To celebrate World Oral Health Day on March 20 and put Mars Wrigley’s Better Moments, More Smiles purpose in action, the Mars Wrigley Foundation announced $1.5 million in grant funding to provide oral care treatment and education for underserved communities around the world.
“As a purpose and principles-driven business, we believe in the power of better moments that make the world smile,” said Andrew Clarke, Global President of Mars Wrigley. “We’re thrilled with the Mars Wrigley Foundation’s continued efforts to create happier, healthier smiles across the world by connecting partners and helping to care for the communities where we have the privilege to live and work.”
As a 10-year partner in providing oral care to those with limited access, the Mars Wrigley Foundation will continue to support Save the Children with a $700K commitment. Since 2011, Save the Children and the Mars Wrigley Foundation have reached 2.4 million children, parents, teachers and oral health workers, and have delivered over 500,000 oral health services in six countries.
“In honour of World Oral Health Day, Save the Children thanks the Mars Wrigley Foundation for 10 years of partnership and support of our school health and nutrition programs around the world,” said Save the Children Chief Development Officer Luciana Bonifacio. “We look forward to building on the work the Mars Wrigley Foundation has helped make possible. Together, we are working to achieve lasting local and global impact for the world’s most vulnerable children, enabling them to stay in school and reach their full potential.”
Since 2010, the Mars Wrigley Foundation has reached more than 6.5 million individuals through investments in oral health, including its signature Healthier Smiles grant program. These grants have enabled national dental associations with the networks to provide underserved populations access to treatment, education and screening programs.
As one of the leading indicators of overall health according to the World Health Organization, oral health is among the leading health issues affecting school age children around the world. Oral diseases affect nearly 3.5 billion people, often leading to pain, discomfort, social isolation, loss of self-confidence, lost hours at work or school, and are linked to other serious health issues. With the pandemic, patient visits to the dentist are down 15 to 20 percent compared to normal.
This year, seven organizations with significant reach in countries including the U.S., Australia, China, Germany, Ireland and New Zealand were selected to continue the Foundation’s mission at a time when access to oral health care is challenged by the impacts of the pandemic.
For more information, please visit www.marswrigleyfoundation.com.