How will we feed nine billion people by 2050? Your idea could be the answer.
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General Mills Feeding Better Futures

Think about the last time you were truly hungry.

It was uncomfortable, maybe even painful. It made focusing difficult. You were tired. The day dragged on. By the time you were finally fed, it must have felt like you were running on fumes.

Now imagine that level of hunger was what you dealt with every day of your life.


It might seem unfathomable, but that's the reality for 40 million Americans, according to Feeding America, which comes out to approximately 1 out of every 6 people. It's a problem that's growing as quickly as the global population. One of humanity's biggest concerns should be how to make sure that all of us are well-fed.

Thankfully, companies like General Mills are making a concerted effort to help end hunger — but they need help from young innovators.

Photo by Rainier Ridao on Unsplash.

While you may recognize General Mills from the cereal aisle, the company is much more than breakfast (and lunch and dinner). Throughout its history, General Mills has made great strides in making food accessible to as many people as possible by combatting food waste and promoting sustainable agriculture.

In recent years, the company has partnered with MealConnect to recover and distribute 575 million pounds of food to over 90 food banks. They've also supported more than 4,200 organizations that work to provide hunger relief to people all around the globe. In 2017, the company donated enough food to provide 30 million meals to families and children who struggle with food insecurity.

But more needs to be done. To end the global hunger crisis, food production must increase by up to 70 percent in the next 30 years.  And General Mills can't accomplish that on their own.

So in 2018, they introduced the Feeding Better Futures Scholars Program which facilitates youth-led endeavors that are developing solutions to the global hunger crisis.

Photo by Devin Avery on Unsplash.

The contest-based program relies on the kindness, passion, empathy and ingenuity of today's youth to affect major change in the way we consume. The finalists work with General Mills to turn important ideas into initiatives that can be implemented on a grand scale.

Previous finalists include Jack Griffin, who created an app that connects families with local food pantries; Kate Indreland, whose work on new processes for soil enrichment is improving food quality, and Braeden Mannering, who has empowered low-income populations by providing clean food and water through brown bag donations and has galvanized over 3,000 volunteers across America to help him in his mission. And these are just a handful of the inspiring young people General Mills has recognized for their efforts in the fight to stop world hunger.

Now it's your turn. In 2019, General Mills is looking for a new crop of leaders who want to make the world a better, safer and healthier place for everyone.

Photo by Yingchou Han on Unsplash.

Do you have an idea for reducing food waste, improving sustainable agriculture, or ending hunger? If you're between the ages of 13 and 21 and live in North America, you can turn those ideas into real-life solutions. One grand prize winner will be awarded $50,000, a mentorship with industry leaders to turn their idea into a true-life innovation, and the opportunity to present their work at the Aspen Ideas Festival.  Two more finalists will receive $10,000 to help them jumpstart their solutions.  

To enter, make your ideas visual. Submit a short video or photo, as well as a project summary with details about yourself, your in-action solution to hunger, food waste or sustainable agriculture, and how the prize money will help you realize it.

Once you've got all that, but sure to submit your packet before February 26th, 2019. The entries will be judged on innovation, applicability, impact and creativity. General Mills leadership will vote and announce the finalists on April 29th, then the public will have a say in which ideas are chosen.  The grand prize winner will be announced in May.

You have the power to create a better future. Global access to good food is a vital step in that direction. How can you help make that a reality?

To learn more about the Feeding Better Futures program, check out this video.  

via Walt Disney Television / Flickr and The Simpsons Wiki

Actor Hank Azaria's relationship with "The Simpsons" character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon holds a mirror up to how America has progressed as a society on the issue of race over the past three decades. Last year, he announced he'd no longer be performing the character, but that came after a long, slow journey of understanding.

"It's 1988, and somebody says to me, 'Hey, can you do an Indian accent?' It was, like, one line. I said, 'Yeah, I think so.' And Apu comes out. We're like 'OK, that was funny' and we all laugh. So that keeps going from there, and over the years it develops," he revealed on Dax Shepard and Monica Padman's "Armchair Expert" podcast.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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