No one likes to be hungry. Can you remember the last craving you had, or meal you skipped? We all understand the feeling we get when we can’t eat at the time we want. Some of us deal with that feeling on a consistent or continuous basis.
Nutrition is one of the top necessities in human survival that goes unmet in places around the world. Fortunately, a number of initiatives began to help take on the concern of food-related issues, such as food insecurity and food waste. When you search through these initiatives, you’ll find that the approaches vary. Business models range from meal prep to digital platforms, and today, we’ll get familiar with an initiative using a retail approach.
In this series, called ALL Ways, we’ll grow to know social enterprises by their charming points. We say “charming” to refer to branding and approaches that help us see another way to manage social entrepreneurship. We’ll also suggest ways to interact or use these charming points in our own involvements with social enterprise (personally and professionally).
This post is an outside observation of a company for inspiration in social enterprise interaction and engagement.
In today’s post, we look into the chef-inspired Cooks Who Feed driving more nutrition and economy into communities. Cooks Who Feed sells ethically produced aprons to support initiatives against food concerns.
Knowing the company: Cooks Who Feed
Cooks Who Feed is founded by food lover Seema Sanghavi. Her love of food became the method she uses to provide impact, but the drive behind her initiative is also tied to supporting women. Years before, Seema observed a work program, which she mentioned on Cooks Who Feed’s about
“In 2016, I visited an NGO in India that provided paid training and fair, safe work to marginalized women. After meeting them and seeing them work so hard, I felt compelled to help in some way so that more women could have the same opportunity.”
Creating impact for food concerns and women are part of the model for Cooks Who Feed. Ethically produced aprons handcrafted by women are sold to support food partnerships that provide nutritious meals. Underprivileged women in India are offered fair trade employment to produce aprons. Each apron sold supports 100 nutritious meals.
“We Believe If Food Lovers United to Fight Hunger, We’d Win!”
Cooks Who Feed address food issues through partnerships with charitable organizations that rescue surplus food. Currently, Cooks Who Feed works in partnerships with the following organizations:
Second Harvest (Canada)
Zomato Feeding India (India)
What Surprised Us
An immediate sign that Cooks Who Feed is seriously focused, is that they count impact on their home page in number of meals and fair trade work hours. Counting numerically to communicate actions or results is a solid and easy way to measure some of the impact initiated by an organization. Providing details about the metrics allows us into the story, so the data makes Cooks Who Feed seem inclusive and transparent.
Browsing the official website, we find that Cooks Who Feed includes a chef ambassadors component where they styled and named certain aprons after well-known chefs they have a partnership with. Bringing names who already established trust and expertise in their field can help share Cooks Who Feed with new audiences. The named chef ambassadors include:
Besides supporting women, engaging fair trade, and fighting hunger, Cooks Who Feed supports the planet. Every apron in their catalog uses locally-sourced, recycled, and natural materials. Taking it a step further, the initiative makes sure to include an eco-friendly approach to every stage of production by tracking all of their waste and water usage.
What is the benefit for good
Cooks Who Feed stays true to their original purpose of supporting women. On the Production page discussing the ethical production practices:
“We’ve partnered with Work + Shelter, an NGO based in Delhi, India, to hire women who live in poverty and provide them with a safe work environment, paid training, a fair wage, and income security.”
At the same time, and managed to build more social impact into the business model. People that engage with the initiative support causes related to empowering women, ending hunger, choosing sustainability, ending poverty, and buying fair trade.
Seema describes what Cooks Who Feed means to her:
“I never set out to create a company. I set out to create a movement that would empower foodies everywhere to fight hunger in the most socially responsible way possible.”
We like to encourage actively participating with positive initiatives. Each person making their own choice to participate adds up! Whether you engage for fun, inspiration, or expression, here are our suggestions for engaging this initiative:
-Gift an apron to a friend who likes cooking.
-Donate to one of the partners working with Cooks Who Feed.
-Create a mock-plan of where your initiative can have more opportunities to add another layer of social impact.
-List options of which actions or results to show numerical data to your audience (Be sure to evaluate what impact is related to the numbers)
People Helping People Podcast is seeking methods clearly supporting an effective impact. Observations and discussions on happenings in the social enterprise community is a significant part of our contribution to social good. Continue to check-in for more conversation-starting content.
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