SANTA BARBARA, CA, December 17, 2019 —In its 25th Anniversary year, Vitamin Angels made significant advances towards its goal of eliminating newborn mortality globally by scaling up its multiple micronutrient supplement (MMS) program. The organization increased its reach from 500,000 pregnant women in 2018 to reaching more than 2 million women in 2019. Domestically, Vitamin Angels partnered with over 330 local nonprofits in all 50 U.S. states and reached over 200,000 underserved pregnant women with MMS.
To further accelerate impact and create lasting change, Vitamin Angels also focused on creating demand for MMS, ensuring a global supply of MMS, and influencing policy change regarding MMS in low and middle-income countries.
“We have made astounding progress this year in advancing women’s access to prenatal multivitamins,” said Howard Schiffer, Vitamin Angels Founder & President. “Besides growing our reach to 2 million pregnant women in the U.S. and around the world, we are also conducting implementation research that will further inform MMS scale up globally. Our goal still remains strong: to see a world where every woman has a right to a healthy pregnancy and a healthy, thriving baby!”
To create demand for MMS, Vitamin Angels participated in global advocacy events at well-recognized international meetings including Women Deliver and the Asian Congress of Nutrition to raise awareness about MMS, advocate for the uptake of MMS, and advance policies needed to support MMS implementation.
To ensure a global supply, the organization catalyzed efforts to develop an open-access MMS specification document that can be used to produce standardized, internationally accepted, quality MMS product. The product specification is currently under review by an independent panel of technical experts.
In July 2019, Vitamin Angels, the Haitian Ministry of Health, the Haitian Health Foundation, and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health launched an implementation research project in Haiti to further examine how to increase coverage and compliance of MMS in Haiti. The research will generate operational knowledge and experience to inform MMS policy change and effective introduction and scaling of MMS within national programs on a global scale. The results from this research will be presented at the Micronutrient Forum Conference in Bangkok, Thailand in March 2020.
Vitamin Angels also engaged its corporate partners to join them in pledging $7.5M to the "Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies" Goalkeepers 2019 Accelerator, a program that will further advocate to scale up the use of MMS around the world and improve global maternal health and birth outcomes by 2022.
Other organization highlights from the year included:
25th Anniversary Event at Disney’s California Adventure®
In March 2019, Vitamin Angels celebrated its 25th Anniversary at Disney’s California Adventure® Park. The event brought together nearly 350 natural products industry professionals for a night of live performances, custom audio/visual effects, 3D animation and a seated dinner featuring global cuisine. The event raised over $300,000 and rallied the industry to renew their commitment to end malnutrition globally.
Corporate Partner Impact Achievements
Vitamin Angels corporate partners also achieved significant impact milestones in 2019. As a dedicated partner since 2013, Walgreens reached over 200 million at-risk pregnant mothers and children with essential nutrients this year. Other corporate partner milestones included: The Vitamin Shoppe reached 50 million beneficiaries, SmartyPants reached 10 million children (and set a new goal to reach 100 million children moving forward) and Sprouts Famers Market achieved their milestone of reaching 10 million at-risk pregnant women and children with essential nutrients.
2019 Global Summit
In the Spring, Vitamin Angels hosted its third bi-annual Global Summit in Santa Barbara, California, bringing together its US- based staff and international team of advisors for a week-long meeting. Team members from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, the Philippines, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and Uganda all came to the U.S. to discuss strategic plans and how to enhance the impact of Vitamin Angels’ programs around the world.
For updates on Vitamin Angels 2020 events, please visit the Vitamin Angels website.
About Vitamin Angels
Founded in 1994, Vitamin Angels is a global public health organization working towards ending malnutrition worldwide by distributing life-changing vitamins and minerals to at-risk mothers and children under five in the U.S. and around the world. In 2019, Vitamin Angels will provide vitamins and minerals to nearly 70 million mothers and children in more than 70 countries, including domestically in the U.S. Both Charity Navigator and GuideStar give Vitamin Angels their highest marks for financial transparency. To learn more, visit www.vitaminangels.org.