Haiti: American Idol Star Sees Hunger Response Close Up
Singer Kris Allen, star of the 2009 American Idol TV talent show, got an insider’s look at an emergency relief operation recently when he spent a day with staff of WFP and other UN agencies in Haiti. He is helping raise awareness and funds for the UN operations.
PORT-AU-PRINCE -- More than a month after a massive earthquake devastated Haiti, survivors of the disaster got a visit from a very special guest last week. Former American Idol winner, Kris Allen, was in Port au Prince to see the devastation firsthand.
Allen visited several UN projects and activities including a WFP nutrition drive for pregnant and nursing women and children under five.
Standing at the back of a WFP truck helping with the distribution in one the capital’s makeshift settlements, 24-year old Kris said he was happy to be helping on the ground.
“You know it’s obviously rough. But you can see that there’s hope in the people’s eyes and that there are smiling. And that’s really refreshing to know that they know that it’s going to get better. And that’s what the UN is here to do.”
WFP’s nutrition drive aims to prevent critical levels of malnutrition from appearing among children while providing pregnant and nursing women with nutritional supplements.
After having identified groups of pregnant women and children suffering from malnutrition through door to door visits in camps throughout Port-au-Prince, WFP along with UN aid agencies and NGO partners began a month-long distribution aimed at reaching more than 53,000 children and some 16,000 women.
“This distribution is very much appreciated. This is exactly the sort of help pregnant women and their young children need,” said Francoise Macena, a mother of four children, after receiving her ration from Kris.
Kris showed footage from his Haiti visit to Idol viewers on the February 25 results show. Viewers were asked to make donations online or by text-messaging during the "Idol" episode, with the money going to the Idol Gives BackFoundation to help support the UN Foundation's work in Haiti.