Moving Boundaries

A Ladle ... Less Hunger

New trends constantly shake up the industry – we are tracking them down. In our series ‘A ladle ...’ we periodically present exciting projects and personalities from the food and gastronomy scene. Today in the 3 questions interview: Felix Leonhardt, founder of the Hamburg start-up lycka, which sells 100% vegan ice cream and granola – and donates school meals to children in east Africa in the process.

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Felix, what’s special about your products?

The way they embody our philosophy. Our products are always vegan, organic and donate a school meal to a child in east Africa. With lycka, we want to show that vegan and delicious are not mutually exclusive concepts, while also doing our part to end world hunger with every product we sell. The combination of delicious, social and vegan is definitely our unique selling point.

Every lycka product sold means a school meal for a disadvantaged child in east Africa. How does that work?

To make it happen, we work closely with Germany’s ‘Welthungerhilfe’ organisation. In Burundi and Malawi, we are working with local parents and teachers to build a community infrastructure made up of school gardens. The goal is firstly to make sure that the children get something to eat at school, which motivates them to attend. On the other hand the project also helps the small farmers to develop the local economy and trade.

A defined amount of every sold lycka product (between 6 and 11 cents, depending on the suggested retail price) goes to these projects. An average school meal costs around 9 cents there, so we can fund a meal with each and every product that is sold. But the impact of the project goes much further than that.

How does your project impact the communities that benefit in Burundi und Malawi exactly?

We and the ‘Welthungerhilfe’ have made over 2.5 million school meals possible to date. Initial results show that the positive impact we had hoped for has in fact happened. The school meals have a great number of positive effects that make them meaningful. First of all, a child gets fed, of course, which means that that child is in school. That gives the child an easier access to what is hopefully a better education. At the same time, the parents receive training in terms of their own farming methods. That promotes local economic development long-term.

In specific numbers: in our Burundi project, enrolment increased from just over 50% to over 97%, the ratio of boys to girls in the schools has improved from 3:1 to 1:1 and absence has dropped to under 3%. All that is mainly the result of better attendance among girls, who traditionally had to help out at home and would never have the opportunity to get an education.

Portrait Lycka
Felix Leonhardt, founder of the Hamburg start-up lycka

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