Top Ten of 2016

While most Americans were paying attention to politics, sports, or pop culture in 2016, they may have missed these major events that impacted the poor and hungry around the world and here in the United States:

1. Passage of the Global Food Security Act (GFSA) – The legislation, which enjoyed broad bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate, allocates over $7 billion to initiatives focusing on small-scale agricultural producers and the nutrition of women and children worldwide. When he signed the legislation in July, President Obama noted that development spending is “one of the smartest investments we can make” for U.S. national security and shared prosperity. FEED supports the GFSA, and its passage was a major victory.

unnamed2. Collapse of the Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) – Not all hunger news in 2016 was good news. Hopes were high that the House and Senate could reconcile their respective versions of the CNR to replace the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which expired over a year ago. Although the Senate Agriculture Committee passed a bipartisan CNR, Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) said he was unable to find common ground with House colleagues and minority members of the Senate to advance the bill. A major stumbling block was a provision in the House bill that would have created a block-grant pilot program in three states. The program would cut funds for school meal programs and abolish critical federal mandates, such as eligibility requirements for free and reduced-price school lunches and nutrition standards. FEED strongly opposed these elements of the House bill.

3. Passage of the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act – This long-sought piece of legislation was first introduced over five years ago, but was finally signed by President Obama in July. It requires government agencies to closely monitor and evaluate foreign-aid programs based on their outcomes, and to improve transparency by posting data about the effectiveness of programs on foreignassistance.gov. Its unanimous approval in both the House and Senate is credited to a committed group of bipartisan sponsors.

4. Hurricane Matthew and cholera outbreak in Haiti – Hurricane Matthew devastated Haiti in October. Recovery efforts have been hampered by poor infrastructure that predated the hurricane, and by an ongoing cholera epidemic for which the UN has taken partial responsibility. The cholera epidemic, which was triggered after the catastrophic 7.0 earthquake in 2010, has been further exacerbated by the poor conditions following Hurricane Matthew.

5. Endemic measles is eradicated from the Americas – The World Health Organization declared in September that no one had been infected with measles in the Americas for a full year, meaning the virus is no longer endemic in North and South America. Despite a measles outbreak last year that spread to 667 people in 27 U.S. states, the western hemisphere has not suffered an endemic case of measles since 2002.

6. War and refugees – Unfortunately, 2016 saw the continuation of violent conflicts that drove masses of refugees from Syria and Yemen. The U.S. reached its goal of admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees in the 2016 fiscal year, and has now accepted over 12,000 Syrian refugees since the civil war began in 2011. Meanwhile, the ongoing conflict in Yemen (between Iranian-backed Houthi rebels and a Saudi-led coalition supporting the ousted government of President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi) has driven the largest food-security emergency in the world. Between 7 and 10 million people are in “Crisis” (IPC Phase 3 or worse), and require immediate humanitarian assistance. At least 2 million of this total are in “Emergency” (IPC Phase 4), and are at increased risk of mortality. FEED is part of a group of 18 concerned nongovernmental organizations providing food and supplies to 12,000 Syrian refugees, two-thirds of whom are women and children.

See here.

Women carry pails of water drawn from a borehole at Chimbuli Village, Traditional Authority Chakhaza in Dowa District, Central Malawi, October 9, 2014. PHOTO FEED THE CHILDREN/AMOS GUMULIRA
Women carry pails of water drawn from a borehole at Chimbuli Village, Traditional Authority Chakhaza in Dowa District, Central Malawi, October 9, 2014. PHOTO FEED THE CHILDREN/AMOS GUMULIRA

7. El Niño drives food insecurity in Southern Africa – The strongest El Niño weather event since 1982 caused an increase in drought and heat waves across much of the world, but especially in southern Africa. Over 50 million Africans are now considered food insecure. Pervasive drought conditions have devastated the agriculture sector, which employs 80 percent of the working population in Malawi. FEED delivers food aid to over 80,000 Malawian children in 847 centers each day, provides water-purification packages, awards scholarships to help students finish high school, and organizes village savings and loan programs to help impoverished rural communities save and invest in small businesses.

unnamed-28. Ebola outbreak ends – The World Health Organization declared the epidemic over in June 2016, representing a major victory for public health officials and the NGO community. FEED and its partners in Liberia and Kenya created networks of trained Care Group Volunteers to teach public health practices, including hand washing with soap, water purification, and avoiding sick or dead animals. The volunteers also assisted communities in recognizing symptoms of the virus, and dispelling false beliefs about how the virus spreads. See here.

