At Hershey, we believe that every child deserves the chance to reach their full potential. Here’s how we’re helping to make that happen.
Our purpose to Make More Moments of Goodness is all about taking what we do well and using our resources as a maker of globally loved brands to make a positive impact around the world. That’s why we are executing a vision to nourish children around the world, helping create the caring and connected communities they deserve to live in.
Despite being more digitally connected than ever, we have seen increasing levels of social isolation among youth, which can have profound impacts on wellbeing. We know that young people thrive when they have meaningful connections and opportunities to practice empathy, inclusion and other critical social–emotional skills. With that in mind, Hershey created The Heartwarming Project (HWP) to help kids and teens build these skills and celebrate the power of connection for youth wellbeing. Through grants, events, tools and resources, we’re supporting youth to foster more inclusive and caring communities across the U.S. and Canada.
We also use our expertise as a snacking company to provide nutritious meals, snacks and food education to kids throughout the U.S., as well as in Canada, India, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. This is part of our focus on giving young people access to the basic nutrition they need.
In Ghana, we’ve worked closely with local farmers to create and manufacture ViVi, a fortified peanut-based snack. ViVi is now providing more than 27,000 children with 20 percent of their daily nutritional intake requirements and helping keep them in school. We are now expanding the program into Côte d'Ivoire. Read more about ViVi and our work with Project Peanut Butter, and how it fits into our strategy to fight child labor in our cocoa communities, in our 2020 Sustainability Report.
In Mumbai, the Hershey India Research and Development team worked to reformulate one of our flagship products, SoFit soymilk, to better support children’s nutritional needs in their region. The product, SoFit Plus, is a vitamin- and protein-enhanced version of the original beverage. It is currently being given to approximately 500 children in Mumbai alongside their midday meal. A group of children were monitored while having two servings a day for six days a week over a three-month period in 2020. The results showed a 10 percent increase in the number of normal-weight kids. The children drinking SoFit Plus also showed an improvement of 75 to 100 percent in their vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin B12, calcium, zinc, ferritin, magnesium and total protein levels.
Our focus on bright futures for children is nothing new. We’ve been supporting children since 1909, when our founder established the Milton Hershey School (MHS) for kids in need. Today, the school provides cost-free education for more than 2,100 students, along with skills and resources for success in all areas of life. Learn more about the Milton Hershey School in our 2020 Sustainability Report.