First Phase of the ‘Seat at the Table Fund’ to Launch in U.S. in Partnership with the National Urban League and UNCF to Support Black Students
CHICAGO (December 17, 2020) – Today, Mars Food’s Ben’s Original™ brand launched a new scholarship fund – the Seat at the Table Fund – to give people from underserved communities around the world interested in careers in the food industry the educational and mentorship opportunities they deserve so their ideas and voices can be heard and appreciated by all.
The first phase of the Ben’s Original’s Seat at the Table Fund will launch in the U.S., where the brand partnered with National Urban League to create a scholarship to support Black students interested in food industry careers. The scholarship will cover education-related expenses for students towards the completion of either a food science or culinary arts certificate, Associate or Bachelor’s degree. The National Urban League will support scholarship recipients to help them successfully complete their education and prepare for and secure a rewarding career. UNCF (United Negro College Fund) will manage and administer the fund on behalf of Ben’s Original.
“The U.S.-based scholarship is our premiere program of many more we plan to establish in countries around the world and is one of the first steps we’re taking to deliver on our brand’s new purpose to create opportunities that offer everyone a seat at the table,” said Fiona Dawson, Global President Mars Food. “The support of National Urban League has been invaluable in developing this scholarship, and we’re excited about the possibilities to create more equitable opportunities for people who will positively influence the future of the entire food industry around the world.”
In the U.S., the Ben’s Original’s Seat at the Table Fund scholarship is open to high school seniors, high school graduates already enrolled in accredited Associate and/or Bachelor’s degree programs and adults looking to change their careers or further their culinary careers. In total, Ben’s Original has allocated $2 million over the next five years to the U.S. version of the scholarship.
“Empowering people to create a more inclusive future is a foundational element of National Urban League’s mission,” said Marc Morial, President and CEO, National Urban League. “We’re proud to partner with Ben’s Original to help create these opportunities for those who truly deserve it, as well as support recipients in building successful careers in the food industry through the Seat at the Table Fund.”
“The Ben’s Original brand’s Seat at the Table Fund is a great example of how major brands and successful advocacy organizations like National Urban League can powerfully create more equal access to education that prepares minorities for rich intellectual lives and competitive and fulfilling careers,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, President and CEO of UNCF, the largest minority education organization in the U.S.
The application process for the Ben’s Original’s Seat at the Table Fund will be announced and will open in early 2021. Interested applicants may register at UNCF.org/SeatAtTheTable for more information and to be notified when applications are being accepted.
About Mars Food
Mars Food is a fast-growing food business, making tastier, healthier, easier meals for all consumers to enjoy. Headquartered in London, Mars Food is a leader in producing great tasting products. Our portfolio includes the following brands: BEN’S ORIGINAL™, DOLMIO®, SEEDS OF CHANGE®, TASTY BITE®, MASTERFOODS®, SUZI WAN®, EBLY®, ROYCO®, KAN TONG® and RARIS®. Our ambition is to become a model business in the areas of health and nutrition and sustainability, as expressed by our Purpose: Better Food Today. A Better World Tomorrow. Mars Food is a segment of Mars, Incorporated.