9. The rise and fall of Zika – Zika was declared a global health emergency in February, which precipitated massive global action against the disease: 1) the World Bank committed $150 million to combat the virus; 2) the Bank also established the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility to quickly mobilize funds to address global disease outbreaks; 3) the Obama Administration issued a “private sector call to action” to unlock vaccines, point-of- care diagnostics, and new mosquito-control options; and 4) a coalition of governments and philanthropies, most notably the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, committed $18 million to widely implement a new form of vector control. Following such efforts, the crisis was declared over in November.

10. Number of food-insecure households in the U.S. is decreasing – The USDA’s Economic Research Service issued its most recent “Household Food Security in the United States” report in September. The report found that as of 2015 there were 15.8 million food-insecure households in the U.S.—12.7% of all households. While an improvement from the 14% of food-insecure families in 2014, there are still many households that are unable to provide adequate, nutritious food for their children. Meanwhile, the number of people participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), as well as spending on the program, has been significantly reduced because of the reintroduction of certain restrictions for childless adults, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.

Fighting Back Against Malnutrition in El Salvador

Many of us throw our used cardboard, glass and cans into a recycling bin without giving it a second thought.

Imagine relying on these recyclables for income so you can eat.

That’s been the situation for Sebastian, a seven-year-old living in a village about forty-five miles outside the capital of El Salvador. In communities like his, levels of malnutrition can reach almost 50%, and almost two-thirds of the population lives in extreme poverty. 

sebastian_el-salvador_2Many of the people in Sebastian’s village make a living any way they can: day labor, construction work, and other temporary jobs. Some of the work is seasonal; women may clean houses in the city, then work in coffee fields during harvesting season. Steady jobs are extremely rare. Sebastian’s own mother works in the capital Monday through Friday, visiting Sebastian and his older sister on weekends. Sebastian has a guardian who looks after him during the week: “The mother works very hard to get some money to cover the basic needs for these children,” she says. “I know how hard is to be a single mother, so I help her take care of her children.” Sebastian’s mother earns about $100 per month, which only covers the absolute basics.

“I miss my mother a lot,” Sebastian says, “but I know she loves me, because she works very hard for me—for love.”

Sebastian’s house is tiny, made from bamboo and pieces of wood, with sheets for doors. Though small, the house is crammed full with clothes and items the family has collected over the years that they sell along with recyclables for a little extra money. Meals consist of beans and tortillas, plus vegetables, rice, and eggs when things are going well. Sebastian and his sister are fortunate—they eat three meals a day—but the food lacks the essential nutrients for growing children.

And good nutrition is important to Sebastian. Like many boys his age, he loves football games with his friends and playing with his dog “Dogui.” But he’s also up at 5 a.m. every morning to haul water from the well, among other chores. He tells us he wants to be a firefighter so he can help families in need. Even at his young age, he knows how important a healthy diet is for a healthy body, so his dreams can become reality.

Feed the Children has been partnering with the mothers of Sebastian’s village since 2014, cooking and serving nutritious meals each weekday through the Feeding Center. About a hundred children are fed each day in a fully equipped kitchen with tables and benches. Feed the Children also provides children ages six and up with medicine to eliminate intestinal parasites.

Food and medical care are important, but they’re only the beginning. We also provide training and support as the village improves its livelihoods. We’ve offered courses in greenhouse fertilizer and how to create a tilapia hatchery so the community can increase its income and make the tough climb out of poverty.

“I feel blessed because you are a big help for my mother,” Sebastian tells us. We can continue to help Sebastian, and even more children like him, through your continued support. Donating is easy and makes a huge impact. Join our work today.

 

College-Bound and Full of Hope

Meet Triyzia, a seventeen-year-old who lives in Cebu City, the capital of the Philippines. She likes a lot of the same things many teenage girls do: hanging out with friends, watching TV, and “chilling.” Her days are spent in school, with homework afterward and chores around the house. She would love to see the world, and wants to get a job as an engineer someday. She’s done well in school, even taking advanced science classes.

