Vitamin Relief USA expands to provide functional products

By Clarisse Douaud

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Nutrition Health

Vitamin Relief USA is extending the scope of its operations to
supply functional and organic food and beverage products to a
variety of health education services.

The organization says it provides daily multivitamins to more than 26,000 children in need across the US. Now under the new banner of "Nourish America", it will broaden its humanitarian services. The relief group attributes its increasing capacity to take part in these activities to contributions from industry. "This is an exciting time in our history, and we are thrilled by the expanding support we are receiving from new and old partners and suppliers,"​ said Michael Morton, executive director of Nourish America. "Together, we will continue to improve lives, everyday, across America."​ The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated that, in 2005, 35.1 million American people lived in households considered to be food insecure. Of these, 22.7 million were adults (10.4 percent of all adults) and 12.4 million were children (16.9 percent of all children). According to Vitamin Relief, national nutritional surveys consistently reveal a large percentage of the American population falls short of recommended intakes of numerous vitamins and minerals. In addition, US Department of Agriculture (USDA) studies have found the diets of most children need do not meet daily dietary recommendations. When added to this already low starting point, factors of poverty and food insecurity only exacerbate standards of nutrition for many of America's children, who are not getting all the essential nutrients they need for optimal development. In the long run, this affects their development potential as they are at increased risk of impaired brain function, low immunity, stunted growth, or behavioral disorders. "Improving the nutritional status in low income children will create healthier and less dependent adults, reducing pressures on schools, correctional facilities, social welfare agencies and our health care system,"​ said Connie Whitaker, Vitamin Relief's president. Vitamin Relief says it distributes daily vitamins through 300 organizations and agencies in 33 states serving at-risk children. These organizations include public school districts, head start programs, churches, medical clinics, homeless shelters, hospital outreach programs, public health departments and other community-based and faith-based organizations. The humanitarian group is calling on more support still in meeting the nutritional needs of the public. "This is a critical time for us to join together to support the health, wellbeing and future of our children, families and communities,"​ said Whitaker.

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