Haiti: Powerade Enters March Madness Arena, After Fight Against Cholera

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (March 18, 2011) - Powerade, March Madness' "Official Sports Drink of the NCAA," late last year entered another arena in a big way - the fight against cholera in Haiti. The Coca-Cola Brand donated 2,538 cases of its beverages from plants in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic to Food For The Poor, the third-largest international relief and development organization in the United States,

Yesterday jump-started March Madness, and Powerade's presence will be prominent throughout the college basketball's tournament. The sport's drink Game Science campaign tag line, Focus. Hustle. Hydrate. Believe., also reflects the mission of Food For The Poor's emergency relief actions.

"The donation of Powerade has helped to give dehydrated cholera victims the strength and energy necessary to beat the waterborne illness," said Angel Aloma, Food For The Poor's Executive Director. "Cholera and malaria do not kill people in First World countries where there is access to medicine. In Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, destitute children are often emaciated and their immune systems are compromised."

Food For The Poor's 25-year tenure in Haiti has aided the nonprofit's response to the spread of cholera. As the threat of disease has loomed over Haiti's recovery from January's destructive earthquake, Food For The Poor remained committed to investing in sanitation and water projects throughout the country.

Less than 48 hours after the first cholera cases began arriving at hospitals the week of Oct. 18, Food For The Poor deployed and installed solar-powered water filtration and chlorination units that each can purify up to 10,000 gallons of water a day. To date, Food For The Poor, with the help of Water Missions International has installed 30 water filtration units in the Artibonite region where the cholera outbreak started. In response to the large number of displaced earthquake victims who have migrated to the northern city of Cap-Haitien, Food For The Poor has purchased an additional 10 water filtration units to install in the region.

"The year is off to a great start for Powerade, as the brand continues to build on its momentum from 2010," said Yolanda White, VP-Powerade brand marketing, in a release about the March Maddness promotion.

Food For The Poor, the third-largest international relief and development organization in the nation, does much more than feed millions of hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian agency provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 96 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, please visit www.foodforthepoor.org.