22 May 2018

New Walgreens survey aims to raise childhood poverty awareness in advance of Red Nose Day in the U.S., May 24

“Every Child Counts” exhibit in Chicago highlights the number of vitamins, vaccinations, gallons of water and nourishing meals distributed thanks to Walgreens customers

DEERFIELD, Ill., May 22, 2018 - Approximately 1-in-5 children in the U.S. are living in poverty today1, and even though this represents one of the highest childhood poverty rates among developed nations worldwide, almost half of Americans (49 percent of those surveyed) are unaware of the prevalence of childhood poverty in the U.S., based on a new national survey from Walgreens.

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The first “Every One Counts Survey,” released today, shows the importance of recognizing this issue in advance of Red Nose Day on May 24 - an event which helps to raise funds to end child poverty. People nationwide can participate and show their support by purchasing a Red Nose for $1 until June 2, with all profits from all sales benefitting Red Nose Day. It is a simple idea that helping end child poverty can start with buying one Red Nose at Walgreens.

While global awareness of childhood poverty is high, the drop off is significant as it draws closer to home. According to the survey, 80 percent of respondents say childhood poverty is a very serious global issue. Just over half, 51 percent, say it is a very serious national issue and only 21 percent feel that it is an issue in their own communities. Even though childhood poverty rates in the U.S. are not on par with less developed countries, 27 percent of those (adults) surveyed have experienced it firsthand.

“This new survey shows that many people don’t realize how big of a problem childhood poverty is in our country, and even in some of our own communities,” said Adam Holyk, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Walgreens. “By helping to raise awareness, we aim to encourage more people to get involved and take whatever steps they can to help children in need here in the U.S. and around the world. ”

When asked about how many U.S. children live in poverty, Americans on average estimated that approximately 6.4 million children live in poverty, when in fact, that is less than half of the 15 million children reported living in poverty, according to the National Center for Children Living in Poverty.

Despite the lack of awareness, most people want to help. In fact, 86 percent of respondents are interested in learning more about childhood poverty related causes, but half do not know about programs in their community.

To address the issue, respondents say the following areas are most critical:

  • Provide quality access to health care services, 74 percent
  • Provide more access to nutritious food, 71 percent
  • Improved quality of education, 70 percent
  • Provide preventive health care (such as vaccines) to children in under-served communities, 68 percent
  • Provide vitamins and minerals to undernourished children, 65 percent

How Walgreens Works to End Childhood Poverty

On Tuesday, May 22, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. CDT, Walgreens is hosting the Every Child Counts exhibit at Millennium Park in Chicago. The exhibit will feature custom-made and sustainably sourced dolls in a display highlighting facts, figures and key areas around the world where Walgreens is working with cause partners to help end childhood poverty. Visitors are encouraged to take the dolls home and support the effort through purchases of participating products at any neighborhood Walgreens. Each doll will have a tag with information on how to continue to support the cause, as well as how to spread the word by sharing their own pictures with the #EveryChildCounts hashtag.

“Walgreens’ purpose is to champion the health and well-being of every community in America,” said Holyk. “We have committed to large-scale, long-term partnerships and initiatives focused on helping children in need, such as offering life-saving vaccines and providing essential vitamins and minerals to help combat malnutrition. Through our effort, including the Every Child Counts exhibit, we are encouraging our customers and the communities they live in to help join us in making a difference.”

About Every One Counts

Walgreens cause platform, “Every One Counts,” provides an opportunity for customers to help children by supporting the health and well-being of communities both in the U.S. and around the world. Through efforts such as Red Nose Day and Walgreens Get A Shot. Give A Shot. campaign, and partnerships with ME to WE and Vitamin Angels, customers can choose to make a difference by simply shopping at Walgreens.

Survey Background

The Walgreens “Every One Counts Survey” was conducted May 7 through May 11, 2018 by independent research firm PSB, among a nationally representative sample of 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and above. Results are nationally representative of age, gender, ethnicity and education.

About Walgreens

Walgreens (walgreens.com), a provider of trusted care in communities since 1901, is included in the Retail Pharmacy USA Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ: WBA), the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. Approximately 8 million customers interact with Walgreens in stores and online each day, using the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice. Walgreens operates 8,100 drugstores with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, along with its omnichannel business, Walgreens.com. Approximately 400 Walgreens stores offer Healthcare Clinic or other provider retail clinic services.


1 U.S. Census Bureau


Emily Hartwig, 847-315-3316