News Center > Responsibility and Sustainability

Nielsen Associates Fight Hunger and Help Shape a Smarter Market by Donating Meals and Data

5 minute read | November 2019

As part of our work to shape a smarter market, we’re committed to donating our data and insights through our Data for Good program, which helps create new solutions to social and environmental challenges. Food insecurity and food waste are two challenges that Nielsen is uniquely positioned to address; our food pricing and consumption data can help enable greater efficiencies in the marketplace while addressing the serious, sometimes overlooked, effects that these issues have on people in every market around the world. 

During our ninth annual Hunger Action Month, spanning Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, 2019, Nielsen associates around the world engaged nonprofit organizations that fight hunger and help those in need, organized volunteer events at local food banks in our communities and discovered new ways to share our data for good. All full- and part-time Nielsen employees are eligible for 24 hours of dedicated volunteer time each year to support calls to action like Hunger Action Month, as well as year-round volunteer opportunities. For Hunger Action Month 2019, our goal was to donate the equivalent of 130,000 meals. Events and activities took place across more than 30 countries, and we donated an estimated 250,000 meals.

Nielsen has committed to donating at least $10 million a year in pro bono skills-based volunteering and Data for Good projects where we can make a unique impact. Our collaboration with ReFED, a nonprofit dedicated to turning problems related to food waste into new opportunities for innovation and impact, is one example of how we’re taking action. We are donating five years of Nielsen food pricing and purchase data to help ReFED launch their ReFED Insights Engine, a digital-first, continuously updated platform to house the next generation of data and insights on food waste. 

“We are so grateful to Nielsen for this generous in-kind support to further ReFED’s efforts to reduce food waste in the U.S.,” said Caroline Powell, Data and Insights Director, ReFED. “American consumers, businesses and farms spend $218 billion a year, or 1.3% of GDP, growing, processing, transporting and disposing of food that is never eaten. Meanwhile, one in seven Americans is food insecure. With Nielsen data, ReFED will be able to develop the Insights Engine, the next generation of data, insights and guidance on food waste in the U.S. By tracking the amount of food waste that is happening over time and why, the Insights Engine will enable stakeholders across the food system to identify the most effective and practical solutions to reduce food waste at a level of detail that wasn’t possible until now.”

We’re also using our data to help shape a smarter market that delivers for consumers. Our long-standing relationship with Feeding America, a nationwide network of food banks providing support for more than 40 million people facing hunger in America, is one way in which we’re involved on this front. Since 2010, Nielsen has shared millions of dollars worth of food pricing information on a pro bono basis to help Feeding America address food insecurity via its annual Map the Meal Gap study. Nielsen data helps power Map the Meal Gap findings in order to help food banks and anti-hunger advocates understand the challenges facing food-insecure families in their communities, as well as better communicate the level of need in each county and congressional district in the U.S.

Nielsen’s work with Feeding America extends beyond sharing data as well. Just last month, Nielsen donated 75 thousand meals to the nonprofit hunger-relief organization as a part of its Personal People Meter (PPM) panelist initiative. The initiative encouraged Nielsen panelists across the U.S. to wear the PPM technology, which helps collect persons-level data surrounding content consumption and media behaviors, across a two week period. For each day a panelist successfully wore their PPM, Nielsen donated meals to Feeding America, with each panelist being able to help donate up to 14 meals to people facing hunger. By forging partnerships with Feeding America to donate meals and provide data, Nielsen is able to help address the issues of hunger across the country on multiple fronts.

More information about Nielsen’s Data for Good efforts can be found in our most recent Nielsen Global Responsibility Report.