Did you know that one third of all childhood deaths are caused by undernutrition and that an estimated 190 million children suffer from vitamin A deficiency worldwide? A simple, cost-effective vitamin A capsule each six months can prevent blindness and reduce under-five mortality by 23 percent. Whole Foods Market’s latest podcast shares the story of Vitamin Angels, an organization that is profoundly changing the lives of children around the world by connecting children under age five with vital nutrients they need to survive and thrive.
To raise awareness of Vitamin Angels, Whole Foods Market will donate $1 for the first 5,000 people that share their thoughts in response to the Viva Vitamin Angels podcast in November. To listen to the podcast and share your thoughts, click here.
A little more information on Vitamin Angels: Vitamin Angels was founded through the vision and passion of natural products industry veteran Howard Schiffer.
* Vitamin Angels began in 1994 when Howard Schiffer realized that his supplement knowledge and industry experience could be teamed with the logistics of and relationships with relief agencies to make a big impact in the developing world.
* Howard developed a mantra – “What you don’t know can be your greatest ally” – after he learned that vitamin A could help prevent a child from going blind and that 1/3 of all child and maternal deaths were due to chronic malnutrition.
* The children who benefit the most from Vitamin Angels’ work are the ones who are most vulnerable: children under five years old, who are living in rural areas in extreme poverty, and who no one else is reaching.
* In 2010, Vitamin Angels is reaching 20 million children in 40 countries (including the US) and is literally saving children’s lives every day.
The work of Vitamin Angels helps children thrive, not just survive, and includes two powerful programs:
- Most of the children who are born in the developing world today will never reach their full intellectual or structural capacity from the day they are born, due to the chronic malnutrition of their mothers before they were even conceived. Thrive to Five is a domestic and international program to get children’s multivitamins to children under five years old, and prenatal vitamins to pregnant women as early in their pregnancy as possible.
- The damage that gets done before a child is 2 years old is often irreversible. Conversely, getting to the children early enough can have a profound impact on the rest of their lives. Operation 20/20 focuses on getting vitamin A to children under age five around the world. Two high-dose vitamin A per child per year (at a total cost of 25 cents per child) will increase survival rates by 23%!
There are a variety of ways to provide support to Vitamin Angels:
* Choose supplements from brands at Whole Foods Market that donate a portion of sales and/or nutrients to the programs.
* Visit www.vitaminangels.org to learn more about the children, sign up for the monthly newsletter, check out personal fundraising pages, or join the marathon team.
Vitamin Angels strives for strong growth to reach as many children as possible:
* In the next three years, Vitamin Angels will reach 50 million children.
* In the next 5-10 years, they will reach 100 million children, which will be the majority of children who no one else is reaching and are the most in need.