I believe all children grow up with a dream of making a difference in the world. We all want to have an impact; to make our one life count for something. We also want to pursue our passions and our talents, make a living and support our families. For myself, starting a business was my best opportunity to follow my dream and make a positive impact, all at once.
At its core, Chickapea is a force for good, making it easier for people to lead healthier lives and support sustainable, organic farming practices. But we can do better than that. We can ensure that Chickapea is not just benefiting those that consume our products, but those in the greatest need around the world, as well as our farmers, suppliers and employees. I have been given an incredible opportunity to make an impact and to set an example, and I plan to make it as positive as possible. You have my word on that.
Well, Chickapea is still a very young company. We only began selling in July of 2016, but our social responsibility efforts are growing with us. Here’s a bit about what we’re doing and what we’re planning to do.
Beginning in July of this year (2018), Chickapea will donate 3 Cents from the sale of every package of Chickapea Pasta and Chickapea Mac & Cheese to WE Charity’s School Nutrition Program. WE Charity is an international charity and educational partner that partners with communities to implement WE Villages, a holistic, five-pillar international development model designed to achieve sustainable change. WE Villages supports community development in areas where there is a high incidence of child labor, exploitation of children and minimal opportunities for the girl child. Currently, WE works in Kenya, India, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Haiti, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, rural China and Ethiopia, and together with local leaders and families, WE transforms lives with solutions that are adaptive, effective and sustained long term by the community itself.
The School Nutrition Program provides nutritious meals as well as education on proper nutrition to fuel growing minds and contribute to thriving communities. The program also supports agricultural training, school gardens, family farms and improved seeds and irrigation projects so that communities can achieve long-term health and access stable food sources. For $25 we can feed a student a healthy lunch for an entire year, and for $1,000 we can feed an entire classroom for a year!
Between July – December 2018, we have set a goal to feed 12 classrooms for a full year, and hope to quadruple this in 2019. This year, we are focusing our efforts on the village of Los Rios in Ecuador. You will be able to follow our progress here on our website.
We believe that everyone should have access to healthy food. Food banks across Canada and the US are feeding our most vulnerable populations, which are often in great need of nourishment, and unfortunately, the majority of food being donated to food banks is not very healthy and doesn’t consider dietary restrictions. Chickapea provides a nutrient-dense, allergen-free option that’s familiar and simple to prepare. Since launching less than two years ago, Chickapea has donated more than 5,000 boxes of pasta to four different food banks.
When we first structured our corporation, we weren’t in a position to support a cash initiative like our new partnership with WE Charity, but we wanted to make sure giving back was built into our business from the beginning, so we donated stock options to the Upside Foundation. Upside enables early stage and high growth companies to give back by donating equity to charity. Supported by leading investors, influencers, and entrepreneurs, the process is simple: donate options or warrants, and when you have a liquidity event, that donation converts to cash for the charities you support.
All Chickapea products are, and will continue to be, organic. By only choosing organic we are helping to: eliminate soil and water contamination, preserve local wildlife, including honeybees, and conserve biodiversity. We also focus on ingredients that are grown in North America to support and encourage organic farming practices, and reduce the environmental impact of transporting raw materials overseas.
Click here for more information on what the USDA Organic label means.
By focusing on plant-based proteins we are helping to: reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserve our fresh water stores, reduce deforestation and clean our air. Did you know that emissions from the production of beef and lamb are 250 times higher than those from legumes, per gram of protein, and pork and poultry are 40 times higher than legumes?
Chickapea products are packaged in recyclable boxes using recycled materials. We will continue to consider the environment with our packaging decisions and will strive towards more green solutions as we grow.
The Chickapea team is made up of like minded doers seeking to fulfill that childhood dream of making a difference in the world. We are a small but fierce team with big ideas and fervent work ethic, and we do everything we can to nourish our team members, such as offering great health benefits, flexible work schedules, competitive wages, team lunches, and more. We not only promise to give back as a company, but we encourage employees to do so and support volunteerism to their preferred charities with paid volunteer time, both individually and as a team. All employees are given a voice when it comes to deciding which charities to support, so we can work towards making the biggest impact together.