Breakfasts for Better Days™ Tackles Social Inclusion in Latin America
A healthy, balanced breakfast is a crucial part to starting the day off right, especially for young children. Still, every morning, many families across Latin America lack the resources to provide a nutritious breakfast for their children.
In October 2016, Kellogg launched a pilot school breakfast program in Mexico as part of the company's global Breakfasts for Better Days™ platform. The program is aimed at fostering social inclusion by helping the most vulnerable, low-income students and their families, improve their nutrition knowledge and encourage healthier lifestyles. The pilot phase reached 4,600 children in public elementary schools, providing educational resources and planning tools to teachers, students, and their families.
The program’s central message is that breakfast is an important driver of academic success and cereal is an important part of breakfast; full of flavor and providing variety in daily breakfast routines. Participants also receive information on the scientific links between nutrition and students’ performance at school, encouraging them to eat breakfast at least twice a week. The program goes beyond the classroom to include parents at home too – students are given a take home kit that includes a breakfast and lunch “weekly planner”. This program is just one example of how Kellogg is reaching across socioeconomic divides to build a greater sense of community inclusion.
“We are a company that seeks to nourish families so that they can flourish and thrive,” said Irazu P., Nutritionist for Kellogg’s Nutrition and Health Institute. “We are very conscious of our role in how we can help people improve their lifestyles.”
She says the main goal of the program is to teach children at a young age about the importance of healthy eating, and to give low-income families the tools they need to develop an affordable and nutritious breakfast and lunch meal plan.
Based on their success during the pilot phase, the Kellogg team is targeting to reach another 68,900 children in Mexico this year, mainly in large cities, plus 13,000 in Colombia and another 13,000 in Guatemala.
Community Outreach Helps Build a More Diverse Supply Chain from the Ground Up
Developing a diverse supplier base is an important aspect of Kellogg’s overall diversity and inclusion strategy. For over two decades, the company has been dedicated to bringing in qualified companies to the supply chain; encouraging the use of disability, LGBT, minority, service disabled veteran, veteran and woman owned suppliers.
One approach the supplier diversity team is using to reach new partners is through its annual ‘B2B’ event in Battle Creek. Once a year, Kellogg hosts this networking opportunity at its Michigan headquarters for external suppliers to meet directly with Kellogg procurement managers, regional corporations and community partners.
Debra Q., Supplier Diversity Manager at Kellogg, says the event has grown considerably since it began five years ago, increasing from 11 networking tables to about 55 this year, totaling 500 people.
“In five years this event has added a lot of value to the Kellogg Company to support our goals,” she said. The ‘B2B’ event helps bring in new suppliers that procurement managers may not yet be aware of. Debra says that while the company has a lot to be proud of, her team is constantly seeking to improve its performance on diverse supplier metrics.
“Our mission in procurement is to try to create a supply chain that is representative of our employees, customers and communities, and to be a good community partner by making sure people have opportunities.”
This year, the company has set a goal to increase the number of diverse suppliers, reaching a 1 percent increase in diverse supplier spend, estimated at over $400M.
Building a Bright Future with Kellogg and NAACP Law Fellows
Cheryl G. isn’t a lawyer or a law fellow. What she is, is passionate. She’s passionate about inspiring young people and grateful to be a part of a company committed to supporting young scholars. Cheryl, a self-identified black, lesbian woman in her 50’s, has seen so much. From the Civil Rights movement to equal voting rights and marriage equality, so much has changed. “It took passionate, dedicated and educated lawyers to implement these changes and that the work isn’t over,” said Cheryl, Senior Specialist, Employee Relations.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) works to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights for all persons and eliminate race-based discrimination. Through their law fellow program, the NAACP provides law students with first-hand exposure to civil rights advocacy and law. To participate in the program, law fellows don’t have to be a person of color, but a person with passion for equality, equal rights and justice for all.
For 15 years, Kellogg has partnered with the NAACP and sponsored its Law Fellows Program. During the program, students travel to Kellogg Headquarters for an immersion in Kellogg’s culture and legal practices, and for exposure and interaction with many of our executive leaders. In 2017, Cheryl had the honor of accompanying the law students during their visit to Battle Creek and learned a great deal about their commitments and drive for building a just and equitable legal system.
Cheryl and the Kellogg team left a lasting impact on the law fellows. When it was time for them to leave, a young woman, Shani, turned to Cheryl and said, “We are not Kellogg’s first law fellows group, but we will always be your best group.”
Cheryl smiled, knowing these students will rise to the occasion to make the world a better place for us all, and said, “Always endeavor to do your best.”
Giving New Moms New Hope in South Africa
Having a baby is hard and even more so when money and resources are extremely limited. In Kellogg’s South Africa office, this year the Women of Kellogg (WOK) business/employee resource group decided to do something special to help new moms from underprivileged backgrounds who face extra challenges.
In honor of Mandela Day, the national holiday celebrating the spirit of public service of the country’s democratic founding father, WOK members partnered with a local non-profit called The Baby Box Project SA. The organization focuses on helping new parents find their footing and delivers nursery packages to impoverished new mothers in government hospitals. WOK members led a knitting drive to make a total of 30 wool baby blankets for Baby Box Project care packages and also donated other essential supplies.
“We felt this initiative not only would benefit the moms’ physical needs with the blankets, but it would also give them hope on their potential to flourish and thrive in the future,” said Zandile M., a WOK leader and Marketing Manager in Kellogg’s Sub-Saharan Africa office.
The Baby Box deliveries were well-received by the grateful mothers and the initiative also helped WOK members expand their vision for diversity and inclusion projects.
“We looked for a diversity and inclusion project that would not only empower someone outside of Kellogg, but one where we could work together , take us outside of our comfort zones, and provide an opportunity to reflect on what the project means to the benefactor,” said Zandile.
The WOK team is already planning to participate in the project again next year.