Thursday, November 8, 2012

Dallas-based Impact Foods is impacting the world, one bag of granola at a time

A chance meeting in an entrepreneurship class in college, would bring Ben Hurt and Blaine Iler together in what would be a remarkable journey to create what is now, Impact Foods. Inspired by the growing movement of Conscious Capitalism, they endeavored to create a business that could change the world. Hurt and Iler began to research the largest problems facing our planet and the list was clear: education, poverty, healthcare and hunger. They realized that without a solution to hunger, it would be impossible to solve the other problems. I don't recall being so industrious in college. I was mainly concerned with sorority date parties...

"Once you see the effect of reversing hunger and malnutrition in any given community - you can't help but be inspired," says Hurt. "Happy, healthy bodies are less vulnerable to disease, improving the health of the community. Happy, healthy brains retain more information in school, improving the education of the community. And those happy, healthy students go on to be engaged and productive members of the society, so that they can lift their own communities out of poverty."

Hurt and Iler spent 18 months baking and packaging the granola by-hand, perfecting the salty and sweet “We insisted on making a high quality product that people would want to buy over and over again. Ben and I spent time in the kitchen making sure that our product was unique and delicious,” Iler explains. They delivered to local retailers in Dallas and soon after, their Impact Foods became one of the fastest selling products at eatZi’s, Urban Acres, Local Yocal, Company CafĂ© and more.

Hurt explains, "Last year, Blaine and I took a trip to Honduras to learn more about hunger and how we can help. That trip changed our lives. Not only because we came back knowing Impact Foods had to make the leap from a local project to our life's work, but also because it shaped the way we approach making an impact."

Hurt and Iler’s Impact Foods is an official partner of the World Food Program (WFP), the largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Hurt and Iler are committed to end the cycle of hunger. To do that, they came up with Impact Foods 1:1 promise, as well as, their “Lasting Impact Strategy”. It starts with a simple promise - buy ONE bag : feed ONE child. “More bags sold, means more children fed and for this reason, we are even more committed to growing our company,” explains Iler.

 The Lasting Impact Strategy is as follows:
 (1) First, Impact Foods donates micronutrient packs developed by WFP physicians to children during their first 1,000 days of life - when damage done to the brain by malnutrition is irreversible.
(2) Then, Impact Food donates school meals to classrooms in areas affected by hunger. These school meals increase classroom attendance, as well as provide children the nutrients necessary to learn and retain their lessons.
 (3) Finally, Impact Foods is constantly working with WFP on projects and programs that ensure that children grow up in empowered communities where hunger aid is no longer necessary. This way, Impact Foods creates a lasting impact.

Impact Foods is now sold in Whole Foods Southwest and Rocky Mountain (Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Lousiana, Utah, New Mexico, Kansas and Arkansas). More stores carrying the Impact Foods products means more children fed as a result. Learn more at