Kellogg’s Eat. Share. Prosper. program gives busy college students a chance to get in on the fight against hunger by donating a bowl of cereal to a food bank for each one a student eats. I talked with Erica Kiser, college and university marketing manager for Kellogg’s Food Away From Home program, about the initiative.

How did Kellogg develop the Eat. Share. Prosper. program, and what was the impetus behind it?

One of our goals at Kellogg is to engage consumers on a personal level by creating programs and promotions that tie to trends and issues that matter to them. We developed the Eat. Share. Prosper. program to allow college and university students to leverage their everyday love of cereal as a tool to positively affect their local communities and the fight against hunger. What seemed to resonate with the students was the transparency and simplicity of the program. We simply gave them an opportunity to make a positive impact by doing something they were already doing — eating breakfast.

What results have you seen so far?

With the support of 118 universities in 25 states, we donated an estimated 530,000 servings of cereal to various Feeding America-affiliated food banks across the U.S. in 2011. In 2012, we are on target to make a strong impact, as we anticipate more than 180 colleges and universities will participate. Additionally, the program recently won the Youth Pulse 2012 GennY Award for connecting and communicating with millennials. Youth Pulse selects one outstanding company each year that demonstrates excellence and best practices in youth marketing.

Why reach out to the college-age demographic for a message combining healthy eating and the fight against hunger?

We know college-age students are social minded and know that convenience is an important part of driving participation. Students are busier than ever, juggling classes and extracurricular activities, connecting with others through multiple media channels and living on their own for the very first time. It can be difficult to break through the noise and be heard. College-age students are more likely to participate in a cause if they feel that they personally can make a difference. Eat. Share. Prosper. enables students to make a personal choice, directly affect their community and eat a nutritious breakfast by selecting Kellogg’s cereal.

What corporate message does this type of program send, not only to the public but also to the industry?

Cause marketing can have a positive impact on all participants. The program allowed Kellogg to further communicate its commitment to narrow the hunger gap, and it provided an outlet for the school and its students to illustrate, through action, their devotion to the community.

What is the future for the program?

Eat. Share. Prosper. will continue to be offered this fall. As we develop plans for the future, we will explore social media and other tactics to further strengthen our relationships with participating schools and students.

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