A South Whidbey-based nonprofit’s far reaching influence can be found on grocery store shelves this summer in a popular summer snack sold by international ice cream maker Ben &Jerry’s.
Partners for Youth Empowerment, founded by Langley resident Peggy Taylor, has collaborated with Ben &Jerry’s to release a limited edition ice cream flavor in the United States as a way to raise funds for a program founded by the organization. A portion of the proceeds from the new flavor will fully fund the nonprofit’s Jamaica youth empowerment camp, which was cofounded with The Bob Marley Foundation.
“Locals can support a local nonprofit through their choice of summer treat,” said Helena Hennighausen, the organization’s U.S. director . “The program and partnerships have been a success, and support from Ben &Jerry’s continues as the flavor is now being offered across U.S. markets.”
The flavor, called “One Love,” is expected to hit the shelves at The Goose in Bayview “later this week.” Hennighausen said she intends to reach out to other grocers on the island in the next few weeks to push the new ice cream flavor.
It will be sold throughout the U.S. and is already sold in Europe.
“One Love” blends banana ice cream with caramel and graham cracker swirls and peace sign-shaped chunks of fudge.
It’s a pint with a cause.
The program it benefits is one The Bob Marley Foundation and Partners for Youth Empowerment set up outside of Kingston, Jamaica in the St. Ann Parish. Based off a model Taylor’s nonprofit pioneers that focuses on youth empowerment through creative expression, the program has previously been funded through the flavor as it was sold exclusively in the United Kingdom. The flavor was such a success under the name “Satisfy My Bowl,” that it’s now it’s being sold under the name “One Love” stateside.
“The proceeds from the ice cream will allow the program to continue to give youth in Jamaica a safe space for creative expression so they can be engaged with and connected to something,” Hennighausen said. “For many of these kids, this camp may be the first time they’ve taken a risk or expressed themselves. They develop their voice and confidence.”
The collaboration between the Langley nonprofit, The Bob Marley Foundation and Ben &Jerry’s sparked when the Marley foundation was looking submissions for ways to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Bob Marley’s “Legend” album. Taylor’s organization submitted the idea of establishing a camp for undeserved youth in Jamaica and was selected out of more than 30 submissions.
The Bob Marley Foundation was already partners with Ben &Jerry’s, so the introduction of an ice cream flavor to fund the program followed.
The youth program is one of numerous started by Partners for Youth Empowerment around the globe. The organization is currently in the process of turning the program over to local partners in Jamaica since they have a better grasp of the community. However, Hennighausen says the nonprofit will remain involved from a distance.
“We try to do as much capacity building as we can so we can step away eventually,” Hennighausen said. “It’s about empowering those communities, and the fact that a nonprofit on the island can make this kind of difference is inspiring and fills me with pride.”