The Hershey Co. is hoping to help nourish school children in Ghana with a peanut-based supplement.


The chocolate maker has announced an innovative partnership with the Ghana School Feeding Program and Project Peanut Butter, and it hopes to reach 50,000 school children by 2016.


In Ghana, at least 30,000 children go malnourished each year, according to Project Peanut Butter. And access to basic nutrition is still a challenge, despite Ghana’s status as being one of the strongest emerging countries in Africa.


Through Energize Learning and the Ghana school feeding program, Hershey will distribute Vivi — a highly nutritious peanut-based supplement — to children in need. The supplement is produced by the Hershey-funded Project Peanut Butter factory in Kumasi, Ghana.


“At Hershey, we believe that bright futures start with basic nutrition,” says John P. Bilbrey, chairman and ceo, The Hershey Co. “Energize Learning will harness our strongest assets — our employees and our food expertise — to provide children in Ghana with the basic nutrition they need to learn and grow. Through this partnership, it’s our hope that children can make the most of their education and focus on their studies, rather than their stomachs.”


The Vivi supplement is truly a lifesaver — it can increase the daily caloric intake of a hungry child by 25 percent. As child malnutrition rates are highest in the vicinity of the Kumasi factory, in the northern region of Ghana, distribution will take priority there.


As part of Energize Learning, Hershey employees also are sharing their expertise with local farmers to increase productivity and expand Ghana’s peanut crop — a critical component of Vivi — for the long-term.


“Our partnership with Hershey addresses a great social need and will positively impact Ghana’s local economy by supporting both our school children and the livelihoods of our small holder farmers,” says Hon. Seidu Paakuna Adamu, national coordinator, Ghana School Feeding Programme.


Hershey also is working with the University of Ghana to evaluate and analyze the outcome of Energize Learning over the next two years.


The company hopes to eventually expand the program to reach all children in Ghana’s school feeding program.

And this isn’t the first time Hershey has helped out — its commitment to improving the lives of children dates back to the 1909 creation of the Milton Hershey School, which offers a private education to socially and economically-eligible students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.


Energize Learning is part of Hershey’s holistic commitment to helping children in need across the globe build bright futures and lead successful lives.


Project Peanut Butter (PPB) seeks to advance the treatment of severe malnutrition, the single largest cause of child death in the world today, using effective, locally produced ready-to-use therapeutic foods. This non-profit was formed to provide needed nutritional and medical support primarily to children suffering from severe acute malnutrition in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond.

The Hershey Co.,  headquartered in Hershey, Pa., is a global confectionery company known for bringing goodness to the world through its chocolate, sweets, mints and other great-tasting snacks. Hershey has more than 22,000 employees around the world who work every day to deliver delicious, quality products.