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‘The Great Calorie Drive’ Nicaragua

  • Two young and happy children dancing on beautiful sandy beach

Class participants were encouraged to shake off their calories in Zumba classes worldwide, with Zumba donating the equivalent of the average amount of calories burned per class (750 calories) to the United Nations World Food Programme. So when a participant ‘burns’ the equivalent of a meal, Zumba buys one meal. During the three-month campaign, Zumba Fitness is challenging the world to donate 2.6 billion calories that will equate to 3.5 million meals (based on the typical meal size) toward hunger-relief efforts.



Our target is to donate 3.5 million meals which would mean a maximum financial commitment payable to the World Food Programme of $1 million (USD).

Why is this project important?

Hunger is one of the world’s greatest solvable problems. While many fight to burn calories, others suffer from hunger. The Zumba network is in a unique position to tip the scales in the right direction, and we expect to touch millions of lives.

Zumba Fitness estimates that the average amount of calories burned in a Zumba® class is approximately 750 calories – a close equivalent of an average, healthy meal. Zumba Fitness’ unique partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme and Feeding America® allows your calorie donations to become an important financial resource for these organizations to leverage. Both organizations pool their resources from a network of entities and fundraising initiatives to dramatically expand their buying power and charitable reach, providing nutritious meals to those struggling with hunger.

Project resources

We created a micro website called ‘The Great Calorie Drive’ and also configured our mobile ‘app’ to allow participants to locate a local Zumba class and ‘checkin’ to their class. This ‘checkin’ then gets logs on ‘The Great Calorie Drive’ website and allows everyone to see what progress is being made towards our donation target.

Gymtopia Comment

Zumba recognises it has the influence to create dramatic social imapact because it now touches so may people. Did you know that every week approximately 14 million Zumba workout sessions take place across 150 countries. This means that asking your ‘followers’ to do a small thing can soon add up. In this great campaign, all participants had to do was download the Zumba ‘app’, go their regular class and ‘checkin’. Participants were not asked to donate any money with all financial contributions made directly by Zumba.

Project by:Zumba


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Location: Nicaragua
Start date: April 2013
Status: Ongoing
Impact: Global
Submitted: 8 June 2013
Charity: World Food Programme