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.  

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Amazon

Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

In the hours before he was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, then-President-elect Biden was sent a letter signed by 17 freshmen GOP members of the House of Representatives.

In sharp contrast to the 121 Republican House members who voted against the certification of Biden's electoral votes—a constitutional procedure merely check-marking the state certifications that had already taken place—this letter expresses a desire to "rise above the partisan fray" and work together with Biden as he takes over the presidency.

The letter reads:

Dear President-elect Biden,

Congratulations on the beginning of your administration and presidency. As members of this freshman class, we trust that the next four years will present your administration and the 117thCongress with numerous challenges and successes, and we are hopeful that – despite our ideological differences – we may work together on behalf of the American people we are each so fortunate to serve.

After two impeachments, lengthy inter-branch investigations, and, most recently, the horrific attack on our nation's capital, it is clear that the partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans does not serve a single American.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.