08-2016-ph0045-7_triyzia_philippinesCollege costs are a concern for a lot of people—but for Triyzia and other people experiencing poverty, the worry is especially great. Triyzia lives with her mother and two siblings in a communal house with other relatives. Her father died more than a decade ago. Her mother has been raising the kids on her own ever since, without much support from Triyzia’s father’s family. Triyzia’s family doesn’t have its own electricity; instead the family shares it with a neighbor in exchange for paying part of the bill. Water comes from a shared communal tap. It’s crowded and noisy in the neighborhood.

Triyzia’s mother works for a community health center nearby. Sometimes the paycheck is late in coming, so they have to borrow money. Her job may also be in jeopardy because there’s been a change of leadership in the city government, and she supported the opponent of the new mayor. The family’s future is currently hanging in the balance. 

Triyzia’s older brother is trying to pass the entrance examination for one of the shipping companies in the Philippines to help with expenses. In the meantime, things are tight, and about to get tighter: it’s not just Triyzia who’s hoping to go to college next year, but also her twin sister.

Thankfully, the family isn’t alone in the struggle. Triyzia is a Feed the Children scholar, which means she receives needed supplies and support. Everything from school supplies to uniforms and backpacks to shoes is provided, so students can focus on what matters: their schoolwork and their future.

Having these items taken care of has eased a huge burden for Triyzia’s family. “Feed the Children has done a lot to help my family,” her mother says. “For me, they have helped my children so much with their studies and especially to me as a single mother. The school supplies that they give to their scholars every school year and the uniforms that they provide are great help to my daughters’ studies.”

We see ourselves as partners with Triyzia, her family, and countless other scholars and families in the Philippines as well as in the other countries we serve. Together, we can build bodies, minds and futures for children everywhere. Join the partnership! Learn more about our international work in education and see how you can get involved

Top image is Triyzia (right) with her sister and mother.

Child Hunger in America: Travaris’ story

“Running out of food is hard,” Travaris says.

This bright and active 10-year-old has been raised by his great-grandma, Martha, since he was a baby (names have been changed to protect the privacy of those we serve). She does her best to take care of and provide for Travaris, but it’s tough on just her social security income and food stamps.

“It hurts inside that I can’t do things for him,” she says with tears in her eyes. “At times it is difficult to keep him fed.”

Travaris and Martha try to focus on the positive. They are thankful to have each other and to have a roof over their heads.

And Martha is thankful that Travaris is a good student. He’s also a talented athlete. Martha beams with pride as she talks about him.

“I have great expectations for Travaris,” she says. “He’s going to go far.”

Travaris holding a book on his lap

Travaris has so much potential.

But if he continues to struggle to get enough to eat — especially nutritious food — his future that seems so full of hope will be in jeopardy.

“Sometimes we don’t have enough money and we are always using milk, eggs and bread — so we’re always running out of those,” Travaris says.

“At times it is difficult to keep him fed.”

— Martha, Travaris’ great-grandma

Their daily struggle also means sacrificing even simple expenses like the $2 admission to watch Travaris play football.

Travaris Playing football

“It’s tough…I was sitting in my car today watching the game,” Martha says. “I mean that’s just the way it is. There’s not money there when you need it for extracurricular activities.”

Because Martha knows that $2 can go toward buying Travaris milk or eggs — and providing nutritious food for him has to take priority.

“My granny tries hard to get me the foods that I would like to eat,” Travaris explains, but “…at the end of the month we are always out of money so she tries hard to get more food.”

You can stand in the gap for a family in need

You can make sure families like Martha and Travaris have the food and essentials they so urgently need. Without our help, families often run out. The end of the month is always the worst.

“The last week and a half there’s no money left — it’s gone,” says Martha.

Please step in and fill the gap for families like this! Give today.

Travaris and grandma

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You can provide food and essentials for a child like Travaris!

Hunger in America: Running out of food

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Cathy loves her children. She describes 3-year-old Saul as “very smart” and 2-year-old Carla as “very sassy.” She tells me that Carla is her miracle baby — she was on a ventilator for the first 2-1/2 weeks of her life.

Coming close to losing her has created an extra sense of protectiveness. That makes it especially tough on Cathy when she struggles to provide for Carla and Saul.

