NEW YORK — Michael Kors is putting the fight against world hunger at the core of his philanthropy.

The designer is launching an exclusive, long-term partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme, which aims to help solve the international hunger crisis with food assistance for those in need, especially mothers and children.

This story first appeared in the January 30, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“We wanted to contribute in a way that would make a real difference in people’s lives,” said Kors. “Joining forces with the World Food Programme enables us to do that. The fact is, hunger is a solvable problem and I’m proud that we can be a part of the solution.”

View the Watch Hunger Stop PSA here >>

As a cause, feeding the needy has been dear to Kors for a long time. He has been a supporter of God’s Love We Deliver, the New York-based nonprofit that delivers daily meals to people with severe illnesses, for more than two decades and made a $5 million donation to the organization last October.

While Kors’ financial commitment to the U.N. program was not disclosed, he plans to raise millions through a series of campaigns, events and special products, including two unisex watches launching this March as part of a “Watch Hunger Stop” campaign. The watches come in two sizes, with the smaller one retailing for $295 and the larger for $325. Each watch sold will allow for 100 children to be fed through the WFP. In addition, Kors is launching a text-to-donate program to raise further funds.

Kors is also releasing a public service announcement, which features several celebrities, including Bette Midler, Seth Meyers, Patti Hansen, Kyle MacLachlan and Karolina Kurkova.

The PSA is available on Kors’ various social media platforms, including

“Over the years, I’ve had the great fortune of traveling the world and experiencing new cultures and people,” Kors said. “And if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that millions of people all over the world are struggling to feed themselves, and their families, every day. I want to lend my voice and my efforts to this international cause.”

WFP executive director Ertharin Cousin added that by working with the designer, “we will generate more attention as well as much-needed resources in support of WFP’s efforts to end world hunger. Our vision of the future is a world where every person has access to the quality and quantity of food required to not only lead a healthy life but to also reach his or her full human potential.”

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