PITTSBURGH, January 19, 2005 – General Nutrition Centers, Inc. (GNC) today announced the donation of 40,000 bottles of chewable kids multivitamins for the survivors of the recent tsunami disaster that struck Southeast Asia. The vitamins are being manufactured by GNC and donated to the Vitamin Angel Alliance, a non-profit organization that is partnering with Direct Relief International and other relief agencies to support the emergency relief efforts in the region. GNC was notified that medical personnel working in the area are reporting a critical need for children’s multivitamins to battle disease and malnutrition. Vitamin Angels reports that 20% of the world’s population of 1-6 year old children live in the region affected by the tsunami, and vitamin supplements will make a critical difference in providing basic nutrition support.
“We consider donations of vitamins and other nutritional support a major investment in the future health of the world,” said Howard Schiffer, president of the Vitamin Angel Alliance. “The concern from doctors and medical personnel working in the region is that opportunistic infections, disease and epidemics could compound this disaster unless basic nutrition is provided to the survivors. GNC’s donation will go a long way towards providing nutrition for the youngest survivors.”
“We join the international community in expressing our deepest sympathies to those that have lost so much in this terrible tragedy,” said Joe Fortunato, Chief Operating Officer of GNC. “GNC is in a unique position to address the need for children’s vitamins. We want to applaud the efforts of the Vitamin Angel Alliance and the many other heroic organizations and individuals that are proving relief in the region.”
Vitamin Angels Alliance is a non-profit, non-sectarian organization dedicated to providing basic nutrition and fighting vitamin A deficiency childhood blindness around the world since 1994. Last year Vitamin Angels donated 16.2 million supplements to people in need in 45 countries around the world. Additional information on the Vitamin Angel Alliance is available on www.vitaminangel.org.
GNC is the largest global specialty retailer of nutritional supplements, which includes vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements, sports nutrition products, diet and energy products and specialty supplements. GNC has more than 4,900 retail locations throughout the United States, including more than 1,300 domestic franchise locations, more than 1,000 store-within-a-store locations under its strategic alliance with Rite Aid and more than 800 locations in more than 35 foreign markets including Canada and Mexico.
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