It's Time to Address the Root Causes of Hunger and Poverty
Shape the Future with Feed the Children
By Sarah Ford on September 17, 2015
“A bunch of my friends who did not come to the Feed the Children center are now killed, or at hospitals, or they are members of gangs. I think my future would have been similar. And probably I wouldn’t be alive today.”
That’s 25-year-old Jorge Arriola, talking about the difference Feed the Children has made in his life.
Jorge and his brothers started coming to the feeding center in his El Salvador town when he was six. They were desperately poor and lived in a neighborhood riddled with low education and gang violence. These young boys were left alone a lot, hungry, while their mother was trying to find work.
At the feeding center, he received a nourishing meal every day and was able to go to school—instead of joining a gang or working just to eat. Today Jorge is a bright, ambitious university student studying to become a teacher. He has a great shot at a bright future—but his life could have turned out very differently.
Around the world, the statistics are bleak. 20 million children under the age of 5 suffer severe acute malnutrition. More than 780 million people around the world lack access to clean drinking water.
But it’s also easy for those statistics to lose all meaning. The problem seems too great and too abstract to make a difference.
Here are some numbers that are easier to grasp:
Creating a World Where No Child Goes to Bed Hungry
But more than the numbers, we celebrate the stories of kids around the world—like Jorge, whose dreams of becoming a teacher are coming true.
- Like the 11-year-old girl in Kenya who was so malnourished when she arrived at our children’s center that she couldn’t walk on her own. She brought the place to a standstill a few months ago when she took her first steps unassisted.
- Or the family of six in the Philippines that’s connected with Feed the Children’s feeding site in the community—they received food, school supplies, and emergency assistance during the super typhoon not long ago.
- Or the children in a village in Nicaragua who have planted a garden at their school and are tending it together, so they can learn gardening skills and have access to nutritious food.
- Or the family in rural Kentucky who received a box of food and other necessities at one of our community-outreach events. While there, they connected with local services so they can get help in moving out of poverty into self-sufficiency.
These stories are all possible thanks to Feed the Children and our network of donors and partners. Our vision is to create a world where no child goes to bed hungry. We distribute food and resources to those without life’s essentials, and work to address the root causes of hunger and poverty. We are active in communities throughout the U.S. and in ten countries around the world, specifically in Central America, Africa, and Asia.
Children are our most vital resource, both here in the U.S. and around the world. They have the potential to grow up and build communities, solve social problems, cure disease, and create beautiful art. But they need us now—to stand with them, to support their success, and to make sure their bellies are full so their minds can learn and their hearts can dream big dreams. Our work is urgent—a malnourished child cannot develop properly, and if a child’s growth is still stunted at age 5, the damage may be irreversible.
We believe collaboration is the only way to end childhood hunger. We work with nearly 1,100 partner agencies, especially local organizations, to ensure that food and necessities go to the places of most need. These agencies include soup kitchens, food pantries, rescue missions, homeless shelters, and food banks—organizations that provide relief and emergency aid to people who are poor in communities across the U.S. and around the world.
Our international work is focused on alleviating hunger and empowering communities to improve their circumstances. We organize our approach around four pillars: Food and Nutrition, Health and Water, Education, and Livelihoods. By addressing the root causes of poverty, we can help people around the world build a better tomorrow.
We employ a full-time staff to drive our work, but our donors and volunteers are the heart of what we do. Our child sponsors make a commitment to support a specific child living in another country through monthly giving and letters of love and support. Volunteers assemble food boxes and stuff backpacks with supplies so kids can go to school ready to learn. Volunteers in our artist program attend concerts and other events to share the good work Feed the Children is doing. Short-term trip volunteers travel to locations around the world to learn about our programs and establish friendships with the people there.
It takes the power of many to end childhood hunger: donors who believe in the cause, experts to diagnose the problem and create solutions, organizations to pool their resources and expertise, and communities to work together for change. We invite you to join us.
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Our thanks to Feed the Children for sharing their mission and impact with us. You can learn more about their work by visiting their website at www.feedthechildren.org. To support their efforts, please donate to Feed the Children through your company's workplace giving program (CFC# 10986 if you're a Federal employee participating in the Combined Federal Campaign).
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