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Wednesday October 16, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Wednesday October 16, 2013 MYT 8:42:39 AM
by lee mei li
Spreading the love: With Michael Kors is Halle Berry, who said that being a mother inspired her to act on behalf of hungry children, because hunger often starts in the womb.
As we celebrate World Food Day today, let’s take a look at Michael Kors’ fight against hunger.
MOST of us have an inkling of what we’re going to have for lunch or dinner. But did you know that there are roughly 842 million people worldwide who have no idea where their next meal is coming from?
While acute hunger or starvation is often highlighted in the news, a less visible form of hunger – daily undernourishment – is in fact more globally widespread. In the United States, one in five children goes hungry every day, to the point of losing all desire to play and study.
A hungry mind cannot concentrate – the body compensates for the lack of energy by slowing down its physical and mental activities. Battling growling stomachs, some must live for weeks, even months, on significantly less than the recommended 2,100 calories which the average person needs to lead a healthy life. Just like that, seven million children die before reaching the age of five each year, with malnutrition as a key factor over a third of these deaths.
In a move to fight global hunger, designer Michael Kors has teamed up with the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) to help raise awareness and funds about the cause. First established in 1961, WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian organisation addressing hunger, bringing food to more than 90 million people (about 58 million of whom are children) in over 75 countries.
Fighting hunger has long been a passion of Kors, who has for over 20 years worked with the non-profit organisation God’s Love We Deliver in the New York area, providing free, healthy food for men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other serious illnesses.
“I’m a guy who likes to see results. And ... this is a solvable problem. The food is there. You can change someone’s life immediately and with the World Food Programme. We’re talking about doing what I’ve been doing in my backyard, but globally,” Kors, 54, said in an interview with CNN.
According to the WFP, US$50 (RM160.30) will feed a child for an entire school year and a mere US$5 (RM16) can feed a child in Africa for a month. This simple yet alarming fact has prompted Kors to design a watch in hopes of raising money for the programme.
The couturier’s Watch Hunger Stop campaign sees the sale of four special-edition 100 series watches (available for RM1,199 at Michael Kors in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur and 1 Utama, Petaling Jaya), where a portion of the proceeds from each watch goes into delivering 100 meals to hungry children through the WFP.
“I wanted something that was direct,” Kors explained. “You look at your watch, every time it says the 100 series watch, so you’re reminded that there’s the 100 meals. How fantastic is that? I’m not a scientist, you know, I’m a fashion designer. I wouldn’t claim to be able to figure out a cure for an incurable disease. But I know we can make a difference with this.”
In conjunction with World Food Day today, visitors to any one of the six Michael Kors’ participating stores in New York, Berlin, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Rio de Janeiro will receive a free “Watch Hunger Stop” T-shirt (while stocks last) and have their pictures taken at a specially-designed photo booth. A live streaming of the images will then appear on several digital billboards in Times Square, New York.
In Malaysia, the label has teamed up with celebrities Carmen Soo, Sheila Majid, Mizz Nina, Lisa Surihani, Elaine Daly, Tengku Zatasha and Tengku Jamidah, to name a few, to help raise awareness for the cause.
Not surprisingly, the vast majority of hungry people live in developing regions, while 15.7 million live in developed countries. The WFP is working towards the internationally agreed-upon target of halving the proportion of hungry people by 2015, though the goal is seemingly still out of reach at a global level.
To do your part to help, the public is invited to join in the discussion on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #WatchHungerStop.
Kors has brought Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry on board to champion for the cause. Berry, who recently delivered a baby boy, her first child with husband Olivier Martinez, said that being a mother inspired her to act on behalf of hungry children because hunger often starts in the womb. The star, who will appear in X-Men: Days of Future Past next year, also has a daughter, Nahla, five, with her ex-boyfriend, model Gabriel Aubry.
Aside from the WFP, Berry has been involved in many worthy causes throughout the years – from helping victims of domestic abuse through her support of the Jenesse Center in Los Angeles to raising money for cancer research as a Revlon Global Brand Ambassador. In 2009, she was honoured with Love Our Children USA “Mothers Who Make A Difference” award. Through the WFP, the mother is hoping to raise awareness and change the lives of thousands of women and children around the world.
“Statistics show that women play a crucial role in defeating hunger. The World Food Programme is especially focused on providing assistance to women because, as mothers, teachers, and entrepreneurs, they will improve the future for their families and communities. It’s an effort I’m eager to be a part of because I’m certain we can make a real and substantial difference in the lives of people in need,” said Berry.
*Hashtag your messages with #WatchHungerStop to help spread the word. Remember, just US$5 (RM16) can feed a child for a whole month. Donations can be made at WatchHungerStop.com.
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Lifestyle, Michael Kors, Watch Hunger Stop, Halle Berry
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