These 15 projects show how we could feed the world sooner rather than later.
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Gates Foundation: The Story of Food

If you were tasked with ending hunger by 2030, what would you do? For starters, you'd probably come up with as many solutions as possible — as fast as possible.

That's exactly what the World Food Programme (WFP) is doing. And they're asking for all the help they can get.

When it comes to feeding the 795 million people living in hunger every day, time is of the essence. Solutions are needed — fast. And the best way to come up with out-of-the-box solutions? Out-of-the-box ideation.


That's where the Innovation Accelerator comes in.

All images via the Innovation Accelerator, used with permission.

Established in 2015 in Munich, Germany, the program has a simple mission: "Finding the bright minds, getting them together with the right partners, and actually making ideas happen," explains Bernhard Kowatsch, head of the Innovation Accelerator. "With doing all of that, we can make zero hunger a reality by 2030."

They fast-track ideas by providing intensive training, funding, and even coaching from the industry's best and brightest. Think of them as a startup incubator, only their main goal is addressing global hunger.

Here are the 15 game-changing projects that the Innovation Accelerator is working on right now:

1. ShareTheMeal lets you donate meals to kids in need for just $0.50.

To date, they've delivered over 11 million meals (and counting) to kids in Malawi, Lebanon, Syria, and other places.

2. Locals are being taught how to use hydroponics to grow crops in the slums of Peru.

Hydroponics uses nutrient solutions to grow produce without soil. The best part? The families are teaching other families the technique on their own.

3. Nutrifami makes healthy eating fun for Colombians.

Nutrifami engages food-insecure families with fun online games and activities focused on smart purchasing and building healthier habits day by day.

4. MAPS tracks the nutritional progress of people in El Salvador.

The Monitoring App for Social Programmes (MAPS in its Spanish acronym) gives officials real-time access to data so they can reduce malnutrition more quickly in vulnerable communities.

5. The Food Computer is creating recipes out of climate in Jordan.

The Food Computer can control climate variables like humidity and carbon dioxide inside a special growing chamber, allowing researchers to test any location's conditions and let farmers know what crops will grow best.

6. The WFP is using satellites to monitor their revamped food infrastructure in South Sudan.

Image via iStock.

To monitor the progress of building new water resources and repairing roads, the WFP is using satellite imagery so they have a trusty eye in the sky.

7. Transformers is transforming food waste into school food in Kenya.

They're taking surplus food headed for the landfill and turning it into hot, balanced meals for schoolchildren.

8. Farmers in Africa are being taught how to care for their bounty better.

The Zero Post-Harvest Losses initiative teaches farmers modern harvesting techniques and provides them with airtight storage silos to prevent crop loss.

9. The smartphone app AgriUp is giving Guatemalan farmers the knowledge they need to be successful.

AgriUp provides farmers with tools such as weather reports, farming advice, and nutrition tips so they can improve their food security, as well as the local economy.

10. Building Blocks is changing how aid is delivered in Pakistan.

Building Blocks is taking out the middle man and creating a cheaper, quicker, and more direct money transfer, perfect for delivering aid faster and safer.

11. Real-time data is preventing stunted growth in infants.

Adaptive Programming uses real-time data on the health of citizens in order to come up with more accurate care and to help prevent conditions such as infant stunting.

12. The Virtual Farmers Market (VFM) in Zambia is connecting farmers and buyers like never before.

Using the same approach that has made apps like Airbnb and Lyft so successful, VFM is an online marketplace that lets farmers expand their reach, improve profits, and boost the local economy.

13. These Syrian refugees are learning digital skills and creating food security in the process.

Tech for Food teaches refugees digital skills such as photo editing so they can work from anywhere in the world, improving their livelihood and putting food on the table.

14. Smart Meals is changing how school food is delivered in Burundi.

School food kept running out way before the next delivery, so the Smart Meals project revamped the entire inventory system to make it more user-friendly and to ensure food gets delivered on time, every single school day.

15. The power of storytelling is opening people's eyes.

Through firsthand stories, the WFP's ZeroHunger Stories project is creating a more personal connection to their causes and getting people to better understand the importance of taking action immediately.

We need to work concisely, quickly, and as one if we're going address this global issue sooner rather than later.

Yes, it's an uphill climb, but let's not forget, the end goal of zero hunger by 2030 is right within our sight. "If we broaden the network of people that care about hunger and are willing to support it," adds Kowatsch, "it's even easier and more realistic that we will make that happen."

In fact, if you have your own idea for addressing world hunger, submit it to the Innovation Accelerator by March 14 to help make their vision a reality.

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

Image is a representation of the grandfather, not the anonymous subject of the story.

Eight years a go, a grandfather in Michigan wrote a powerful letter to his daughter after she kicked out her son out of the house for being gay. It's so perfectly written that it crops up on social media every so often.

The letter is beautiful because it's written by a man who may not be with the times, but his heart is in the right place.

It first appeared on the Facebook page FCKH8 and a representative told Gawker that the letter was given to them by Chad, the 16-year-old boy referenced in the letter.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."