“I do run out of food, and it’s sad, sometimes it breaks my heart,” Cathy says.

“There are countless times that I’ve broke down crying because I didn’t have nothing for the kids, or nothing for myself,” she says.

blog-carla

What makes it even more frustrating for Cathy is that she has a full-time job at a canning factory. But it’s not enough.

“I get paid every Thursday, but by the time that I pay my bills, I have maybe enough money to put in my gas tank so I can make it back and forth to work…” Cathy explains.

Cathy wants to go to school to become a pharmaceutical technician so she can earn a better income, but wonders how she can take classes and still work to provide for her family. The day to day struggle is very real.

“Running out of food is — it makes me just feel like a bad mom sometimes and I don’t like that feeling…” Cathy says. “I like to make sure my kids are well taken care of.”

You can help defeat hunger by providing food and essentials for a family in need

Your support can help a mom like Cathy put food on the table for her two children.

Your gift today will provide a box of food and a box of essentials to meet urgent needs for a struggling family. It’s just $38 for both boxes! Please give today, if you can. Good food will put smiles on the faces of children like Carla and Saul!

blog-mom-with-kids

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News Roundup, August 22, 2016

When the Waters Rise… Feed the Children is There

Reach Out America, The Salvation Army, Operation Compassion, Convoy of Hope, Office Depot Foundation and Feed the Children have joined together to provide disaster relief to Louisiana families affected by the recent flooding.

So far, Feed the Children has provided nearly 270,000 pounds of supplies, valued at more than $400,000. The much-needed items are currently being delivered to Louisiana families via partner organizations. Historic flooding began plaguing Louisiana earlier this month. Some 13 fatalities have been reported, with tens of thousands of people requiring rescue due to flooding conditions statewide.

Supplies include disaster-relief boxes, which contain personal-care items, cleaning supplies, and Energizer portable lights, flashlights and batteries, as well as food boxes and water coolers. Niagara water provided by Feed the Children will be transported into affected areas via The Salvation Army.

“Because of the generosity of Reach Out America, The Salvation Army, Operation Compassion, Convoy of Hope and Office Depot Foundation, Feed the Children is able to aid families who need us most,” said J.C. Watts, Jr., Feed the Children president and CEO. “Together we can provide assistance to the resilient residents of Louisiana.”

And we’re in it for the long haul: Feed the Children will continue working with existing partners in Louisiana and the surrounding areas to plan for continued relief and recovery efforts.

To make a gift to help those affected by disasters like the Louisiana-area floods, visit www.feedthechildren.org/disaster.

Photo: Patrick Dennis/AP

Whataburger Helps Feed Bodies, Minds and Futures

Whataburger has donated $15,000 to our Oklahoma City Teacher Store during our Season Opener of the store earlier this month. Thousands of teachers from pre-approved Title I schools were welcomed at the Teacher Store over a three-day period to shop for school supplies at no cost.

The annual event drew teachers from across Oklahoma, allowing them to fill one bag of supplies and collect an assortment of books for the new school year. Supplies included classroom essentials such as notebooks, paper and instructional materials.

“Whataburger is proud to commit $15,000 to Feed the Children for the Teacher Store,” said Whataburger Director of Operations Mark Wallace. “Our teachers are facing significant budget cuts, so it’s our hope that this money will help provide them with the supplies they need for their classrooms.”

Representatives and employees from several organizations volunteered during the event, including State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister; Oklahoma Principal of Excellence Price Brown; Feed the Children President and CEO J.C. Watts, Jr.; and Whataburger Director of Operations Mark Wallace and Marketing Coordinator Laura Danser.

Feed the Children opened the Teacher Store in 2009 to reach as many Pre-K through 12th-grade students as possible by providing resources and supplies to teachers in Oklahoma. Teachers from Title I schools are eligible to shop in the store once a month for free.

Feed the Children Supports Maternal Health in Kenya

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Feed the Children employees in Samburu County, Kenya, joined Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) to construct a traditional community maternal health shelter known as “Manyatta” (house made of sticks and grass), to be used by pregnant women during child delivery.

The structure was built following recommendations by the CHVs and community nurses. They reported that due to cultural perceptions, pregnant mothers are opting to deliver their babies at home because they believe the local clinic is unfit for their new born babies. Mothers in Samburu believe that a Manyatta is warmer and more conducive for delivery than health facilities. Some mothers also trust Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA) to assist them in the delivery process more than nurses.

