Startling statistics such as these prompted Jeffrey Ettinger, Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hormel Foods Corporation, to commit to proactively address childhood malnutrition. Mr. Ettinger challenged Hormel’s Research and Development team to develop a shelf stable, animal protein-based product to address childhood malnutrition.
A unique story begins
Drawing on a rich history of innovation, the Hormel Project Spammy team knew that understanding the consumer is key to successful new product development. The team was formed to include not only internal company expertise but also development partners in the U.S. and Guatemala to help understand the culture. The ultimate goal was to develop a product that would have a substantive impact in changing the lives of under-nourished children. Long term success is much more than providing a flavorful, nutritious product; however, it also means providing education and leadership opportunities.
Based on these findings, the Project Spammy team developed a program that encompasses three key areas:
- Nutrition: Spammy is a flavorful, nutritious product that serves as an ingredient to everyday meals by easily mixing into the traditional diet of any culture.
- Education: Hormel employees, family members, retirees and Caritas-Guatemala have established “Chispa” centers, which include a grade school curriculum that can easily be administered by local communities. Hormel sends four groups to Guatemala each year to help establish Chispa centers. The centers focus on teaching the basic skills ― math, reading, nutrition, and motor skills ― to enhance the children's opportunities to learn and succeed.
- Leadership: Project Spammy is developing leaders both in Guatemala and within the Hormel Foods family by providing opportunities to extend themselves beyond their everyday lives. Hormel is also providing local scholarships to Villa de Los Niños boarding school to children in the communities it serves. Children in this program will have the opportunity for the first time to graduate from high school and return to their home communities to make a difference.
To-date, Hormel Foods Corporation has contributed over $3 million to Project Spammy. In addition our employees, employee families and retirees have contributed money and countless hours to the success of the program. The Spammy product is now being distributed to 8,300 Guatemalan families, representing over 30,000 children. Through our partnership with Food for the Poor and Caritas we are providing opportunities for the children of Guatemala to grow and learn.