I will be regularly featuring a Bay Area based company every month that serves delicious food while giving back to the community. If you have any suggestions, please leave a note in the comments below.
A lot of us live in a world where food is less than a 15-minute drive and a quick credit card swipe away, and we're in for something amazing.
Unfortunately in most parts of the world this isn't the case. According to the World Food Programme, 1 in 7 people will go to bed hungry tonight and there are more hungry people in the world than the combined populations of USA, Canada and the EU.
There are many good organizations trying to help where they can, using different methods to feeding those who are hungry in the US and abroad. But the concern is always raised as to whether or not all the money we donate is going back to the people or if a lot of it is wasted in operations.
It was by accident I discovered Kutoa Health Bars. I was on a mission to find a good snack bar. Clif bars taste like cardboard to me, so I only eat them when I'm starving. Luna bars are okay, but at $1.50 a bar, I figured I could find something better.
When I found Kutoa Health bars, I was immediately interested in the company. They were a few weeks from launching and everything about them seemed more sincere than a lot of non-profits I've dealt with. Attending Cal fed into my desire to be idealistic and help as much as possible, but it also made me question everything and be skeptical about how certain organizations are run.
Kutoa's mission is simple: Live Well, Give Health, Empower Change. Living well means eating healthy, balanced meals (and while I am a fantastic eater, I am not known for eating balanced meals). Through Kutoa, you pay it forward by giving health to someone who needs it.
"Empowering change" can be interpreted different ways, but I interpret it as baby steps. By providing health to others, they are more likely to have the energy to go to school, to concentrate in class and to use their education as they wish for different opportunities. They are less likely to fall sick and their families can concentrate on working and learning instead of focusing all their energy on what they're going to eat at night.
The founder, Joey Grassia, came up with Kutoa after he had recently returned from South East Asia and witnessed the alarming number of undernourished children. Grassia's goal with Kutoa is that when we eat, so do some of those children. Kutoa works with the World Food Programme to deliver food packs to children for every bar sold. So while you're feeding yourself, you're also feeding someone who needs it.
For me, it was easy — I was going to be buying health bars anyways, why not purchase it from a company that also gives back to communities in need?
Kutoa offers three flavors, a fruit mixed with a nut: Cherry Cashew, Raisin Peanut and Blueberry Almond. I purchased a box of blueberry bars because blueberry is one of my favorite fruits and almonds are my favorite nuts. The bars came last week and I tore into one for breakfast yesterday. I was surprised how fresh the bar tasted — Kutoa doesn't use any preservatives so I just expected a bit more of a crunch and some dryness, but it was very moist and delicious.
As a food person, I can confidently say these bars are really good. They're not just snacks you're settling on — they're made to enjoy. I've found my health bar supplier in Kutoa. The double mission of providing me with a balanced snack and providing children with nutritional packs is enough to seal my loyalty to Kutoa. If you'd like to purchase a pack of Kutoa health bars, check them out at: www.KutoaBars.com and let me know what you think!