Kate Hudson in Cambodia as part of the Michael Kors ‘Watch Hunger Stop’ campaign © Tim Bishop/Quite Frankly Productions
By Raye Mocioiu
Award-winning actress Kate Hudson has long been a shining star on the silver screen. From Almost Famous to How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Hudson’s timeless filmography has found space in countless moviegoers’ lists of all-time favorite flicks.
But when the curtains fall and the cameras stop rolling, Hudson steps into a different spotlight, one where her voice amplifies the calls of those in need, and her actions ignite transformative change.
Our world is brimming with abundant resources and enough food to nourish every individual on the planet; hunger should have long been eradicated. But amidst global conflicts, climate change, inequity, and the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the grim reality of hunger persists. Research from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) found that one out of every nine people worldwide continues to experience hunger—not simply a night of going to bed without food, but the threat of famine that looms over millions.
WFP works in over 120 countries and territories to bring life-saving food to the millions of people across the globe displaced by conflict and affected by crises. Their tireless efforts make a world of difference—helping pull people back from the brink of starvation and saving life after life.
Feeding hungry people is no small feat, and through her work with WFP, Hudson has seen the reality of what it takes to feed hungry people amidst war, poverty, and climate disasters—and how much of life revolves around access to food.
“The work of the World Food Programme is so much more than just feeding people; it’s about strengthening families, rebuilding communities, and ensuring everyone, everywhere, has access to the food they need to not only survive, but thrive,” the star said.
From entrepreneurship to humanitarianism, Hudson seamlessly transitions between worlds, revealing the true essence of her character—a tireless advocate fighting to feed the hungry and uplift communities in need. The solution to world hunger requires extreme action, and Hudson is more than up for the task.
A Recipe for Change
“Years ago, I was sitting with the heads of WFP, and they shared with me the work that they were doing globally,” Hudson recalled, explaining what drove her to work with the organization. “I connected to it on so many different levels, especially as a mom.
“I understood that their work went far beyond just feeding people and extends to so many other initiatives, such as their school incentive programs, where young women are encouraged to go to school while their families are provided with meals. There are a lot of great causes out there, but to me, this is one of the most important. The basic and essential act of feeding people and providing them with nutrition is the first step towards giving anyone real opportunity in this world.”
In 2018, Hudson was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for WFP, joining the ranks of celebrity changemakers like The Weeknd, Michael Kors, and Andrew Zimmern. But the Golden Globe-winning actress was supporting the organization’s life-saving mission well before receiving this important designation.
In 2015, she joined fellow Goodwill Ambassador and friend Michael Kors’ Watch Hunger Stop Campaign. The campaign, which works to raise funds for WFP’s school meals program, has been a cornerstone of Michael Kors’ philanthropy, and with ambassadors like Hudson on board, it has persisted over the years, fighting global hunger by donating 100 meals for every sale of its special-edition collection. Within the first five years of the campaign, Kors donated nearly 18 million meals through WFP’s school meals program.
“It’s incredibly vital to feed and assist people with basic human needs, whether in war-torn countries, environmentally challenged situations where people are dealing with natural disasters, refugee camps, places in the world where children and especially women are not able to be educated,” Hudson explained.
As part of her involvement with the Watch Hunger Stop Campaign, Hudson traveled to rural Cambodia in 2017 to visit schools supported by the program and witness firsthand the process of creating the meals, even meeting with the local family farmers who grow the ingredients for the school lunches. Hudson shared that the trip was filled with love and expressed her adoration for Kors.
“It was really fun working with Michael Kors for the Watch Hunger Stop initiative,” she gushed. “Working with him to help support the very thing that we are both so connected to is really wonderful. I love his talent and his artistry, but most importantly, I love how much he cares and how much he gives back. Any time I can be a part of that and join forces with him, I’m very excited.”
In 2020, Hudson took her work a step further, leading the #CrossTheDistance campaign to raise awareness about hunger emergencies worldwide. This campaign allowed Hudson to share her platform with those on the ground during the world’s worst hunger emergencies, including those in Yemen, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, the Sahel region and Syria.
“There are people working tirelessly every day to make sure that hunger emergencies worldwide are being addressed in places that can be very dangerous and precarious,” Hudson said of the campaign. “For us to be able to take something as simple as a hashtag and use it to inform and educate people on what WFP is doing in places where atrocities are taking place, and people are literally starving as a result of conflict, is a small but important effort to try to make a difference.”
A Legacy of Philanthropy
Between her career and her passion for giving back, Hudson has become a role model for many. A mother of three, her passion for the fight against hunger has only grown—and her commitment to giving back is present in every aspect of her life.
“What I’m very passionate about are women and children,” she explained. “Women and children make up most of the inhabitants of refugee camps, and they are more likely to be at risk for hunger. The idea that mothers can’t feed their own children or have sufficient nutrients to be able to breastfeed their babies really impacted me as a mother.”
