The Origin Story of Celebrity-Backed Social Startup This Saves Lives

This Saves Lives logo.

There is no shortage of celebrity brands for fans to flock to; however, there are far fewer brands that are founded by an all-star group of celebrities with the intention of making a positive impact on the world around them — This Saves Lives is one of them. 

Fighting Hunger: One Bar at a Time

Founded by Kristen Bell, Ryan Devlin, Ravi Patel, and Todd Grinnell, This Saves Lives is a food and beverage startup that aims to fight child hunger through social entrepreneurship. This is the story of how an unlikely group of celebrities decided to use their stardom for good.

It all started with a trip to Liberia. Two of the startup’s founders, Ryan Devlin and Todd Grinnell, came face-to-face with children suffering from severe acute malnutrition. Meaning, not only are they hungry, but their bodies are severely lacking critical nutrients that are necessary for survival. In fact, as recently as 2019, it was estimated that 47 million children across the globe under the age of five suffer from malnutrition, with 14 million of them suffering from severe acute malnutrition. 

Similar to other social startups such as TOMS shoes, This Saves Lives operates on a buy-to-give model. Consumers who purchase from This Saves Lives provide a much-needed supply of food for underserved communities without proper access to nutritious foods in a matter of weeks. 

Launched by a group of celebrities in 2013, the startup is also known as This Bar Saves Lives. Upon expanding their offerings to include a wider range of products, the startup has more commonly been referred to as This Saves Lives while continuing to further their company mission — to provide food for those who need it most. Since the company’s inception in 2013, they have donated 28 million packets of food to roughly 184,000 people across the globe. The food packets in question are nutrient-dense food packets known as Plumpy'Nut®, a Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) that is designed specifically for rehabilitation of this kind.

A Tasty Treat That Gives Back

The founders of This Saves Lives, in addition to focusing energy and resources on the social aspects of the company, also pay special attention to creating delicious, healthy offerings for their customers in tandem. In fact, their Rice Bars received the Best Rice Bar award from Parent Magazine’s Parent Pantry Awards. Plus, as recently as July 2021, the brand has expanded its distribution to include over 1,200 Kroger banners across the US, which means even more vital resources are being provided to combat hunger across the globe.

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