I’ve always had a passion for helping people. I started my career as a social worker, helping disadvantaged kids. This was an amazing opportunity, but I knew I wanted to help people in a different way.
The idea came to me in 2000 on one of my many hikes in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Colorado. What if I could combine all of the dried fruits and nuts I was eating on my hikes into a snack bar that was convenient but tasty and wholesome? In that instant Larabar was born.
I created Larabar because I believe that real food should be accessible for all, and that the foundation of a sound mind, body and spirit is derived from what you eat. I also believe that what you eat is most delicious and satisfying when it's in a whole, natural state. The success of Larabar is a testament to others sharing that same belief and I’m excited to expand the accessibility of real food through our partnership with Feeding America® at a critical time. The holiday giving season has come to a close, which can leave food banks in need of more support for the millions of Americans who struggle with hunger.
As part of this partnership, I recently had the privilege to visit and volunteer at The Bowery Mission, a meal distribution program within the Feeding America network in New York City, with host and star of “The Real Girl’s Kitchen,” Haylie Duff. James Winans, chief development officer, gave us a tour of their amazing operation, then we joined their community for lunch service. It felt really good to give back to the community and with the help of Larabar fans across the country, we hope to do even more.
Larabar and Feeding America hope everyone will #ShareRealFood in their own community by:
- Donating to your local Feeding America food bank
- Volunteering at a local Feeding America member food bank
- Sharing a hunger fact on social media
- Learning more about how hunger affects people in your community
- Don’t forget to #ShareRealFood on your social media, snap and share a photo or video describing your experience and tag @larabar.
I encourage everyone to get out there and join the fight to end hunger.
*Lara Merriken is the founder of LÄRABAR.