“I Died of Hunger at the Age of 8”

Millions of people don’t have enough food, and the lost potential for humanity is enormous.

The 60-second commercial for ShareTheMeal, an app that allows users to donate funds to help feed starving people through the World Food Programme (WFP), starts off celebratory, before turning dark and eerie.

First, viewers see a throng of journalists gathered around a woman named Miriam Adeke. The reporters are broadcasting that she’s made a groundbreaking medical discovery that could save up to a million lives a year.

“But there’s no discovery,” Adeke says, as the clamor and flashbulbs cut out. Adeke admits that she didn’t make a breakthrough because she didn’t go to medical school, or even complete her basic education. “I died of hunger at the age of 8,” she says. Cue the on-screen message: “Every year 3 million children die of hunger. Every time a child dies our future dies with them”–and a suggestion that people download the app to “help feed our future.”

That ad is now broadcasting before movies at theaters in over 30 countries, as part of a collaboration between the WFP and the Screen Advertising World Association, a global cinema trade association. The goal, says Corinne Woods, the director of communications, advocacy, and marketing at WFP, is to grow awareness of the issue of global hunger and how ShareTheMeal might solve it, particularly because the number of people going hungry continues to increase as a result of global conflicts and climate change.