bags that FEED our planet

Lauren Bush has made her mark in the fashion industry. Her face has graced the covers of Vogue and Vanity Fair; she’s strutted down the catwalk for Tommy Hilfiger and Isaac Mizrahi. But today, the model and designer is best known for waging war against world hunger.. One bag at a time.

Hunger is our planet’s biggest threat to human health. It kills more people each year than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. 1 in 7 people end each night with empty stomachs; to put that another way, there are more hungry people than the combined populations of Canada, the USA, and the European Union. When people are hungry, they don’t have the nutrients they need to go to school or work. They can’t take care of their families and they can’t take care of themselves. It’s a massive, overwhelming problem… And it’s one that is in dire need of a solution.

Bush is the face behind The Feed Foundation, an organization that implements programs to combat malnutrition in communities all over the world. It all began in 2006, when she designed a bag to help raise funds for the United Nations World Food Programme’s (WFP) School Feeding program.

Bush was inspired by the positive response that the bag got. She and her friend Ellen Gustafson put their heads together to consider how they could transform the bag into sustainable social change. The result is FEED.

FEED sells bags. They are beautiful, simple, and impactful. They’re the sort of totes that you could carry everything from school books to groceries in; they are versatile enough to be your go-to everyday bag, but with a unique twist that will add a statement to any ensemble.

Lauren designed the bags to mirror those used by the WFP. Each bag is stamped with a number (i.e. “1″) to signify that the bag’s purchase will cover the cost of one child’s school lunch for an entire year. To date, Lauren and FEED have raised enough funds to provide 60 million school meals to children across the world. In addition, they have worked alongside UNICEF to provide Vitamin A and other supplements to over 46,000 children.

We live in a celebrity-focused society. Modern culture is fixated on famous faces; we are obsessed with who is dating who, who is wearing what, and what he or she ate for dinner. But to use that celebrity for good – to transform it into something world changing – transforms the significance of “fame.” It reconstructs it into something meaningful.

Through FEED, Lauren enables everybody to become change agents. By purchasing one of FEED’s bags, you are providing the funds necessary to nourish a child. But by using the bag, you are raising awareness about the cause. You’re encouraging people to ask questions and to take action themselves. FEED allows us all to become messengers, and to work towards putting an end to world hunger… Together.

Leigh Michael