Heinz sponsors W.F.P. project in Bangladesh

by Eric Schroeder
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PITTSBURGH — The H.J. Heinz Company Foundation will supply a first-year grant of $350,000 and in-kind technical assistance to a nutrition mapping project conducted in Bangladesh by the World Food Program.

"In Bangladesh, Heinz is helping W.F.P. identify the most vulnerable populations and formulate strategies to improve their access to food and their nutritional intake," said Tammy Aupperle, director of the foundation. "The goal is to create a model for helping to build a healthier, more productive and self-reliant society from the ground up."

The foundation seeks to reduce global malnutrition through its Heinz Micronutrient Campaign, which has reached about 3 million children with single-serve micronutrient sachets that contain a mix of vitamins and minerals. A regimen of 60 sachets administered over two months may meet the micronutrient needs of a child for a year for about $1.50.

In Bangladesh, nearly 40% of young children and women are underweight, and almost half the children under age 5 suffer from stunted growth. The W.F.P. wanted to feed 5 million hungry people in Bangladesh this year, but now it can reach only 1.4 million because of funding shortfalls.

The W.F.P. in Bangladesh distributes wheat flour, biscuits and blended food, all fortified with essential micronutrients. It also distributes micronutrient powders that may be added to food.

"The World Food Program is thrilled to be partnering with the H.J. Heinz Company Foundation on a unique project to comprehensively map the nutritional status and needs of Bangladesh, and then develop with other key stakeholders a sustainable strategy for eradicating hunger and micronutrient malnutrition in this nation," said John Aylieff, W.F.P. representative for Bangladesh.

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