Once the Manyatta facility is completed, TBA’s will be trained by nurses on sanitary, modern delivery procedures that ensure a safer delivery process for both baby and mother. This will help in increasing the deliveries assisted by a skilled practitioner and will reduce maternal deaths.

Feed the Children’s work in Samburu revolves around working in partnership with P&G, local communities, ministry of health and other partners to transform lives by improving food and nutrition security of mothers and their children. This project is aimed toward reducing maternal and child illnesses and deaths, improving access to and use of sanitation infrastructures using community-led total sanitation, reducing diarrheal cases, adopting water purification processes using P&G water purifiers.

Volunteer Spotlight: Kaiser Permanente Makes a Difference

Name: Kaiser Permanente – Print Services Team
From: Corona, CA
Volunteer Location: Ontario, CA
Volunteer Activities: Box Brigade, Sort and Prep
Volunteer Since: May 2014

Why do you volunteer with Feed the Children?
To be able to give back to the community and assist families in need.

What is your favorite part of volunteering with us?
Knowing we are making a difference in people’s lives.

How did you learn about volunteering at Feed the Children?
We researched organizations that assist children in need and came across Feed the Children. We believe in the good this organization is doing for the community and the families they help.

How has volunteering made an impact on your life?
The majority of the team are parents, and understand the need to assist children within our community. Knowing we have been blessed to have the ability and opportunity to assist others during their time of need has become a mission of our team, as well as of our business organization.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.
Print Services is made up of caring and thoughtful individuals who enjoy joining forces to make an impact on the lives of others. Along with volunteering their time to assist Feed the Children as a team, many volunteer individually to support other great causes to improve our community by giving back.

Feeding Bodies, Minds and Futures… in the Philippines

It’s August, and families here in the United States are preparing for children to go back to school. Parents across the country will spend August wandering store aisles while clutching school supply lists, or pawing through the bin of kids’ sneakers looking for the right size, or maybe ordering school uniforms online. And while we may grumble about the prices, many of us will be able to provide these items for our children without too much difficulty.

But imagine what it’s like not to be able to purchase the items kids need to be successful in school. That’s the reality for too many families, not only here, but around the world.

Meet Veronica and Ana, two teenagers who live in a large city in the Philippines. Both live in a poor area, with too much crime, drug use and violence. But both have stable homes and families, and their parents work hard to make ends meet. Veronica’s parents wake up early each and every day to cook food and package it for sale in their neighborhood. Ana’s father also works in the food industry, as a fish vendor. He doesn’t have much income left over after paying their bills, not to mention debts they owe to neighbors who loaned them money for their kids’ educational expenses.

Neither of these families has the luxury of extra income for school supplies. Veronica helps her parents with the food sales, but the allowance she receives never goes for fun things a sixteen-year-old might enjoy. Instead she spends the money—when she has some—on basic necessities for school.

Veronica and Ana are both outstanding students who deserve to have their dreams nurtured. Veronica doesn’t have a lot of books herself, but devours the ones she can access for free online. She hopes to take up business management if given the chance to go to college. She dreams of buying a restaurant for her parents to help their food preparation business thrive.

For her part, Ana is deemed “a brilliant child” by those who know her. As an honor student, she has received numerous awards and medals through her academic work. She likes art and music and enjoys writing poems.

Ana
Ana

Both of these young women deserve a good education, free from worry. That’s why Feed the Children helps provide nutritious meals, supplies, backpacks, shoes, and educational workshops to Veronica and Ana and so many young people just like them.

Before, Veronica and Ana’s parents could never get ahead in terms of saving income—every penny went to the basics. Now, with assistance from Feed the Children, and made possible through countless partners and donors, they can start to get ahead. Both of these girls will be looking at college soon.

“Feed the Children has been helpful to us,” says Veronica. “Because of them I am more motivated in going to school, and I am more focused on my studies in order to maintain my scholarship.”

“Feed the Children has done so much to help me,” Ana agrees. “I am so thankful that there is Feed the Children! Because of the support that I have gotten, I have learned to value my studies even more than before, and to work harder and to be even better in my studies.”

