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UNICEF Launches New Fitness App to Feed Starving Children

* New app turns personal activity into hunger activism
* Take steps to earn points and unlock food packages
* Kid Power program increases activity and feeds starving kids

Two years after successfully launching Kid Power fitness bands, which turn daily step goals into food aid for malnourished children in developing economies, UNICEF has released an app for people of all ages to convert physical activity into charitable aid, reports Mashable.

Available for iOS and Android, the UNICEF Kid Power app tracks your activity through your smartphone, Fitbit, or Apple Watch. For every 2500 steps, you earn a point. For every 10 points your earn, UNICEF “unlocks” a ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) package that has been provided by a program sponsor to feed a child suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

With the new app, activity as activism is no longer limited to children. Adults can get in on the fun, too.

“Our goal is to get a million kids in America to be saving the lives of a million kids around the world,” says Caryl M. Stern, president and CEO of UNICEF USA. After explaining that the mission of “get active, save lives” isn’t restricted to children, she adds, “This is about finding us where you are, not making you go search for us.”

Initiated in Sacramento, CA in 2014, Kid Power saw participants be 55% more active than non-participants. The pilot program also fed 473 malnourished children. After that success, it was expanded to schools in New York, Boston, Dallas, and other cities.

In 2015, UNICEF partnered with Target to sell Kid Power fitness bands for $39.99 each. As of now, 170,000 students (three times as many as last year) across all 50 states in the program have all received a Kid Power band.