NORTH BERGEN, N.J., May 1, 2008 (PrimeNewswire via COMTEX) -- You can't buy many newspapers for a quarter anymore, but with that same twenty-five cents you can buy a year's supply of vitamin A for a child in need. Affecting up to 140 million children every year, vitamin A deficiencies that go untreated can result in the child going blind before age 6; however, vitamin A, given to a child twice a year for four years, can prevent blindness forever.
Throughout May, The Vitamin Shoppe will accept cash donations on behalf of Vitamin Angels' most aggressive campaign to date, Operation 20/20. The goal of Operation 20/20 is to eradicate childhood blindness caused by vitamin A deficiency (VAD) worldwide by the year 2020. The Operation 20/20 campaign will alleviate vitamin A deficiency by providing just two high-dose vitamin A capsules to children ages 1 to 4 and lactating mothers each year for a course of four to five years.
Last year, Operation 20/20 reached over 7 million children, mothers and babies in 17 countries around the world to prevent VAD childhood blindness. In addition to the vitamin A, all the children received de-worming medicine to improve the absorption of the vitamin A and help combat intestinal parasites.
"The Vitamin Shoppe is very supportive of the work being accomplished by Vitamin Angels," said Tony Truesdale, president and chief merchandising officer of The Vitamin Shoppe. "To help support their tremendous efforts, this year we've added a new limited edition t-shirt to help raise money. The shirts are available for a donation of $10 while supplies last. We know our loyal customers will join us in supporting this important initiative to end childhood blindness."
"We're proving that vitamins work, period. They're effective, the results are dramatic and they are a clear solution to major global health problems," said Howard Schiffer, founder of Vitamin Angels. "It's hard to debate the benefits of vitamins when we are literally seeing the difference everyday, and Vitamin Shoppe is helping to make that possible."
The Vitamin Shoppe is raising funds for Vitamin Angels in store at the register. Customers can donate $1 or more to the campaign and sign a Vitamin Angels paper angel to hang in the store. Any customer who donates $5 or more will receive a special Operation 20/20 wrist band. The limited edition t-shirt is available at stores for a donation of $10. On-line customers can also donate with each purchase at www.vitaminshoppe.com and can receive a t-shirt for a donation of $10 or more.
About Vitamin Shoppe Industries Inc.
Vitamin Shoppe is a leading specialty retailer and direct marketer of nutritional products based in North Bergen, New Jersey. The company sells vitamins, minerals, nutritional supplements, herbs, sports nutrition formulas, homeopathic remedies, and other health and beauty aids to customers located primarily in the United States. The company carries national brand products as well as exclusive products under Vitamin Shoppe, BodyTech, MD Select, and VS Basics proprietary brands. The Vitamin Shoppe conducts business through more than 350 company-owned retail stores, national mail order catalogs, and two websites, www.vitaminshoppe.com and www.Bodytech.com.
About Vitamin Angels
Vitamin Angels is the only nonprofit organization in existence solely dedicated to providing vital nutrition to those in need internationally and domestically. Since 1994, Vitamin Angels has distributed over 350 million vitamins and other supplements in 82 countries worldwide. To learn more about Vitamin Angels and Operation 20/20, visit www.VitaminAngels.org.