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We all agree - global hunger is a big problem, and there's a need for big solutions. Today, Elanco announced its commitment to end hunger for 100,000 families globally through a partnership with Heifer. Together, we'll identify small communities in developing countries that could substantially benefit from the gift of an animal, as well as training in animal husbandry, health care and other practices.

Elanco is a division of Eli Lilly and Company. At their Indianapolis-area headquarters today, Elanco's president Jeff Simmons said, "We believe every person is born with the right to a hopeful future, and the right to be fed, but today, 1 in 6 people globally are hungry. More than 25,000 people die each day from hunger and malnutrition. That's like 60 fully-loaded jumbo jets crashing each and every day."

That's a sobering thought.

Heifer's CEO Pierre Ferrari was also on hand for the announcement, and he talked about the importance of a global network that will work in unison toward this shared goal. "This partnership involves more than just Elanco the company. It's about the employees, too, and customers, the company's entire network, working with us and with smallholder farmers to help them transform their own lives and futures."

Already Elanco and Heifer work in Indonesia and Zambia, where we're working jointly to establish local milk market outlets, improve production and conservation practices and train animal health workers. Today, Elanco announced it will partner with Heifer to work in the Hebei province of China, where more than 20 million families live on less than $1 a day. In that region, we'll deliver the gifts of livestock and training to 800 families.

A group of Elanco executives and Heifer staffers just returned from a visit to Cameroon where they saw first hand the work Heifer is doing with smallholder farmers there. You can read their thoughts about the trip on their blog.  

So what do you think? What are some big or small solutions to the hunger problem? How could large companies follow Elanco's example and make a real difference in the lives of hungry families?


Casey Neese