Occupation: This Saves Lives Co-Founder, Actor (Frozen, The Good Place)
How I Got Involved: Ryan and I met on the set of Veronica Mars and became great friends. He started talking to me about Plumpy'Nut and how there isn't enough of it in the world. I was familiar with the packets, and when he reached out with a simple solution to get more in kids' hands - I was in.
Why Fighting Malnutrition Is So Important To Me: My goal in life is to spread more joy and reduce suffering any way I can. It makes me feel good when I lay my head on the pillow at night that I could be of service to someone else.
For decades, one of our giving partner Action Against Hunger has been strengthening local health systems and working in partnership with local communities in Africa, where even a mild COVID-19 outbreak in fragile contexts can push people beyond the brink. In many cases, they are the only health actor for hundreds of miles in East Africa, which is reeling from years of drought, floods, locusts, limited medical care, and the highest rates of malnutrition in the world. If COVID-19 spreads further in these countries, poverty and hunger will only worsen with downstream impact on the global economy.
Hundreds of thousands of children are already undernourished, which weakens their immune systems and makes it harder to fight infections. They need to maintain and expand their programs that promote sustainable livelihoods and help save lives. Action Against Hunger is well positioned to fight COVID-19 in East Africa, but needs partners and support along the way. To contain the outbreak, they have urgent needs in Ethiopia, Somalia, and South Sudan.