Meet Feeding Matters, one of SVPAZ’s Refuel Investees
Children not eating or limiting what and how they eat their daily meals. Drastic weight loss, deficiencies, or other correlated health issues. A dire need for support for family members, specifically parents. All of the above are aspects of a developmental disability called Pediatric Feeding Disorder (PFD) impacting millions of children each year. However, this common disorder is often dismissed by parents and even doctors due to a lack of awareness or experience with it. This is why non-profit Investee, Feeding Matters, works to help uplift this issue and raise the profile of PFD. As one of Social Venture Partners’ 2021-2022 Refuel Investees, Feeding Matters will receive one year of our Partners’ time and talent to strengthen the organization and build their capacity.
SVPAZ spoke to Feeding Matters’ CEO, Jaclyn Pederson, to share more about their recent developments and how our Partners can help make an impact on this organization, and its success in aiding children and their caretakers. Feeding Matters’ mission is to further advances in PFD by accelerating identification, igniting research, and promoting collaborative care for children and families. These may seem like ambitious goals, but Feeding Matters themselves were the catalysts in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recent approval of PFD as a stand-alone diagnostic code (R code) in the latest edition of the U.S. International Classification of Diseases (ICD) (October 1, 2021). This was an incredible feat for the organization to achieve and an overall success for the many children and families impacted by PFD.
With this achievement, Feeding Matters hopes to extend their scope as an organization. While in the past this organization has primarily interacted with the Arizona community, the need for PFD awareness and resources is nationwide. This adjustment in vision and scale leaves our Refuel Investee in a state of transition, where pivoting has become essential. Feeding Matters’ relationship with SVPAZ has been longstanding, as it was a full-time Investee from 2001 through 2005. Throughout this initial partnership, SVPAZ enabled the organization to re-focus its mission and organize its capacity for carrying it out following a name change and organization-wide shift. When describing the 2001 relationship, Jaclyn stated, “In years past, SVPAZ was integral to our executive team’s growth and the overall brand strategy of our organization. This capacity investment set Feeding Matters up for success and we’ve since had many years of growth.” Similar to the current pivot, in 2001, Feeding Matters was able to call on experienced SVPAZ Partners to help reshape the vision for the organization.
Fast forward to 2022, and Partner, Alicia Moura, has been aiding the Feeding Matters team in developing the strategic changes necessary to increase awareness of the disease on a national level. Jaclyn, on Alicia’s involvement, “Alicia Moura has already been a phenomenal asset to our organization and we are still at the beginning of our refuel opportunity. She works with me on strategic areas surrounding our awareness and communications efforts. She is helping us build an unstoppable team and truly has what’s best for Feeding Matters in mind. I cannot say enough great things about her!” Alicia has been working with Jaclyn to improve the brand identity, media strategy, and nationwide messaging.
This leads us to the question of how can other SVPAZ’s Partners help or get involved with Feeding Matters? For any organization, that action step really makes all the difference and in our conversation with CEO Jaclyn, she explained that “sharing the knowledge via social channels” is truly essential when it comes to PFD awareness. She notes that we never truly know who may be seeing our social media posts and how it may be an individual’s first opportunity to learn about why their child/family is struggling. It is a simple enough task for anyone passionate about improving the health and wellness of children to follow, like, and share Feeding Matters’ social media posts. As connection and community are vital aspects of SVPAZ, Jaclyn hopes that current Partners may also be invested in growing the impact of Feeding Matters on a national scale and willing to connect the team with their networks or resources outside of Arizona. As Jaclyn stated, “ Now that Feeding Matters has accomplished the creation and acknowledgment of our code for PFD, we need to capitalize and are currently grappling with questions such as ‘How do we grow intentionally?’ and ‘How can we portray the need and urgency for raising awareness of this issue that is now a valid condition?’ It is wonderful to be able to count on SVPAZ and their Partners as we work through these strategic discussions.”
We can’t wait to see what else we can do together this year!” Refuel Investee, Feeding Matters, will be partnered with SVPAZ for the remainder of the 2022 year, and we have great plans in store for Partner involvement opportunities. As Social Venture Partners Arizona focuses on making children successful in our three focus areas, Feeding Matters is a great example of a health & wellness nonprofit that we support. If you would like to be part of Feeding Matters’ Refuel year with SVPAZ, contact us now by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. To read more about what we did with Feeding Matters in their time as a full Investee, click here. To read more about PFD advocacy in action, click here.