This work is only possible because of support from people like you. Help children build bodies, minds and futures. Learn more about our educational initiatives and give what you can today.

 

Hunger in America: The summertime struggle

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Tricia loves her children. She says 10-year-old Eleanor is “very smart, she loves school, everybody likes her.” (Names have been changed to protect the privacy of those we serve.)

As a mom, she wants her kids to have everything they need. But lately, that’s been a challenge. Tricia suffers from chronic kidney disease. In the past 5 years, she’s had 14 surgeries. When they can’t afford her pain medication, she goes without.

Her husband has been trying to find work for several months. Thankfully, he just got a job, but it’s going to take this family some time to get back on their feet. And that means a tight budget. Especially during the summer months.

“Our cabinets have been empty several times,”

Tricia says.

“And some days mom and dad don’t eat because we make sure they eat.”

Imagine how hard it is for this family and so many others to just put food on the table for their children. And providing three meals a day during the summer makes it even more difficult.

“Sometimes we’ve had to sell personal objects to feed them during the summertime,” Tricia explains. “We even sold a car once to make it through the summer.”

Now that we’re in August, families are thinking about school again.

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“It’s very difficult when school starts!” Tricia exclaims. “Not only food, but school supplies, school clothes — and my children are growing like crazy. It’s very expensive.”

“Some days it’s just, it’s heartbreaking,” Tricia shares. “And I think that’s the worst thing, the worst feeling a mother can feel is not being able to feed their child.”

You can provide food and essentials for a family in need

Your support can help fill the gap. You can fill the empty cabinets for a mom like Tricia so she can put food on the table for Eleanor and her three other children.

Your gift today will provide a box of food and a box of essentials to meet urgent needs for a struggling family. It’s just $38 for both boxes! Please give today, if you can. Good food will put smiles on the faces of children like Eleanor!

eleanor-smiling

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If Tricia’s story has moved you, please share it with others. Introduce them to this struggling mom and how they can help hungry children across America like Eleanor.

News Roundup, July 18, 2016

Oklahoma Athletic Programs Lend a Hand

OU Athletics, Norman Public Schools and the Center for Children and Families teamed up with Feed the Children to lend a hand to Norman-area families last month. Some 400 families received food and essentials, filling one Feed the Children semitruck at the Lloyd Noble Center.

Volunteers from OU Athletics, Norman Public Schools, the Center for Children and Families and Feed the Children were on-site serving and assisting.

The event also included community organizations providing complimentary services and products to the families, including OKDHS, Arise Ministries, Variety Care, Choice Matters, Farmers Insurance, Moore Norman Technology Center, Cleveland County Health Department, ONIE, and free haircuts provided by Paul Mitchell students and instructors.

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 10.04.58 PMMeanwhile, OSU Athletics and United Way also teamed up with Feed the Children to lend a hand to Stillwater-area families in June. Another 400 families received food and essentials, filling one Feed the Children semitruck at the Wes Watkins Center.

Volunteers from OSU Athletics, United Way and Feed the Children were on-site serving and assisting. The event also included community organizations providing complimentary services and products to the families, including COCAA, Habitat for Humanity, Ocean Dental, The Saville Center for Child Advocacy, Payne County Youth Services, Inc. and Wings of Hope Family Crisis Center.

Truck Driver Receives Honors

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 10.05.17 PMFrederick Murray, an Oklahoma City-based driver for Feed the Children’s core carrier FTC Transportation, Inc., was recently awarded first place in the 5-Axle Sleeper Berth Division of the 2016 Oklahoma Truck Driving Championships. Murray will now advance to the 2016 National Truck Driving Championships Aug. 10–13 in Indianapolis, IN.

The two-day 2016 Oklahoma Truck Driving Championships took place last month and included a written exam, personal interview, pre-trip inspection-skills test and a driving-skills test that included six challenges. Murray’s first-place honor was one of many honors he has received throughout his career.

Murray’s record consists of 10 Safe Driving Awards, including third runner-up for Driver of the Year in 2014 and second runner-up for Driver of the Year in 2015. With a career of almost 40 years in the transportation field, Murray has successfully traveled 3.8 million safe-driving miles. Salute!

