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Amway China Spring Sprouts program
In China, a new idea is beginning to take root: the concept of foreign private businesses collaborating with public entities to address social challenges.
Who’s helping lead the change?
That would be Amway China, with its Amway Charity Foundation (ACF), the first non-public foundation established by a multinational corporation and supervised by China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs. The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship called ACF, which was established in 2011, and its Spring Sprout childhood nutrition project a prime example of how a company can use strategic partnerships to address a social problem.
The Spring Sprout Project delivers healthy meals to malnourished children of impoverished migrant farm workers in rural China. It is a systemic effort that pulls together local governments, which help fund construction of kitchen buildings; authorities at the children’s boarding schools; and corporate resources. Amway China executives lend strategic planning expertise. In addition to its own financial support, Amway China encourages its business partners to contribute.
The goal is to bring locally sourced, nutritious meals to 500,000 children a day by the end of 2013. But ACF also has a larger objective: to encourage critical changes in public policy that would help even more children, according to Todd Woodward, vice president of global Amway brand who recently joined the Amway Charity Foundation board of directors.
“Ultimately, we want to use the results to demonstrate how government funding of nutrition programs like Spring Sprout would make a real difference in the lives of children,” said Woodward. “A key milestone will be the government assuming responsibility for the kitchens, allowing ACF to move on to other projects.”
So far, these efforts are making a difference. More than 700 of the planned 1,000 kitchens have been built, feeding more than 150,000 children each day – and some local governments have adopted the ACF model to build their own school kitchens.
The Chinese government named Spring Sprout the “Most Influential Charity Project in China in 2011.”
More on Amway global citizenship work here.