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FEED, New York

Creating good products that help feed the world

by Rupert Bentley-Smith


"On the day I visited, the display said they had provided 103,321,347 meals to children globally"

Tucked away in Brooklyn’s DUMBO district (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass in case you’re not a New Yorker) is FEED, a café and shop on a bit of a mission to make more than a dent on world hunger.  Founded by Lauren Bush in 2007, this is the foundation’s first bricks and mortar shop, and combines retail and coffee elements to give you a chance to fully engage in its mission.

Lauren started FEED following her travels around the world as honorary spokesperson for The World Food Programme during which she witnessed poverty first hand.

It started with the simple idea of creating products that would engage people in the fight against hunger in a tangible way.  Every product has a number stamped on it that signifies the amount of meals or micronutrient packets provided with its purchase. On the day I visited, the counter display said they had provided 103,321,347 meals to children globally, so I felt instantly compelled to purchase a coffee and pastry so I could add to this total!

As I munched away, I was able to take in a carefully curated selection of spoils from their website which they display in the shop on a rotating basis, mainly bags, lunch boxes, mugs and pins each imprinted with the amount of meals their purchase would provide.  I ended up buying a FEED shopping bag which had “ten” imprinted on the back, and I instantly felt more cheerful.

Since its inception just over 10 years ago, FEED has evolved into a whole movement, offering events at its café, and a whole following of people who regularly host suppers at their homes to raise money.  Bruce Gillingham Pollard is expecting to see more bricks and mortar offerings from charities as they engage consumers in their causes.  I can definitely vouch for the little bit of happiness it brings to your day!

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