Just one year after its launch, The Soulfull Project — a mission-driven startup dedicated to making high-quality, nutritious food more accessible to those in need — has pledged to donate one million servings of its signature, nutrient-dense hot cereal to food banks across the country over the next two years.
In order to combat hunger in local communities, The Soulfull Project operates on a unique buy one, give one business model, which sees the startup donate a serving of wholesome hot cereal to a local food bank for every serving purchased. “We designed the business model with the giving in mind so it would be the core of the business. We also strive to run a very efficient business, so that we can grow our business and the mission together. We use what would traditionally be marketing dollars for our donations, so having our fans spread the word is very important for us,” said Megan Shea, co-founder of The Soulfull Project.
The company’s products were previously only available at Wegmans stores on the East Coast, but the brand has now made its hot cereal available in all 50 states, expanding into Amazon and CIBO Gourmet Express Markets in airports across the country. The products will also be hitting shelves at Central Market, Fred Meyer, Giant, Shaws, Stop & Shop, Berkeley Bowl, Earth Fare and Jewel-Osco. With this market expansion, The Soulfull Project aims to increase its impact by helping to address hunger from coast to coast.
In addition to announcing national distribution, The Soulfull Project revealed that it recently achieved Certified B Corporation status from nonprofit B Lab, meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.
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“Giving to others is the backbone of our business model,” said Chip Heim, co-founder of The Soulfull Project. “Our B Corporation certification means we are joining the ranks of more than 2,300 amazing, like-minded companies who also strive to use business as a force for good in the world. We’ve donated more than 100,000 servings thus far and, with the support of our consumers, will work hard to reach our goal of one million donations by 2019.”
The Soulfull Project offers multi-grain hot cereal in individual cups, multi-serve resealable bags and multi-serve cartons of individual packets. All of the company’s hot cereal varieties are Non-GMO Project Verified, Whole Grain Stamp-approved and contain no artificial colors or flavors. The startup’s first giving partner, The Food Bank of South Jersey, helped created the 4 Grain Blend, which consists of a mix of rye, oats, barley and toasted red quinoa, with no added sugar.
The company is the brainchild of four local food industry veterans — a chef, food scientist, marketer and designer — who believe there is an opportunity to make high-quality, nutritious food more accessible to those in need. The idea for The Soulfull Project arose out of a consumer field research initiative, during which the group encountered a family struggling to make ends meet.
“We started this movement because we saw how families at all income levels struggled to make good food choices,” Shea said. “We also recognized that many people want to help others in need, but often don’t know where to start. Our recent achievement of national availability of our products gives us the opportunity to provide our nutritious hot cereal to more communities in need.”
“The Soulfull Project is a shining example of what creativity, hard work and dedication can amount to,” said Mike Paul, VP of Marketing Innovation for the Campbell Soup Company, which is The Soulfull Project’s sole investor. “We are thrilled to see their continual progress and look forward to supporting them as they take on their ambitious new goal of 1,000,000 donations.”