This summer, we journeyed as a team to Mozambique and Madagascar, to witness firsthand the power of a school meal, and the impact that FEED has been able to make in these countries. The stunning landscapes of the countries we visited provided the perfect backdrop for the creation of our Anniversary Collection campaign - a collection, and a story, truly 10 years in the making. Come along with us.
We started our journey in Mozambique, specifically, the Tete Province. This country office has been enrolled in WFP's school feeding program since 2011, and is a part of a pilot program that they hope to roll out to the entire nation, involving three pillars: health of children, nutrition education in schools, and development of agriculture skills.
We visited a farm where vegetables are grown to supplement some of the school meals in the area as part of the PAA Africa pilot - Purchase from Africans for Africa.
At this farm, they grow cabbage, tomatoes, green beans and root vegetables. Most importantly, the farmers and their families who work here master critical agriculture skills that others can learn from.
Team FEED + the farmers after an afternoon spent touring the fields, learning about the challenges they face due to cyclical drought, and the plans they have for the future growth of their farm.
We took photos and videos from the windows of our WFP vans constantly in Mozambique, and made stops along the way to capture particularly stunning landscapes. Cattle was a common sight.
The team was SO excited for our first school visit of the trip. We arrived just in time for lunch at this school in the Cahora Bassa district. After talking with the teachers, we learned that for many students, the school meal they receive here is often the only guaranteed meal they will have all day.
The school meal is made up of four main food groups: maze meal (made from corn), beans, oil, and salt, all of which are fortified with extra vitamins and nutrients.
Stefanie, our store manager, jumps in right away to help serve lunch and greet each kid with a warm smile.
While the kids were in class, we took a few snaps of Lauren with the Anniversary FEED 1 Bag in Almond, which provides 1 child with school meals for 1 year.
Recess! Jen, team FEED's Production Manager, and Lauren were able to connect with a group of school kids through a universal language: Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes.
While Lindsey, our Sr. Marketing Manager, drew a crowd with a (pretty instense) hopscotch game.
Meanwhile, Kirby, our Art Director, was planning the next shot with Anniversary FEED 1 Bag in tow.
Next Stop:A WFP warehouse in the Tete District where food supplies for all the schools in the district are stored. We stopped by to learn about the food storage and distribution system.
Some of team FEED outside the warehouse.
Our art director had the idea to recreate an iconic FEED photo from 2007 of Lauren on top of bags of grain in a WFP warehouse with the burlap FEED 1 Bag. It took a village to make the recreation happen, but we were pretty pleased with the final result...
Lauren with the The Anniversary FEED 1 Bag in Taupe.
From Mozambique, we continued the journey...
Lauren, with our amazing photographer Christina and FEED's art director, Kirby (all smiles, even after five hours in the back seat of this car).
Breaking to stretch and get some landscape drone footage (note our homepage) on the way to the airport.
23 hours later...
Home to richly colored cities, stunning landscapes and...
We really want to include 10 more shots of these cuties, but will refrain.
Lauren with the WFP Madagascar country staff, about to take off for Ambovombe (Madagascar's most southern region) to visit a school where WFP gives school meals. We were so inspired by this team of dedicated country staff who truly believe in the power of school meals. It was an honor to see them hard at work to make sure as many kids as possible benefit from the program.
We drove up to the school yard, just in time for class...
It was so fun to sit in on a lesson with this lively bunch, who was pretty excited to have visitors (aka an excuse to get out of class early).
We squeezed in some fun before lunch...
And saw firsthand how this nutritious school lunch gave these kids energy to play and focus.
Our videographer, Steve, was a rockstar with every group of kids we met. The footage he shot throughout our travels really captured the feeling of the places we went.
As was our photographer, Christina, who never missed an opportunity to show the kids their portraits, and make them feel special.
From Ambovombe, we traveled back to Madagascar's capital Antaninarivo, to shoot the 10 year anniversary collection in a different setting.
Steve shoots Lauren walking with the Anniversary FEED 1 Bag against the city backdrop.
Christina, reviews a series of shots with Lauren. Her passion for FEED's impact came through in every shot.
We stumbled upon these amazing stairs in our hotel and skipped breakfast to shoot this video. You may have seen it the day we launched Anniversary Collection pre-order.
Final shot of the trip! Christina, Steve and Lauren woke up at 5am to get the morning light just right for this magical shot of Lauren walking through a field with the Anniversary FEED 1 Bag in black. Worth it? Yes. You'll be seeing this footage a lot over the course of the campaign.