NEW YORK, Oct. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, on World Food Day, WW International, Inc. (NASDAQ: WW), a global wellness company powered by the world's leading commercial weight management program, with WW Good, its charitable foundation, and alongside its leading partners, announced the Healthy Living Coalition, an alliance for action and solutions focused on improving food systems and helping close nutrition gaps that disproportionately impact underserved communities. As part of its mission, the Healthy Living Coalition aims to activate 100 new corporate voices and resources in its first year towards shared solutions and goals that tackle this crisis.
The private and non-profit sector leaders, alongside experts and voices from business, science, and local communities, will join forces to drive progress under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals with a particular focus on its goal of Zero Hunger. By investing resources to accelerate innovative solutions, the Healthy Living Coalition will focus on:
- Improving availability of nutritious food by making good food available, accessible and affordable to underserved communities, partnering with organizations on the front lines, and creating new infrastructure that gets good food to communities who need it the most.
- Making nutritious food a priority by providing nutrition education and resources for healthy living to people in need, and partnering with companies that drive systemic change.
Last year, an estimated 25.9%1 of the global population experienced moderate to severe food insecurity, living without regular access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food. The current global pandemic has magnified underlying inequities in access to nutritious food. It is also expected to increase levels of malnutrition in all forms - from nutritional deficiency to obesity - across the most vulnerable households2. Malnutrition is making these groups more susceptible to the devastating effects of COVID-193. In the US, 1 in 9 people4 lived in food-insecure households in 2019, and according to Feeding America, that number could rise to 1 to 6 people5 as a result of the pandemic.
Within the first 60 days, the HLC will conduct a review of its members' impact and set measurable benchmarks for success, which will be updated with the ongoing addition of new partners. Member companies and organizations aim to accelerate the democratization of healthy living and the provision of good food for those in need by:
- Providing direct relief in the form of financial or brand resources to those struggling with nutrition insecurity.
- Joining or starting a campaign to educate the public of the issues surrounding malnutrition and food insecurity, and raise awareness of solutions and ways to help.
- Providing strategy and scale to new solutions that create equitable access to good food.
- Developing a unified set of principles that helps businesses globally measure their impact on The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of achieving Zero Hunger.
"At WW, we believe that healthy living is a human right and that everyone deserves access to basic nutrition," said Mindy Grossman, CEO of WW. "Our global promise is to help those in need and continue our commitment to democratize wellness but we recognize that we can't do it alone. As a company built on the power of community, we have the responsibility to work together to break down barriers of access and become a pipeline for solutions to collectively impact the health trajectory of the world."
"I'm excited to see the launch of the Healthy Living Coalition. It brings a new and diverse set of voices and actors committed to accelerating action on SDG2. SDG2 promises good food for all by 2030 and we have a very long way to go to get there. SDG2 advocacy, strengthened by new disruptive players and a strong evidence-base, can drive the scale of change we need to transform our food systems to deliver Good Food for All." said Paul Newnham, Director of the SDG2 Advocacy Hub.
"Lack of access to nutritious food is among the most inequitable realities for all Americans, and the health consequences are dire," said Tracey D. Brown, CEO of the American Diabetes Association. "If you live with food insecurity, you are 50 percent more likely to have diabetes. The effects of the pandemic make it urgent that we attack this problem, as millions of additional adults and children are finding themselves without access to healthy food. Through this partnership we can change the trajectory, fight for the health of our communities and address the diabetes epidemic by nourishing those in need."
"The health of people and our planet has never been more top of mind. At Beyond Meat, we're focused on providing delicious, nutritious plant-based meat without GMOs or bioengineered ingredients, and we're proud to be a part of the Healthy Living Coalition as a means to bring healthier options to consumers worldwide," said Stuart Kronauge, Chief Marketing Officer, Beyond Meat.
"At Bright Health, we serve a diverse and sometimes vulnerable population that may not always have access to good food when they need it. We know first-hand the impact that high-quality nutrition has on overall health and are proud to further our commitment to supporting healthy communities through this partnership," said Tom Valdivia, M.D., Chief Health Officer and Co-founder, Bright Health.
"Hunger is fast becoming a pandemic within a pandemic. Government alone cannot fix the problem nor can we solely rely on nonprofits and NGOs. Business must do their part, whether you make food or widgets or are in the service sector. Doesn't matter, all of us have a role to play in building stronger communities and feeding more people in need," said Peter McGuinness, President & Chief Operating Officer, Chobani. "And this is the goal of the Healthy Living Coalition. Hunger is a global problem with real local needs – even if you can't reach around the globe, you can start by helping the hungry in your own backyard. We need everyone's help."
"COVID-19 has exacerbated hunger for many of Feeding America's neighbors. Our projections indicate that 1 in 6 people in America will face food insecurity this year, some for the first time. Through the formation of the Healthy Living Coalition, we are energized to see companies commit to addressing hunger and generate solutions that help everyone lead active, healthy lives, because we know we cannot end hunger alone," said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO, Feeding America.
