For InStyle's December issue, on newsstands and available for digital download now, spotlight the inspiring celebrities who cast a light on causes that deeply resonate with them in our annual "Shining Stars" feature.
"When I got a call from World Food Program USA chairman Hunter Biden, I started doing research on what the organization was all about, and I immediately became passionate about it," says Kate Hudson, who is working with the WFP USA to raise awareness and funds to provide life-saving nutrition to areas of the world that need it most. We caught up with the star to chat about what inspires her work and how she'll pass her charitable spirit along to her own two sons, Ryder and Bing.
After Biden reached out to you, what made you want to get involved?
"I had been immersed in another project working with mothers and children in refugee camps, so I got to see firsthand the work that many organizations were doing inside of these camps, one of which was the World Food Program. I saw how they were incentivizing kids to get an education by providing meal tickets to students and their families. Michael Kors, a longtime friend of mine, works with the United Nations World Food Programme on his Watch Hunger Stop campaign, so it was a wonderful and organic progression for me to start working with them too."
What stood out to you about the World Food Program that set it apart from other organizations?
"What I found really interesting is that although the organization is affiliated with the U.N., they are funded through voluntary donations. Plus, although there is so much more that needs to be done, the amount that they have been able to accomplish is incredible."
As a mom, why do you feel particularly passionate about hunger?
"It all starts with your kids. As a parent, you are so concerned with your own children's health and nutritional value. But when you start to look beyond the walls in which you live, you that there are so many children elsewhere who are going to bed hungry and you just can't bear it."
What do you hope to pass along to Ryder and Bing when it comes to giving back?
"For my own family, it's not just about this particular issue. It's about the importance of wanting to be involved with something philanthropic. I want them to see me, their uncles, and their grandparents doing important work so that they feel that it is a responsibility to give back. I take them to do things like feeding the local homeless and cleaning up the beaches. The earlier you help your kids realize that we all need to step up and help each other, the sooner empathy starts to build."
How would you encourage people to get involved, especially around the holidays?
"If you are able to be generous with your funds, know that every cent can go a long way in helping others. Volunteering with a group like the WFP USA is also a great way to give back. It allows you to be present with the people who need your help the most. For gift giving, I'm a huge fan of Heifer International, which lets you purchase farm essentials for families in need at various price points. You can make a donation in a love one's name for items like eggs, chickens, and other animals."