Hunger isn’t glamorous, but Michael Kors and Halle Berry are using the power of fashion and Hollywood to help the U.N. World Food Programme provide meals for children around the world.
Thursday is World Food Day, but the celebrities are rallying support all month long to raise funds for WFP’s School Meals program with the #WatchHungerStop campaign.
The issue of hunger has been an important one for designer Michael Kors for decades. He started his charity work in New York in the late 1980s with God’s Love We Deliver, a nonprofit organization that provides nutritious meals to seriously ill people.
“We want to see zero hunger in the world … so we still have a ways to go,” says Michael Kors. “I think you can be optimistic; you can have fun; you can be compassionate, and you can be chic all at the same time.”
Photo Courtesy of Michael Kors
And as the Kors fashion empire grew so did the designer’s mission.
“I think the amazing thing about the hunger initiative with the World Food Programme is that everyone has the possibility to pitch in,” Kors says. “You don’t have to be wealthy. You don’t have to be a certain age. You don’t have to live in a certain geographical area. Everyone can really contribute.”
Kors started the #WatchHungerStop campaign with the World Food Programme in early 2013 and brought on Berry a few months later.
“She’s a great mother, a terrific human being and a great actress. She is very glamorous also,” Kors says. “She does the whole thing and makes it look effortless. We want to spread the word that anyone can make a difference.”
As of July, #WatchHungerStop has provided 5 million meals to children, and Kors says the campaign wants to continue to “make some more noise” about hunger.
Over the summer, Berry visited a WFP site in Nicaragua, the second-poorest nation in the Americas.
Children seemed to be the driving force behind Berry’s journey to Central America. There, she saw firsthand how the WFP’s School Meals program works in an area suffering from a failed coffee crop.
Photo Courtesy of Michael Kors
“It was incredibly moving,” Berry says in an e-mail forwarded to the WFP. “It’s hard to describe the mix of emotions you feel — sadness, certainly, to sit and talk with children who don’t get the nutrition they need to grow. But also respect and admiration for their families and communities, who do so much for them.”
“There’s a great sense of hope, because this is something that’s working. And then there’s joy, real joy, because these kids are full of joy,” says the actress, who has two children.
“Halle was very humble, very quiet and really came to learn. She was visibly touched by seeing the poverty firsthand,” says the WFP’s Bettina Luescher, who traveled with the star to Nicaragua.
Making a difference with $5 and a watch
Kors and Berry have helped tremendously with the #WatchHungerStop campaign, according to the World Food Programme.
“They are so creative and have such fantastic ideas. Not only do they fund-raise … but they have brought massive awareness in the fight against world hunger,” Luescher says.
That creativity starts in a Michael Kors store with the 100 Series watch. For every watch sold, 100 meals are donated to the World Food Programme.