The Food of Social Enterprise: How We Feed Back is Solving the Global Food Crisis

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The following is a guest post from Erica Grigg, Founder and CMO of Carbon Outreach.

Did you know over 1 billion people will be perpetually hungry in 2011? For our already overpopulated world, food prices continue to rise due to a variety of reasons, including the raising cost of petroleum. This leaves even more people hungry.

Lots of action has been taken internationally to combat this coming food crisis. In April, the World Bank held the Open Forum about that "pressing issue - raising and volatile food prices." However, nothing seemed to get accomplished besides a very active social media conversation.

Now the questions remain. Which business or not-for-profit will help solve this life or death problem? What are social enterprises doing today to help feed that 'Bottom Billion'? Will communities wait while government stalls?The short answer is that social enterprises internationally are starting to provide answers, especially around energy and agriculture. One such country is India, a country that knows about hunger; over 40% of children are malnourished according to the World Bank. Last week, the Sankalp Forum was held in Mumbai, India to celebrate social entrepreneurs in four key areas including food and clean energy.

Reading about the winners was inspiring, but I also realized the United Nations case study I was reviewing was part of solving the global food crisis--through social media! In response to our looming global food crisis, the United Nations is taking to the internet like never before, including creating the WeFeedBack social network.

WeFeedBack is simple and resounding idea. Join the social network, Estimate the food you will eat tonight, and donate that amount to feed someone else. Instead of waiting on political action, they are mobilizing to try to feed those who need it most. The site has fed nearly 200,000 so far since starting early April 2011.

Wonder how they did it? Social networking; the organization has been effectively reaching out through Facebook and Twitter, especially using the World Food Programme as a platform. This is the second in a series of successes for the World Food Programme, including their Free Rice Word Game that has helped feed 4.2 million.

That's why this Monday, I'm going to donate my dinner to someone who needs it more, and I suggest that you do, too.

Erica Grigg is Founder and CMO of Carbon Outreach, a cause-based marketing and digital advertising agency in New York City with an international remit. She has co-authored, "Facebook for Social Enterprise" to launch on May 16 in New York City. She speaks internationally on cause-based marketing and social media. Connect with Erica professionally at LinkedIn of follow her on Twitter.
More on Food Security:
How Will Food Security Be Affected by Climate Change, Energy Constraints & Water Availability?
Close Gender Gap To Boost Food Security, UN Says

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