Before he became a world-class philanthropist, Yank Barry spent nearly 30 years in the music industry, where he was something of a journeyman. He was a singer, songwriter, arranger, producer and publisher. He later became a successful food entrepreneur and executive with Vitapro, producing a dehydrated soy-based meat-replacement product. It was when he was traveling the world for Vitapro that Yank saw people in many parts of the world living in the most appalling conditions imaginable. He really wanted to do something about that, which is why he is now famous for his work in the philanthropic realm. His overwhelming desire is to help people the world had forgotten.
He has done a lot for a lot of people. For example, over the course of the last couple of decades, Yank Barry’s global hunger initiative, Global Village Champions Foundation has served more than one billion meals since Yank, his wife Yvette and numerous friends and philanthropic partners like the late Muhammad Ali, Evander Holyfield, Gary U.S. Bonds and many others founded it in 1995. Yank tends to work closely with NGOs and local charitable agencies all over the world, to find out what they need and then he goes in and tries to provide exactly that. Yes, that’s right; Yank Barry doesn’t just write checks and issue grants; he goes in there himself to make sure people have what they need. He does that even in politically unstable areas where many others would never even go. It is that personal approach that has led to Yank Barry’s three nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize three times.