Feeding the World – One Kernel at a Time

Nov 19, 2020

An Ethiopian administrator collects recipient signatures to document the receipt of their monthly ration of Corn Soy Blend Plus and vegetable oil from the Supplementary Feeding Program for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers or children under 2 years old.

From Africa to Asia to Central America, Wisconsin agriculture helps feed people all over the world.

Sun Prairie, WI – 690 million people worldwide go to bed hungry every night.

It’s a staggering statistic that can seem hard to grasp or feel connected to if you are fortunate enough to not be one of the those 690 million. For perspective, that number is more than double the population of the United States.

In the U.S., many look forward to the upcoming traditional Thanksgiving meal. And, Didion corn products will be a part of it – in breads, muffins, stuffing and, possibly, beer that accompanies afternoon football.

As we prepare to safely celebrate Thanksgiving during this unprecedented time of a pandemic, it’s even more important to remember those less fortunate as COVID-19 worsens food insecurity around the world.

As a supplier of nutrient-rich corn and soy-based foods for countries in need, Didion has partnered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for more than 30 years. The two U.S. agencies distribute the life-saving food to organizations, including the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). WFP has been fighting global hunger since 1962 and has provided meals to 138 million people from 80 countries this year alone. Their work garnered the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize.

“We are honored to partner with organizations like WFP that are making the world a better place and congratulate them on receiving such a high accolade,” said Riley Didion, President of Didion. “Our team takes great pride in knowing that together with WFP, USAID and USDA, we are making an impact in the lives of our neighbors – both near and far.”

Rural Wisconsin Joins the Fight to Help Eradicate Global Hunger and Malnutrition

6,860 miles separate Wisconsin and the Central African Republic. According to WFP, 79 percent of the country’s 4.7 million people live in poverty. This is just one example of need around the globe.

Surrounding Didion’s facilities for about 300 miles are Wisconsin producers who grow a key ingredient in feeding the world’s most vulnerable – corn. In 2019, corn producers harvested over 450 million bushels of corn in the state of Wisconsin. That’s more than 25 billion pounds.

That nutrient-dense corn, along with soybeans, are the foundation for a product called Super Cereal Plus. Super Cereal Plus is a preferred product to treat moderate acute malnutrition in young children aged six months to two years as well as pregnant and breastfeeding women. It is manufactured from heat-treated corn or cornmeal and de-hulled roasted soybeans, nonfat dry milk, sugar, refined soybean oil, vitamins and minerals. Within just four weeks of harvest, Wisconsin corn is on its way to overseas, after meticulous processing in Didion’s new state-of-the-art dry corn mill.

“It’s what gets me out of bed in the morning,” said David Silver, Corporate Controller & USDA Program Manager at Didion. “I am inspired knowing we are helping to grow a stronger next generation by helping to feed children and pregnant and breastfeeding mothers through our work at Didion. They inspire me to want to make our products the best that they can be.”

Here at Didion, we are proud and humbled that, along with our local producers and government partners, we are able to reach beyond our country’s borders to help those who need it the most. Truly putting meaning behind the phrase: together, we make a difference.

About Didion
Didion is home to North America’s newest and most-advanced dry corn mill and co-located ethanol/alcohol facility in Cambria, Wisconsin. A proprietary milling process allows Didion to select the best kernels and the best elements of each corn kernel for food processing, utilizing the remainder for alcohol-based products, like hand-sanitizing liquid. Nurtured with 48 years of passion and technologies, Didion offers a full array of corn products, including brans, flours, grits, meals, pregelatinized ingredients, whole grain, and famine-relief aid. Also, Didion’s research and development team help customize products to meet customer-specific requirements. To learn more about the innovative work the Didion team is doing, visit: didionmilling.com.