MUMBAI: Drew Barrymore, one of the world’s most recognized film stars, announced a personal donation of $1 million on the Oprah Winfrey Show to help the World Food Programme (WFP) feed thousands of school children in Kenya.
"I have seen with my own eyes what a difference a simple cup of nutritious porridge can make in a child’s life. I urge everyone — everywhere — to help WFP ‘Fill the Cup’ for hungry children, and make hunger history", said Barrymore.
This $1 million donation kicks off WFP’s challenge to America to help feed 10 million children for a year.
"We have a dream…to feed another 10 million hungry school children in Africa by Thanksgiving Day," said WFP executive director Josette Sheeran who also appeared on Oprah’s show.
Saying that WFP was "all action — not talk", Barrymore, a WFP Ambassador Against Hunger, has traveled to Kenya twice in two years to see first-hand the impact hunger has on poor children. She is an ardent advocate for WFP school meals that boost children’s chances for health, education and a more promising future. One of the schools Barrymore visited in Kenya is Stara, in Nairobi’s sprawling slums where students say WFP lunches make a real difference.
"Often I come to school without anything to eat. A meal at school helps me because at home we sometimes don’t have any food to eat", said a student at Stara Caroline Okasire.
As part of the Fill the Cup campaign, WFP is seeking $3 billion — just 25 cents a day — to feed 59 million hungry school children in developing countries worldwide for a year.
Sheeran said that school feeding should become a permanent nutritional safety net for children, as it is in the United States and Japan. WFP’s goal is to jump-start these programs, and then hand them over to local communities when they are able.