There could be two billion undernourished people by 2050, according to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. To help tackle this global hunger issue, we recently launched our Nutrition for Zero Hunger initiative. Working alongside global partners, we’re committed to help increase access to healthy foods, sustainable access to food and nutrition education for vulnerable populations around the world.

One crucial aspect of hunger is food insecurity – a lack of consistent access to enough nutritious food. Food insecurity escalates in times of crisis, as disaster and crisis events are among the leading drivers of hunger globally. Events like earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, conflict and other disaster events can leave thousands of people without the food they need.

Providing food and support in those critical moments can help save lives, which is why as part of our Nutrition for Zero Hunger initiative,Herbalife Nutrition has pledged $1 million to create an Emergency Relief Fund to help provide food and lifesaving support to people in need at the onset of a disaster or emergency.

A disaster event can impact any community. Displacement or destruction of food supplies or ways to deliver food can leave many without access to food. In 2018, Hurricane Florence hit North Carolina and the southeastern coast of the United States. The strong winds and rain and caused catastrophic damage, leaving many families in need.

Residents of North Carolina were impacted significantly: more than 10% of the state’s population was evacuated and around 10,000 homes suffered major damage or were destroyed by this devastating storm, leaving many without permanent housing.

Our Independent Distributors Rising Up to Help Their Communities

The passion of our independent distributors’ is to help others, and their work happens at a grassroots level in their communities. Juan Arias and Charles Gratham, Herbalife Nutrition independent distributors located in North Carolina, saw their communities in need and stepped up to help.

Charles Gratham

“Our nutrition club in Kinston, North Carolina, was one of the few places in the community that was fortunate enough to not lose electricity after Florence. Once the worst of the storm passed, we immediately opened the club to anyone who needed to recharge their phones to get in touch with their loved ones and those who were displaced and needed a shower. And because some folks were not prepared with food at home, we partnered with a local church to hand out healthy protein snacks and meal replacement shakes.

Through our nutrition club, we have created meaningful relationships with people in the community, and they know they can come to us whenever they need to, and they have! For the last two hurricanes, we have opened the nutrition club as a sort of operations center for relief efforts and people now know that it can be their go-to-place when natural disasters occur.

I’ve been working my Herbalife Nutrition business for eight years. I previously worked as a nurse for 25 years, so helping people has always been my passion.  What we have learned from these harsh experiences is that doing good brings more good. A giver never gives out: if you always give from your heart, you will never be alone.”

Juan Arias

“Our immediate relief efforts were focused on helping our fellow distributors who lost their nutrition clubs or homes. We own a nutrition club in Louisburg, North Caroline, and used it as a meeting point to organize our customers and distributors to help any and every person we could and have the biggest positive impact possible. One of our customers offered his trailers as a place to store and distribute resources—people donated milk, diapers, sanitizers, non-perishable food products.  We filled two trailers with supplies and brought them to Wilmington City and Newbern, two communities devastated by the storm.  The folks there were incredibly grateful for the help and supplies they otherwise would have struggled to get access to.

I have been with the Herbalife Nutrition since 2005, and it has helped me grow as a person.  The leadership teachings and the daily interactions with customers and distributors have taught me a great lesson: to help from the heart, not expecting anything in return. I am grateful forever grateful that I was able to give back when people were most in need.”

We are proud of the work our independent distributors do every day around the world to help improve their communities: whether by supporting someone in a wellness journey towards a healthier life or providing good nutrition during a crisis. Their spirit and commitment inspire us to keep working toincrease access to healthy foodsin times of disaster and every day. Their work and our Nutrition for Zero Hunger initative is a testament to our commitment to helping take global hunger to zero.

Erin Richards-Kunkel

Erin Richards-KunkelSr. Director, Strategic Partnerships and Corporate Social Responsibility

Erin leads the development and execution of global partnerships and corporate social responsibility initiatives for Herbalife Nutrition. Her background combines analytical and creative expertise with degrees in both biological sciences and journalism from the University of California, Davis and the University of Southern California respectively. Her love of storytelling, science, and social good comes together in her approach for engagement and holistic campaign strategy and development.