Lifeway Foods is a partner that finds many ways to engage with Whole Planet Foundation. We hope you enjoy this guest blog by their Community Manager, Courtney Skells, who tells the deeper story.
At Lifeway Foods, we are on a mission. A mission that started in 1986 when we first began producing Lifeway Kefir. Like all good missions, ours is simply expressed: we’re here to provide the best in probiotic and nutritious foods. We’re here to improve the health of our customers. And we’re here to leave the world a better place than we found it. In short, we’re here to live up to our claim that Lifeway Kefir is good for way more than just you.
Being good for more than just you can mean a lot of things and we’ve identified pillars to focus our efforts: Childhood Nutrition, Responsible Ingredients, Green Initiatives and Charitable Partnerships. Charitable Partnerships are huge for us and we’re excited to support Whole Planet Foundation and their microlending initiatives.
In fewer than thirty years, Lifeway Foods has grown from a single product made in our founder’s Chicago-area home, to the largest manufacturer of kefir varieties in the world. We know how important it is to dream big, but think small – as in focus on the details without losing sight of the big picture. Just as our kefir cultures can’t grow without milk, developing communities cannot grow without economy. Our support provides the means for individuals to provide for themselves, which in turn allows them to provide for their family , then their community; everyone benefits.
The goals and values of the Whole Planet Foundation align with the culture of Lifeway and we’re blown away knowing our contributions have helped alleviate poverty in 61 countries throughout the world. “As a company, we work to not only make the best products we can, but to be an example for our community and future generations of entrepreneurs,” says Julie Smolyansky, our President and CEO. “We’re proud to work with a partner that provides communities with the means to grow for exponentially, not just in the immediacy.”
Thus far, our contributions to the Whole Plant Foundation have provided 116 loans and helped 580 people throughout Asia, Africa, the Americas and the Middle East. Some of our sponsorship included the Whole Planet Foundation calendar, the Austin City Limits Sun Salutation Party, hosted by our very own CEO Julie Smolyansky, and the Whole Planet Foundation’s Pre-GRAMMY® Party. We’re excited to continue our work with the Foundation in the coming year.
Thank you to Courtney Skells for sharing Lifeway Foods’ passion for goodness in this guest blog.