'Table for Two' initiative combats hunger, obesity
Six billion people live on this planet.
One billion of them suffer from hunger and malnutrition. Another billion suffer from obesity and its associated chronic diseases. What an irony: a world where many literally kill themselves by overeating, while an equal number of people are dying of hunger.
The World Economic Forum challenged its community of young leaders from around the world - the Forum of Young Global Leaders - to come up with innovative solutions. The result was "Table for Two" - a global initiative to simultaneously address global hunger and obesity.
The mechanism is simple: every time someone eats a certified healthy meal at a cooperating cafeteria or restaurant, 25 cents will be donated to fund a school meal in a region suffering from hunger. By participating in the initiative, individuals can help themselves avoid obesity while also helping a child suffering from hunger. You make others healthy by becoming healthy yourself. It is a win-win solution.
The initiative was kicked off in Japan three years ago. More than 350 institutions - corporate cafeterias, restaurants, food retailers, universities, hospitals, and government ministries - have signed up. Through individuals choosing to eat healthy meals - for themselves and for children suffering from hunger - 7 million school meals have been served in Africa. The model is well-tested, efficient, and scalable.
In 2011, "Table for Two" is going global from Davos. Meals throughout Davos are certified. A press conference on global expansion is scheduled. The goal: participation of top 1,000 global corporations and restaurant chains by 2015. It is ambitious, but completely achievable. Already, chapters have sprung up organically in the US, the UK, Korea, Italy, Taiwan and India.
Everyone can, and should, take steps to reduce global hunger and obesity.
James Kondo, the Co-Founder of TABLE FOR TWO, is a Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum.
| January 27, 2011; 8:44 AM ET
Categories: James Kondo
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