Hope and Help for Houston

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Teleperformance, Reach Out America and Feed the Children have joined together to provide disaster relief to Houston-area families affected by  recent flooding. Teleperformance has sponsored two Feed the Children semitrucks of disaster-relief items for families in need.

Heavy rainfall began in Houston and surrounding areas May 26. A total of 15 people have died due to flooding conditions. This combined effort between Teleperformance, Reach Out America and Feed the Children will help support Houston communities, including West Columbia/Bar X Ranch, Holiday Lakes, Richmond and Woodlands. Feed the Children is providing items such as cleaning supplies, Rubbermaid water coolers and boxes filled with food.

Food Distribution Highlights

Major League Baseball and StarKist® stepped up to bat on July 14 with Feed the Children and community organizations in the Compton, California-area to help strike out hunger. In Compton alone, nearly 24 percent of people live below the poverty line.

Feed the Children distributed two semi-trucks of food and essentials as part of a 13-city national partnership with Major League Baseball. Eight hundred families, pre-identified by the MLB Urban Youth Academy, received a 25-pound food box; a 10-pound box of basic essentials like shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and personal-care items; and a box of assorted Avon products. Families also received Disney Books and additional products provided by StarKist®.

Volunteers from StarKist, Pop Chips, MLB Urban Youth Academy, and Feed the Children will be onsite serving and assisting.

As part of the partnership with MLB and StarKist®, we also held an event in the Boston/Roxbury area recently. Another two truckloads of food and supplies were given to families in need in that community, where more than a quarter of people live below the poverty line.

That same week, the Association of United States Army (AUSA) teamed up with Feed the Children to lend a hand to Lawton, Oklahoma-area families.

Four hundred families — pre-identified by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Workforce Oklahoma, Lawton Housing Authority, Southwest Youth and Family Services and Lawton Food Bank — received similar food, supplies and products.

The event also featured community organizations providing complimentary services and products to the families, including WIC, SNAP, Armed Services YMCA, Marie Detty Youth and Family Service Center, Christian Family Counseling Center, Lawton Food Bank, Workforce Oklahoma, Center for the Advancement of Wellness/Oklahoma State Department of Health, and Legal Aid Services.

News Roundup, June 20, 2016

AutoZone Supports and Celebrates Feed the Children

AutoZone recently selected Feed the Children as a recipient of a 2016 AutoZone Regional Charitable Grant. The organization presented the $1,000 donation to Feed the Children representatives late last month at an AutoZone in Oklahoma City, home of Feed the Children headquarters.

Through AutoZone’s Regional Charitable Grant Program, AutoZone is proud to make charitable grants to two deserving organizations in each of its 53 regions in the United States each spring. AutoZoners from every region nominate deserving and effective community-based nonprofit organizations for a chance to be awarded a $1,000 donation from AutoZone.

Recently, an AutoZone employee in this region nominated Feed the Children for a 2016 AutoZone Regional Charitable Grant. Feed the Children was selected as a winner among hundreds of nominations.

“Feed the Children strives to provide hope and resources to those without life’s essentials,” said J.C. Watts, Jr., Feed the Children president and CEO. “We are honored to receive this donation from AutoZone as we work together in the fight to end hunger in our own backyard.”

“AutoZone’s unique and powerful culture has been at the foundation of our success. This culture is characterized by AutoZoners’ deep commitment to customer satisfaction, caring about people and giving back to our communities,” said Bill Rhodes, AutoZone Chairman, President and CEO, Customer Satisfaction. “We express our deep gratitude to our customers and to the communities we call home.”

Priority for awarding grants was placed on 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations that address education, youth development, military support, public safety, arts access and health and wellness. We’re thrilled and humbled to receive this honor.

Feeding Minds as Well as Bodies

Oklahoma Public Schools in Woodward, Oklahoma teamed up with Feed the Children to help feed children in need. Last month, a box truck filled with children’s books was delivered to Woodward Public Schools. The truck was sponsored by the estate of Elizabeth Stevens.

The event is one of many Feed the Children has planned across Oklahoma this summer to help feed bodies, minds and futures through the FEED Caravan initiative. We’re providing support to children throughout the summer. Young people can experience learning loss during the months when they are not engaged in educational activities. Education is an important factor in breaking the cycle of poverty.

