetes, obesity, learning disabilities… babies who may never grow into their best and brightest selves… one in five dreams with no place to go.
But thanks to Plum Organics, there’s a place for you to go to help. Starting this month, Plum has partnered with Target to offer exclusive four-packs of its four-ounce Super Smoothie pouch product. It comes in two flavors, Apple, Carrot & Spinach, and Blueberry, Pear, Sweet Potato, & Spinach. For every purchase of the four-pack, a fifth Super Smoothie will be donated to a food insecure child in the U.S.
The Super Smoothie is a part of Plum’s The Full Effect program, launched a year ago this month to deliver nutrient-rich, organic food into the hands of little ones in need.
Above: WATCH THEM GROW – Plum’s Super Smoothie, created to deliver nutritious food to children in need, is a blend of fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans, with at least 20 percent of the daily recommended values of calcium and vitamins A, C, D, and E; 2 grams of protein; 3 grams of fiber; and omega-3s. It’s certified organic and kosher, and has no genetically modified ingredients. The pouch is BPA-free, and the carton is 100 percent recycled and recyclable paperboard.
‘A Place at the Table’
Working with non-profit partners in communities across the U.S., The Full Effect donates nourishing pouches of food for babies and toddlers, and also promotes nutrition education.
“Most food programs focus on school-age children and the quantity of food they receive,” said Victoria Fiore, Mission Manager, Plum Organics. “But, as a company primarily focused on baby food, we knew we wanted to make an impact on children during those critical first three years, and we quickly realized that improving the quality of food for little ones in need would best leverage our unique strength of making nourishing organic food for kids.”
Because of their shared passion for combating our nation’s child hunger issue, Plum Organics co-founder and President Neil Grimmer met Lynn Hirshfield, Vice President of Business Development for Participant Media, through a mutual friend. Shortly after, Lynn flew to the San Francisco Bay area to hold a private Plum team screening of A Place at the Table, Participant Media’s critically acclaimed 2012 documentary on food insecurity in America.
“A Place at the Table was a huge inspiration for me in launching The Full Effect,” Neil said. “At Plum, we believe each and every little one in our country deserves to be nourished to his or her full potential. A Place at the Table illustrated how we as a nation were falling short on this basic commitment to our children – and both as parents and as a food company, we felt compelled to do something about it.”
Plum partnered with The Perseus Books Group, Magnolia Pictures, and Participant Media to invite consumers to take immediate action to help nourish food-insecure babies and toddlers. During the film’s opening weekend from March 1 to 3, 2013, Plum donated one organic Super Smoothie pouch to a baby or toddler in need for every movie ticket sold, every online download of the film purchased, and every copy of the companion book and e-book sold – a total of 100,000 pouches.
THE FULL EFFECT IN THE BIG CITY: To celebrate the launch of The Full Effect last year, Neil Grimmer (title photo, center) rang the opening bell at NASDAQ in New York City, and (above photo) the program was featured on the big screen in Times Square.
‘Our future depends on it’
The Super Smoothie was developed with Plum’s pediatric advisor, Dr. Alan Greene, and help from the non-profit anti-hunger community. Packaged in a BPA-free spouted pouch, it is filled with accessible, organic super foods including spinach, carrots, apples, white beans, oats, and chia, but no added sugar.
Nutritionally dense and produce-based, the Super Smoothie was designed to meet the most common nutrient deficiencies in the diets of today’s children.
“We chose accessible, organic super foods common across cultures and income levels to ensure the product would resonate with families of all backgrounds,” Victoria said. “Beyond providing little ones in need with food, we wanted to deliver nourishment with pure, organic ingredients that would fill nutritional gaps.”
Super Smoothie pouches are distributed through local and national non-profit organizations, including Baby Buggy, Children’s Hospital and Research Center Oakland, Conscious Alliance, Convoy of Hope, and the Homeless Prenatal Program.
Plum’s vendors such as Cheerpack, HQC Inc., Sonoco, and SunOpta have helped produce Super Smoothies by donating products or services. With the help of their supply chain partners, Plum is striving to give away hundreds of thousands of Super Smoothies to families in need in 2014.
Consumers are engaged as well. In addition to the Target partnership, any purchase on Plum’s online store is matched with a Super Smoothie donation.
Of course, this is all on top of Plum’s donations of excess meals and snacks, which totaled 2.3 million products last year.
“We work hard to ensure that everything is either sold to consumers or delivered into the hands of kids who need it,” Victoria said.
It all comes back to the company’s laser-focus on providing the highest quality products for the world’s youngest consumers.
“We created Plum with the belief that little ones deserve the very best nutrition, so they can grow and thrive, live to their full potential, and have their full effect on the world,” Neil said. “Through The Full Effect program, we’re striving to feed every baby and todder in America as if our future depends on it — because it does.”