Heinz Micronutrient Campaign
Micronutrient Malnutrition Q&A
Is iron-deficiency anemia a global health threat?
Yes. The World Health Organization estimates that 2 billion people — nearly one-third of the global population — are anemic, primarily due to lack of iron. The HMC is focused on the treatment and prevention of iron-deficiency anemia in children.
What is micronutrient powder?
Micronutrient powder is a multi-vitamin blend, including iron, zinc, vitamin A, folic acid and other essential nutrients, that promotes healthy physical and mental development. The tasteless powder supported by the HMC is specially formulated to be effective when stirred or mixed into children's foods.
Does Heinz manufacture micronutrient powder?
Yes. The non-profit HMC provides sachets of micronutrient powder that are manufactured by Heinz. The World Health Organization and UNICEF have approved the sachets as a cost-effective treatment for iron-deficiency anemia. About 60 sachets are required over a three- to four-month period to treat and prevent iron deficiency.
What makes the HMC unique is that the H.J. Heinz Company Foundation works with its partners to ensure that caregivers and parents are properly trained in the use of micronutrient powders. Our partners monitor the distribution programs to encourage compliance and receive feedback. Training materials are developed and delivered in local languages.
Additionally, caregivers are provided a box of 30 sachets of micronutrient powder and instructed to return the used sachets in order to receive the second box.
Is it costly to prevent and treat iron-deficiency anemia?
No. Working through collaborative partnerships in countries around the world, the HMC is addressing iron-deficiency anemia at an annual cost of just $1.50 per child. It is a small investment to help save the lives of some of the estimated 3.5 million children who die each year in developing countries due to maternal and child malnutrition.
Making a Healthy Difference in the World
A hidden hunger – iron-deficiency anemia – is cutting lives short and limiting the potential of millions of children. Caused by a lack of essential vitamins and minerals, iron-deficiency anemia can impair physical and mental development, weaken the immune system and significantly increase the risk of dying before the age of five.
As the signature Corporate Social Responsibility program of the H.J. Heinz Company and its Foundation, the Heinz Micronutrient Campaign (HMC) is dedicated to addressing this hidden hunger.
Heinz has been nourishing people around the world for more than 140 years. As a recognized global leader in infant and child nutrition, Heinz believes every child, regardless of socioeconomic status, should receive the nutrition necessary for healthy growth and development.
Through innovation and its expanding global reach, the HMC is making a healthy difference in the world, one child at a time.
The Heinz Micronutrient Campaign is partnering with Malteser International, a worldwide relief agency, to distribute micronutrient powders in the Oddar Meanchey province of Cambodia, an impoverished area where an estimated 80% of children are iron deficient. This pilot project is also studying the impact of micronutrients on children's health and behavior.
Approximately 500,000 children in four rural provinces of China have received NurtureMate™ micronutrient powders through a three-year project with China's Ministry of Health and the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Heinz manufactures NurtureMate™ at its Guangzhou factory in China. Based on the success of this groundbreaking partnership, discussions are underway to offer NurtureMate™ and nutrition education on a larger scale in China. A separate project with the HuaQiao Foundation of Shanghai is providing NurtureMate™ to children at orphanages in Anhui Province.
The Heinz Micronutrient Campaign expanded to Haiti in 2011 with the initial goal of assisting approximately 12,000 children through a partnership with
non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that are focused on healthcare and nutrition. The partners are the Hôpital Albert Schweitzer, the Lacroix Mission and Hope for Haiti. The Campaign is providing micronutrient powders, training, educational materials and other technical assistance to these partners. The Hôpital Albert Schweitzer is serving as the training hub for the program, with each partner distributing NurtureMate™ through the hospitals, schools, orphanages and nutrition centers they operate.
In 2011, a new program was launched in the state of Tamil Nadu to distribute NurtureMate™ micronutrient powders to 15,000 children at government-sponsored child-care and mother-care centers. The project expands the Heinz Micronutrient Campaign's footprint in India. Heinz is partnering with India's Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) on the project, following their shared success in providing micronutrient powder to 15,000 children in the state of Maharashtra. Heinz and the ICDS will explore ways to continue and expand the Tamil Nadu project upon its completion.
MOHAN V., Director - Business Development, Corporate & Legal Affairs and Company Secretary of Heinz India Pvt. monitoring an education program in Tamil Nadu.
Partnering with Church World Service, the Heinz Micronutrient Campaign launched a new project in 2011 to distribute NurtureMate™ micronutrient powders to approximately 12,000 children in Central Sulawesi. Heinz ABC Indonesia is providing one million NurtureMate™ sachets and launching a social media campaign to raise awareness of the program. The project will study the effectiveness of social media as a tool to increase awareness of the need to treat and prevent iron deficiency.
The Heinz Micronutrient Campaign entered Africa for the first time in 2010 through a project in Tanzania, where more than 80% of children 2 years of age or younger are anemic. In partnership with Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania and Michigan State University, the project conducted a study in the Morogoro region of Tanzania. The study found that a new reduced-iron formulation of NurtureMate™ micronutrient powders is effective in treating and preventing iron deficiency in a malaria-endemic population. In 2011, the project expanded to additional villages, reaching more than 3,000 children. This project has generated interest in introducing vitamin and mineral powders in neighboring African countries.