Hudson’s passion for philanthropy comes as no surprise—her mother, award-winning actress Goldie Hawn, has created a legacy of supporting children worldwide.
“People say that you are what you know, and I was fortunate enough to be raised by a mother who I want to emulate and learn more from,” shared Hudson. “Part of that is her devotion and dedication to building her MindUP Foundation, which focuses on children and their mental, social and emotional well-being. She works very closely with schools to create a curriculum that provides the resources for them to be able to manage all types of adversity and the issues that are affecting many kids today.”
Hudson shared that seeing her mother’s persistence in building the MindUP Foundation was a strong motivator for her own philanthropic work and something she hopes to pass on to her own family.
“It’s been really incredible to see my mom build this foundation and also go through the hard part—creating a foundation, really standing by it and growing it is as hard as any other business. When I see really incredible people working selflessly to do something that is really about giving back, I just find that to be the most admirable quality in anyone. My mom leads with that, and I’m very lucky to have that as a role model.”
Between acting, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy, Hudson shared that when it comes to balancing her work and personal life as a mother, communication and teamwork are game-changers.
“I work in many different fields and am frequently being asked to be in a lot of different places, but my children come first,” she explained. “I’m lucky enough to have a team that helps me navigate from administrative work to childcare and everything else in between. I don’t leave my children very often and have built my life and my structure around my kids so that I can work and be there to help raise them. And I have an incredible partner, a great man who will drop everything to be with our kids.
“Communicating to your kids that you need time to focus on certain things at certain times is also important—letting them know what your workload and your work life look like. It’s good to share the importance of that and good for them to see because you want your kids to be hard workers. I know I do.”
But with all that she does, Hudson knows that one can easily become overwhelmed—and taking care of yourself is never more important than when you’re running an empire.
“Often, we forget that we’re trying to be everything to everyone—our work, kids, partners—but you also need to carve out time for yourself to feel the balance,” Hudson shared. “Simple things, like meditating. No excuses! Everyone can find the time to sit and breathe for three minutes a day. If we’re not taking care of our own well-being, nothing else will jive.”
Hudson knows that with a platform as large as hers, she has an incredible opportunity to make a real difference in the world—and she’s not one to let that opportunity go to waste. When it comes to using her resources for philanthropic causes, Hudson goes all in.
In a bold move that showcased her commitment to empowering women and girls, Hudson joined forces with the UN’s Girl Up campaign through her athletic brand, Fabletics. The resulting 2018 capsule collection, called “Girl Almighty,” directly supported the SchoolCycle program, a life-changing initiative that put bicycles into the hands of girls in developing countries. The access to transportation for these girls meant access to education, the chance to learn and grow, and the ability to break free from the constraints that poverty imposes.
“For us at Fabletics, the GirlUp Program was such a wonderful fit because supporting female empowerment and leadership goals in young women is really important to us,” she explained. “It allowed us to give young women the tools to create collaborative communities in the United States and around the world, where women really support one another in getting to the next level and learn to feel confident in presenting their ideas so that they can become strong, savvy and intelligent working professionals. Sometimes, we need one another to develop that confidence.”
Aside from the opportunity to empower young women, this campaign served a deeper purpose: furthering Hudson’s mission of using her platform to support global issues, a goal that she believes other companies should adopt.
“I believe that every company and everyone who is working at growing a company or building awareness for a product or service has a responsibility to give back. Addressing global issues like poverty and hunger go hand in hand with everything else,” she added. “Without food and nutrition, you really can’t have an active lifestyle, and our brains can’t develop properly—it’s essential to every aspect of life. Resolving poverty and hunger comes before anything.”
With each step she takes, Hudson proves that philanthropy knows no boundaries, reaching out to the farthest corners of the globe to nourish the bodies and souls of those in need.
“What motivates me to continue supporting WFP is seeing how many millions and millions of people have benefited from their work while knowing that millions and millions more are still in need,” said Hudson. “Post-pandemic, WFP has become even more essential, so we still have a lot of work to do. There is no shortage of places suffering crises in the world where we would like to get in to feed and support people, wherever needed.”
This vision of a hunger-free world is within reach, but it requires more than just good intentions—it demands action. Feeding millions of people and addressing the root causes of hunger requires billions of dollars each year, and WFP relies on the generosity of individuals like you to make it possible. Every single donation, no matter the size, holds the power to change lives. Your contribution can be the difference between a child going to bed hungry or waking up to a nutritious meal that fuels their dreams.
The Weeknd XO Humanitarian Fund © Brian Ziff By Raye Mocioiu Known for his air of mystery, Canadian superstar The Weeknd seems to prefer actions
Andrew Zimmern in the kitchen © Courtesy of WFP By Allie Murray When chef Andrew Zimmern joined forces with the United Nations World Food Programme