"Americans aspire to lead healthier lives, but they struggle to do so because healthy choices are rarely the most enjoyable, available, or satisfying choices. Our focus on water's role in health so thoroughly drives everything we do, I really think of it now as a cause," said Kara Goldin, Founder and CEO, Hint Inc.
"We are honored to join the Healthy Living Coalition to offer our resources, network and ideas to help tackle the pressing challenge of food insecurity," said Erik Oken, Global Head of Consumer and Retail Investment Banking, JPMorgan Chase.
"Every day at Lineage Logistics we live our company's purpose to transform the food supply chain to eliminate waste and help feed the world. We are pleased to join the Healthy Living Coalition and partner with leading corporations from around the globe to help drive awareness and connect people in need to nutritious food," said Greg Lehmkhul, CEO, Lineage Logistics.
"We are honored to be a founding member of the Healthy Living Coalition," said Tim Leiweke, CEO, Oak View Group. "We, too, believe in the importance of developing balanced eating habits and know that introducing even more nutritious food options in our arenas will make an immeasurable health impact for fans in the communities we serve."
"Pret A Manger's mission is simple. To serve freshly prepared food and good organic coffee, while also trying to do the right thing. Ever since Pret opened the doors of its first shop in London in 1986, we have been donating our unsold food to help feed those in need at the end of each day. What started out as a handful of sandwiches has now grown to over 6 million food items in 2019, and that's thanks to our charity and food rescue partners around the world. We're proud to support the Healthy Living Coalition to help broaden access to sustainably sourced (and delicious) food for all communities and to continue the fight against food insecurity around the world," said Pano Christou, Chief Executive Officer, Pret A Manger.
"This is a unique opportunity to come together not just as brands but as people to be a catalyst for good and help combat food insecurity at a larger scale," said Niren Chaudhary, CEO, Panera Bread. "At Panera, we believe in making great food accessible to all - we're proud to join the Healthy Living Coalition to step up together to be part of the solution."
"The shared challenges we are facing in this unprecedented time truly clarify the importance of health and wellness for all of us—as well as the urgent responsibility we have to help one another. The Vitamin Shoppe has long been committed to helping people become their best selves, and equitable access to quality nutrition, including essential nutrients, is a fundamental aspect of that mission. Now is the time to accelerate our industry's collective imperative to combat malnutrition at every level and we are proud to help lead this meaningful effort," said Sharon Leite, CEO, The Vitamin Shoppe.
"Wholesome Wave supports the Healthy Living Coalition because millions of Americans suffer every day from nutrition insecurity as a result of hunger. At Wholesome Wave, we believe that healthy living for those with low income is not just about providing more food, it's about providing the right food — food that has the power to promote and restore good health!" said Michel Nischan, Founder & CEO, Wholesome Wave.
"WWE is proud to join the Healthy Living Coalition in an effort to combat malnutrition and food insecurity, and provide the necessary education and resources for individuals around the world to be able to eat right and live a healthy life," said Stephanie McMahon, Chief Brand Officer, WWE.
"WhyHunger believes that nutritious food is a human right and hunger is a solvable problem. As the COVID-19 pandemic leaves millions more people struggling to access healthy food, it is more important than ever that we come together with like-minded organizations, companies and consumers to move the needle beyond charity to strike at the root causes of hunger. The time for business as usual is up. Let's transform our food system through social, racial and economic justice to build a just, hunger free world," said Noreen Springstead, Executive Director, WhyHunger.
You can visit healthylivingcoalition.org to learn more about the Healthy Living Coalition.
About WW International, Inc.
WW – Weight Watchers reimagined – is a global wellness company powered by the world's leading commercial weight management program. We inspire millions of people to adopt healthy habits for real life. Through our engaging tech-enabled experience and face-to-face group workshops, members follow our livable and sustainable program of healthy eating, physical activity, and a helpful mindset. Leveraging more than five decades of experience in building inspired communities and our deep expertise in behavioral science, we aim to democratize wellness and to deliver wellness for all. To learn more about the WW approach to healthy living, please visit ww.com. For more information about our global business, visit our corporate website at corporate.ww.com.
About WW Good
WW Good is a registered 501c3 with global social impact that helps underserved communities get healthier by encouraging the development of healthy habits for life. For more information about WW Good and how to get involved, please visit: www.ww.com/WWGood.
1 FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP and WHO. (2020). The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2020. Transforming food systems for affordable healthy diets. Rome, FAO.
2 FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP and WHO. (2020). The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2020. Transforming food systems for affordable healthy diets. Rome, FAO.
3 CDC. (2020, August 10). COVID-19 Associated Hospitalization Related to Underlying Medical Conditions
4Coleman-Jensen, Alisha, Matthew P. Rabbitt, Christian A. Gregory, and Anita Singh. 2020. Household Food Security in the United States in 2019, ERR-275, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
5Hake, M., E. Engelhard, A. Dewey, C. Gundersen (2020). The Impact of the Coronavirus on Food Insecurity [Brief series]. Available from Feeding America: https://www.feedingamerica.org/research/coronavirus-hunger-research
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