“Together, we can be good neighbors by providing books to children in need,” said J.C. Watts, Jr., Feed the Children president and CEO. “With Woodward Public Schools and a generous gift from the estate of Elizabeth Stevens, we can help those in our home state of Oklahoma.”

Summer Food and Fun in Oklahoma

More than 300,000 Oklahoma children do not have a stable source of nutrition during the summer months. Feed the Children is fighting to decrease that alarming number in its home state by participating in the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program. This program was designed to improve the nutrition and health of American children by offering them easier access to food and education in the summer, when schools (and therefore school lunch programs) are out of service.

Last year, the program provided more than 39,000 meals across different feeding sites throughout Oklahoma. In addition, Feed the Children was able to provide more than 267,000 take-home meals to children and their families through private funding and corporate donors.

“With the summer months approaching, we need to think of the children who will go without their school lunch programs,” said J.C. Watts, Jr., president and CEO of Feed the Children. “Through our Summer Food and Education Program, Feed the Children will help feed bodies, minds and futures as we continue our mission to provide hope and resources to those without life’s essentials.”

Feed the Children’s Summer Food and Education Program not only provides nourishing meals, but also feeds children’s minds. Knowing that education can help to break the poverty cycle, the organization incorporates education into the program, providing free books at each site. By the end of last summer, more than 16,000 books were distributed. Children in the program also received school supplies and backpacks. Additionally, feeding sites received sports equipment to engage children in healthy sports and recreational activities. For more information and a list of sites, click here.

The FEED Caravan is Coming to Town

OU Athletics, Norman (Oklahoma) Public Schools and the Center for Children and Families teamed up with Feed the Children to lend a hand to Norman-area families last week. That’s when 400 families received food and essentials filling one Feed the Children semi-truck at the Lloyd Noble Center. Volunteers from OU Athletics, Norman Public Schools, the Center for Children and Families, and Feed the Children were on-site serving and assisting.

The event also included community organizations providing complimentary services and products to the families, including OKDHS, Arise Ministries, Variety Care, Choice Matters, Farmers Insurance, Moore Norman Technology Center, Cleveland County Health Department, ONIE, and free haircuts provided by Paul Mitchell students and instructors.

“We are honored to have partnered with OU Athletics, Norman Public Schools and the Center for Children and Families in the fight to end hunger here in our own backyard” said J.C. Watts, Jr., Feed the Children president and CEO. In Norman alone, 18 percent of families live below the poverty line and are unsure of how they will provide their next meal.

“Each year, we see an increase in students who qualify for free and reduced lunch,” said Norman Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Joe Siano. “We know summer months can be difficult for these children and struggling families, and we appreciate the resources Feed the Children and other community organizations have provided for families in our community.”

This event is part of Feed the Children’s FEED Caravan initiative. The FEED Caravan consists of Feed the Children semi-trucks traveling across the state providing food and books to children in need during the summer months. One in four children in Oklahoma face hunger, and the threat is even greater during the summer months when they do not have access to their school lunch programs. The FEED Caravan will give these children an opportunity to receive the essentials they deserve. Breaking the cycle of hunger gives children the chance to enjoy their summer like every child should.

Feed the Children Loves New York

Price Rite, in partnership with Feed the Children and ConAgra Foods, with support from Catholic Charities of Buffalo, are banding together to distribute food and essentials to 800 Cheektowaga-area families in need tomorrow. Each family, pre-identified based on need by Catholic Charities of Buffalo, will receive a 25-pound box of food; a 10-pound box of basic essentials like shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and personal-care items; a box of assorted Avon products; and books. Families will also receive an additional food donation from Price Rite including produce and a variety of shelf-stable items. Other community partners will be onsite to provide information and resources for social services and other programs available locally to families. Volunteers will be on-site to assist the effort.

Price Rite contributes approximately $400,000 annually to local food banks and food pantries to benefit local families in need within the communities it serves. Heading into the second year of its partnership with Feed the Children, Price Rite will host eight to 10 events with the charity organization during 2016, donating more than 40,000 pounds of food and other essentials per event as part of the program.

Through its network of agencies, Feed the Children distributed more than $344 million in food, essentials, educational supplies and medicine, impacting close to 9 million people in the U.S. and more than 4.9 million individuals internationally, for a total of 13.9 million individuals globally in fiscal year 2014.