HATCH Program Launched to Combat Hunger in Central Indiana

by Cayla McLeland | Apr 15, 2015
A new initiative to put more nutritious product into local food banks was announced this week. Eggs for everyone is the new mantra for Elanco as they partner with Kroger, Rose Acre Farms and Midwest and Gleaners Food Banks to bring a sustainable supply of eggs to local pantries.

Elanco President, Jeff Simmons, says HATCH is a new way for consumers to purchase with a purpose.

“They can purchase with the hungry in mind. Come to Kroger, buy a medium size of a dozen eggs and every dozen you buy, one egg, which is half the nutrients a child needs every day, is going to be contributed to this supply chain.”hatch project freezer

Undernourishment is a worldwide problem that affects people’s health, and how they remember, solve problems and make decisions. In the United States, one in five people do not have access to enough protein and other nutrients to meet their body’s needs. Indiana faces a similar challenge, with undernourishment affecting children, senior citizens and their families. 

“Hunger is a daily reality for too many neighbors in the local communities Kroger serves,” said Jeff Burt, president of the Kroger Central Division. “Programs like our Perishable Donation Partnership® — and now HATCH — are important ways we help families put nutritious food on their plates every day. HATCH will allow us to focus the generosity of Kroger customers and associates on providing critically needed protein. Kroger has been fighting hunger for 132 years. It’s time to take that fight to the next level and HATCH will do that. Simply by buying a dozen medium eggs, we can ensure our neighbors in need benefit from the nutrients eggs provide.”

Why eggs? Simmons says he learned a lot about their nutritional value from an intern he hired a few years ago.

“What I learned from this intern over the course of the summer was and brought back to me is one: eggs are the most effective way with the most nutrients, the most affordable protein out there.”

In fact, eggs are rich in protein, vitamins and minerals, with a single egg able to provide almost half the protein and all the iron a young child needs in one day. However, eggs usually are in short supply at food banks.

hatch project sign“Since one egg provides 6 grams of high-quality protein, fresh eggs are a prized item for food banks,” said Amanda Jackson, Rose Acre Farms. “We’re proud to provide the eggs that will be donated to Central Indiana food banks through HATCH, as well as eggs so many Kroger customers enjoy every day. HATCH is a wonderful way people from all walks of life can come together to make a big difference in the community, which is a perfect match for Rose Acre Farms’ family-owned values.”

Despite the value eggs bring to the hungry, Simmons says they’ve posed plenty of logistical challenges in the past. Project HATCH hopes to correct that.

“It’s one of the five most demanded things in food banks but it’s the least supplied because it’s perishable, it needs to be refrigerated, logistics are hard, it’s fragile so it’s not being supplied. So we said hey, we have to figure this is out. The most efficient, most effective protein source; but it’s logistically the hardest. HATCH is solving the logistics of this problem.”

Simmons says Elanco hopes to tell agriculture’s story through this project.

We want to tell the story of the changed breakfast, the changed children and the changed grades. We want to tell the story of the egg producer, what Rose Acres and their suppliers do and how they raise food. We want to tell the story of protein.”

The first HATCH pilot project involves 66 central Indiana Kroger stores and will donate one egg to a local food bank for each dozen Kroger-brand medium eggs purchased through June 20th.

To kick off this first HATCH project, Elanco, Rose Acre Farms and Kroger announced their collective donation of 34,560 eggs, which is equivalent to 2,880 dozen. These eggs, along with those donated via purchases of Kroger-brand medium eggs through June 20, will be given to Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, Midwest Food Bank, and local food pantries serving Marion County and Central Indiana.

“Although it is just getting started, HATCH is an excellent example of how citizens and businesses can collaborate to make a vital difference in local communities,” said Simmons. “We look forward to building on this first partnership to develop HATCH initiatives in other locales that can bring food security to communities everywhere.”

For more information about how HATCH makes it easy to people to work together to fight hunger and undernourishment, visit or join the conversation using #HATCHforHunger.

Rose AcreTM Recipe of the Month

Saint Nick's Eggnog

  • 6 large EGGS
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 cups whole milk, divided
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 12 cinnamon sticks for garnish
  1. BEAT eggs, sugar and salt in large heavy saucepan until blended. STIR IN 2 cups milk.
  2. COOK over low heat, stirring constantly but gently, until mixture is just thick enough to just coat a metal spoon with a thin film and temperature reaches 160°F, about 15 minutes. Do not allow to boil. REMOVE from heat immediately.
  3. STIR IN remaining 2 cups milk and vanilla. REFRIGERATE, covered, until thoroughly chilled, several hours or overnight. 
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