The John Deere Foundation on Wednesday announced a $1 million donation to World Food Program USA. The donation is being made “to combat global food insecurity and address the staggering rise of acute hunger exacerbated by the crisis in Ukraine,” the foundation said in a press release. Half of the grant will support the global humanitarian work of the United Nations World Food Programme, with the other half going to the organization’s Innovation Accelerator, which sources, supports and scales high-impact innovations to fight hunger.

“At John Deere, we are committed to helping feed the world and understand the important role of innovative technologies and business models in achieving that goal,” said John C. May, chairman and CEO of Deere & Co. and chairman of the John Deere Foundation. “This investment in the World Food Program, and in its Innovation Accelerator, holds the promise of helping end hunger today and in the future.”

Last year, approximately 193 million people in 53 countries or territories experienced severe levels of hunger, an increase of nearly 25% compared with already record numbers in 2020, according to the 2022 Global Report on Food Crises released on Tuesday by World Food Program USA.

“We are grateful to the John Deere Foundation for their generous support at a time when the world faces a hunger catastrophe on an unprecedented scale,” said Barron Segar, president and CEO of World Food Program USA. “Private sector partners are vital to helping us feed families in need today and advancing innovation that can save lives in the future.”  

This award builds on recent grants from the John Deere Foundation to World Food Program USA, including a $250,000 gift earlier in 2022 to support humanitarian relief in Ukraine and the surrounding region, and a $500,000 investment in 2021 to support the WFP Innovation Accelerator.  

"Together with John Deere's support, the WFP Innovation Accelerator positively impacted the lives of 9 million people — including 2.2 million smallholder farmers — in 2021,” said Hila Cohen, head of business development and chief of staff at the UN World Food Programme Innovation Accelerator. “We will continue to build this unique, SDG [sustainable development goals]-focused partnership by investing in innovations aimed at disrupting hunger and bringing projects to scale for maximum impact."

John Deere employees have also supported WFP through its “ShareTheMeal” crowdfunding app. With the support of the John Deere Foundation’s employee giving programs, John Deere employees have helped donate more than 88,600 meals to fight global hunger in 2022.

Iowa Stops Hunger is a yearlong Business Publications Corp. initiative to bring awareness and action to food insecurity in Iowa. Read additional stories on