Exclusive Q&A with Lauren Bush, Co-Founder, FEED Projects

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Exclusive Q&A with Lauren Bush, Co-Founder, FEED Projects

"True human empathy and connection—and the level of dedication that can follow from that—comes from personal interaction." -- Lauren Bush, co-founder, FEED Projects
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Lauren Bush (.@LaurenBushTweet), the FEED Project (@feedprojects), and the power of #design http://bit.ly/wwvEt1. @Justmeans interview

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Friday, March 16, 2012 - 2:45pm



In 2006, fashion model, designer and activist Lauren Bush designed a bag to benefit the United Nations World Food Programme's (WFP) School Feeding program, which gives hungry children around the globe one healthy and nutritious lunch every day they go to school.

After traveling throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America as an Honorary Student Spokesperson for the WFP and visiting sites where the program was operating, Lauren was inspired to do something more. And she tapped into her own personal passion: designing.

Her first design was the FEED 1 bag, a reversible burlap and organic cotton bag that takes its cue from the WFP bags of beans, barley and rice that she saw on her travels. On one side, she stamped the phrase "FEED the children of the world." On the other side, she stamped the number "1" to indicate that each bag feeds one child in school for one year. It's functional, sustainably-produced by local women and bien sur, très chic. But more importantly, it feeds hungry kids. This bag and all the other bags and products of the FEED line are part of the solution. It's amazing to realize that built in to the bag's affordable $70 price tag is an entire year's worth of school lunches for one hungry child. Now that's a serious fashion statement.

You said that you got the call that changed your life when the World Food Programme asked you to be a student spokesperson. Was that what gave you the inspiration for FEED?

No, it didn't come until a year or two later, after traveling a bit with the WFP and learning about hunger and poverty and the solutions that are out there. And it really came from feeling a frustration that I couldn't communicate to young people a real way to get involved in the fight to end world hunger. So it was out of that frustration and thinking about what I could do to empower others, especially young people, to help end world hunger that I came up with the idea for the FEED bag.

Was there anything in your youth that gave an indication of what you would be doing now?

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Reynard is a Justmeans staff writer for Sustainable Finance and Corporate Social Responsibility. A former media executive with 15 years experience  in the private and non-profit sectors, Reynard is the co-founder of MomenTech, a New York-based experimental production studio that explores transnational progressivism, neo-nomadism, post-humanism and futurism. He is also author of the blog 13.7 Billion Years, covering cosmology, biodiversity, animal welfare, conservation and ethical consumption. He is currently developing the Underground Desert Living Unit (UDLU), a sustainable single-family dwelling envisioned as a potential adaptation response to the future loss of human habitat due to the effects of anthropogenic climate change. Reynard is also a contributing author of "Biomes and Ecosystems," a comprehensive reference encyclopedia of the Earth's key biological and geographic classifications, to be published by Salem Press in 2013.

Keywords: Social Impact & Volunteering | FEED Projects | Hunger | Lauren Bush | Millennium Villages | Responsible Production & Consumption | Robin Hood Foundation | Room To Read | UNICEF | WFP | World Food Programme