Handbags are one of the signature statements for every fashion conscious woman. CBS News correspondent Michelle Milller reports Lauren Bush and Ellen Gustafson have managed to turn this accessory into a necessity in the struggle to feed the world's hungry children, one handbag at a time.
"There's no other option," Gustafson said. "We have to help them get into school. That's the only option we have."
The pair met four years ago through their work with the United Nations. What they witnessed inspired the launch of their collection FEED.
Their first bag, a $60 re-usable shopping tote, provides a school meal for a child anywhere in the world for an entire a year.
To submit an idea for The American Spirit send us an e-mail: email@example.com
"World hunger seems so far away and so overwhelming for most people," Bush said. "So to know exactly what you're doing is great."
FEED now has a dozen styles in some of New York's most popular stores. Prices range from $15 to $195. The cost varies because each bag provides help in a different way and says so right on the back.
When the earthquake hit Haiti, FEED designed the "FEED Haiti 50" bag. It provides 50 school lunches to children there.
"That meal that a child gets in school is almost certainly the only proper meal that they get everyday," said Marcus Prior, U.N. spokesperson in Haiti.
Every year hunger and malnutrition kill more people in developing nations than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. That's 3 million children who never make it to their fifth birthday. 300 million other children go to bed hungry every night.
Since 2007, FEED has donated $5.5 million to the UN World Food Program.
"Hunger is a very terrible feeling, it's a very terrible way to die," Gustafson said. "To know that just through selling a product that they're getting the most essential to human life - food to thrive - it is very powerful."
Success is counted in the number of meals served - 55 million in just three years - and in the faces of children who smile in the absence of hunger.