The Collegian
Monday, August 15, 2022

Campus gets option to help end hunger with Two Degrees bars

Two Degrees Food, which is built on a one-for-one model, has started making its way to college campuses all across the nation and has grown more popular since the company started in 2010.

As stated on its website, "for every Two Degrees bar you buy, we donate a meal to a hungry child."

Junior Rob Kolowich, the campus marketing director for the company, said that he had first heard of it on Facebook and instantly wanted to get involved. He is one of 68 campus directors helping to spread the word about the bars and the mission of the company.

"The idea is that there are two degrees of separation between you and a starving child," Kolowich said. "It empowers you to make a difference by just going to the store and buying a nutrition bar. You directly impact them by buying that bar."

Inspired by the success of TOMS, which donates a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair sold, Kolowich said that Two Degrees gave a ready-to-use nutrition pack to a starving child in a developing country for every bar sold. So far, this high protein, high calorie, peanut buttery paste that is very rich in nutrients has been sent to Somalia, Haiti, Malawi and Kenya, he said.

Kolowich said that he knew of a lot of non-profit organizations that had done something similar, but that it was not often that one saw a business using its profits to help world hunger.

"I think it is a really interesting idea to use a business to directly make an impact on this world issue," he said, "and I knew that getting involved would be a cool experience."

Hilary Burke, who works on the operations team for Two Degrees, said it was the first buy one, give one food company, and everyone had been very supportive of that model.

"The public loves our bars," she said. "We have constantly been getting feedback about the amazing taste of our bars."

Kolowich said that, up to this point, the company had sold approximately 450,000 bars, but was set on selling many more.

"They definitely set the bar high," he said of the goal to ultimately sell 200 million bars. "They are optimists, to say the least."

At the beginning of this semester, Kolowich said he sold the bars to ETC and had run out within three weeks. He said he was trying to sort out a deal between Two Degrees and ETC, so it could order directly from the company for a lower price, and he was hoping that the bars would be back on the shelves at the beginning of next year.

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"Pretty much everyone I talk to think it's a really cool idea," he said. "I did a sampling outside ETC and had people fill out a survey and got overwhelmingly good responses. Two Degrees created a bar that is good enough for people to want to buy and do so for a good cause. I am just making sure that people know about it."

There are currently four flavors: chocolate peanut, cherry almond, apple pecan and chocolate banana, but Burke said that the company was working on a new line of protein bars that would come out at some point this year, which would also adhere to the buy one, give one model.

Kolowich said that the bars were all-natural, gluten-free and vegan and were healthy, while still tasting good.

Burke said: "Personally, I love the bars. They taste great, are made from real ingredients, and aren't dry or sticky like many bars on the market. On a professional level, I love the bars. We strive to have the best product possible made from the best ingredients available."

The bars are sold at Whole Foods, Barnes and Noble, local grocery stores, gyms, yoga studios and now on college campuses, said Kolowich. Burke said the company recently lowered the price of the bars significantly, from a standard price of $2.49 to $1.99 at most locations.

"Awareness of Two Degrees is growing day by day," she said. "We have a very strong network of college students on about 70 campuses, a fantastic community online, and very loyal supporters of both our products and our mission."

See Two Degrees Food's website at www.twodegreesfood.com.

Contact staff writer Charlotte Brackett at Charlotte.brackett@richmond.edu

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