Interviewer: Christina Rozeas
Interviewee: Katy Wanserski, Director of Sales
A very small amount of the world’s population will travel to third world countries. Even fewer will figure that they should somehow help out other world citizens.
Enter Lauren Bush, who , in 2006, was travelling as a Student Ambassador for the World Food Program’s School Feeding Operations. The World Food Program’s School Feeding Operations (a.k.a WFP) are all about child development, whose job it is to spread the word that needy children in other areas of the world are hungry not only for an education, but especially for food.
After sharing amazing volunteer experiences abroad with others, Lauren was saddened by this hardened reality of the world. Thus, her brain child was born: FEED Projects.
Inspired by the aesthetic of the bags of food distributed by WFP, she created the FEED 1 bag, which is a reversible burlap and cotton bag that is stamped with “FEED the children of the world” and the number “1” to signify that each bag feeds one child in school for one year.
Katy Wansercki, Director of Sales spoke to me about FEED Projects: the bags and the mission. Truly in love with what she does for a living, she informed me that the bags are made by artisans in Guatemala, thus greatly helping many families’ income so that they have plenty of food on the table and a way to get their children a better life than they could ever hope for.
How awesome is that?
The FEED Guatemala bags are designed in traditional Ikat fabrics can be purchased at Lord & Taylor stores in the U.S. and online. Most importantly is that when you purchase of one of these handmade bags you are celebrating the traditional crafts of Guatemala while supporting women artisans, and helping UNICEF to provide micronutrient supplements (known as Sprinkles) to children.
As if that was not enough, but FEED Bag’s made the reusable bag movement huge. We don’t want to inhibit the world’s growth, we want to help it grow and grow with it.
So what should we all do to help? Take a cue from FEED’s celebrity clients! Those clients include Jennifer Aniston, Rachel Bilson, Ali Larter, Marcia Cross, the entire cast of ‘The Secret Life of the American Teenager’ who have all jumped on the FEED bandwagon for the cause. We also can’t forget Kelly Rutherford- who had gifted the entire cast of ‘Gossip Girl’ with FEED bags.
What’s more is that co-founders Lauren Bush and Ellen Gustafson weren’t done yet. They formed a non-profit organization called The FEED Foundation, which acts as a silent partner to FEED Projects. The FEED Foundation has provided over 50 million school meals to children in the developing world through the United Nations WFP.
FEED’s retail partners include Pottery Barn, Disney and American Eagle just to name a few. Amazon and Whole Foods are big supporters of FEED as well.
So the best thing for us to do? Look for local or global volunteer opportunities and buy products that give back. FEED Projects is constantly brainstorming and always in the midst of developing new products that will feed the world. Among those already developed are scarves, t-shirts, backbacks and bracelets that help feed the hungry in the respective countries of Kenya, Haiti, Japan and Guatemala.
“People have become more aware that we can make a difference, and that we can make a difference together,” says Ms. Wanserski. “There are so many opportunities out there that we just have to look for them.”