Lauren Bush Lauren is going back out on the circuit.
Bush Lauren, who is chief executive officer, creative director and cofounder of Feed, is promoting a new survey from Feeding America, the country’s largest hunger-relief organization. “I’m happy to be a vehicle to help communicate these findings,” she said of her media appearances. “It will be a national push.”
The Hunger in America 2014 survey was released today.
Bush Lauren, who is married to David Lauren, executive vice president of marketing and communications at Ralph Lauren, travels extensively for the hunger-relief organization.
One of the findings in the Hunger America survey is the number of people the organization serves meals to each year in the U.S. — 46 million, including 12 million children and seven million seniors.
“I knew the statistics prior to the survey,” said Bush Lauren. “Hopefully this will wake people up to the realities people are facing. The sheer magnitude of how many people are relying on Feeding America and the fact that 63 percent of those clients say they rely on assistance on a regular basis” is upsetting, she said. “It’s no longer emergency food aid that’s rarely used.”
The median income of Feeding America clients is $9,175. “Clearly, the survey reflects the fact that so many Americans are struggling to make ends meet,” Bush Lauren said. “These are the working poor. I found that from traveling a lot last year, and the survey reflects this. They’re not unemployed. They’re working several jobs to get by.”
As coping strategies, more than half of the families interviewed said they water down food or drinks and two-thirds of households choose between paying for food or medical care. “Food is so fundamental,” Bush Lauren said. “It’s such a human right and the fact that people are having to make these trade-offs for other human rights is upsetting.”
Bush Lauren designs and sells Feed bags, each with a measurable donation attached to it. For example, the $80 Feed 1 bag helps feed one child in school for an entire year. Now, the Feed bag is going upscale. In a departure from burlap and organic cotton, the bags will be available in leather. Two totes and a cross-body bag and pouch will be sold at Nordstrom and Feedingamerica.org. The price points were not available at press time.
Feeding America last year worked with Target Corp. to introduce a Feed USA collection. The initiative raised 14 million meals, Bush Lauren said.
This year, a new project called Feed Supper will take place between Sept. 16 and Oct. 16. “We’ll be encouraging people to have grass-roots dinner parties and suppers and ask their friends to donate five or 10 dollars in exchange for attending the supper. It will raise awareness of hunger. We wanted to activate people through their dinner tables. Within the month, we hope to raise one million meals collectively.”
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