“It’s really a big help to the children”

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This is Jemriel. He’s 7 years old and lives in a poor village in the Philippines with his 11-year-old brother, James, and their mom, Anselma.

This family has dealt with one tragedy after another. The boys’ father died 7 years ago. And their simple home burned down 5 years ago.

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Anselma pieced together the small shack that’s pictured here using bamboo and sheets of metal she found. During the rainy season the roof leaks, soaking their bedding and everything else.

The family has no running water. No electricity. No sanitary toilet system.

Mother’s Day is the perfect time to come alongside a mother struggling in poverty!

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Their only income is from the stick brooms Anselma makes and sells.

Jemriel and James help their mom make the brooms and together they carry them into the nearest city to sell on street corners.

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Every week the family runs out of food. They’re lucky to eat a cup of rice a day with some vegetables. But there are days when there is nothing to eat. On those days, Anselma begs from a neighbor and hopes they have enough to spare.

If Jemriel and James weren’t part of Feed the Children’s child sponsorship program, they would be extremely malnourished, possibly starving. Thankfully, because of their sponsors, the boys receive a hot, nutritious meal each day at school.

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Anselma says of the meals:

“It’s really a big help to the children.”

The boys also get shoes and school supplies thanks to their sponsors. These are simple things, but despite how hard their mom works, she cannot afford them.

Jemriel and James love going to school. They enjoy the nutritious meals and the opportunity to learn. Both boys are hard workers. They understand that a good education is critical to breaking free from the extreme poverty they are trapped in right now.

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The boys are resourceful. They have even made their own toys out of what others have thrown away.

Anselma says, “All I dream for is for the two to finish their studies and to be able to find a good job and have a better life.”

Because her boys have sponsors, this mother’s dream has a good chance of becoming a reality! You can make a difference as a sponsor for a child trapped in poverty.

This Mother’s Day, give hope to a mother like Anselma by sponsoring a child!

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The boys have hope for a brighter future, thanks to compassionate friends like you who said YES to sponsorship. They have hope and that brings a shy smile to James’ face.

Find your child to sponsor

Learn More

Child Sponsorship: You can change a child’s life!

Shinayida, age 5

When you say YES to a child like 5-year-old Shinayida of Malawi, you can rescue that precious boy or girl from the enemies of childhood — hunger, disease and poverty.

The benefits of being a sponsor

For $34 a month — just over $1 a day — you can provide food and other life essentials to a child in desperate need. As a sponsor:

Your child will receive:

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You’ll receive:

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1. A photo and important information about your sponsored child.
2. The opportunity to communicate with your child through letters that show how much you care.
3. Updates on your child, plus notes and/or drawings from your child.

You can make a difference like Jose’s sponsor

Jose, age 12

José is a 12-year-old in Honduras who has had a sponsor for two years. He says:

“I have been able to continue my studies and I no longer go hungry at school. I am able to eat delicious food.”

And José’s father says, “I am very grateful for all the help you have bestowed on us. We are now able to move forward, we have never had help before but now you help us with food, school supplies, shoes and better nutrition.”

You can give the gift of childhood: Yareling’s story

Yareling, age 8

In 8-year-old Yareling’s Honduras community, 70 percent of the families are trapped in poverty. Yareling’s sponsor has made a big difference in her life for more than two years now. She says:

“I feel happy because Feed the Children has helped so much with the backpack and school supplies, food, shoes and even toys.”

And her mom says: “I feel so grateful with the program because in my particular case I have seen a change in my daughter, she is happier, more active and loves going to class with her school bag and school supplies. I thank you so much for the help you have given me, my daughter and all the children in the community.”

That’s the kind of difference you can make as a sponsor!

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Say YES and change a child’s life!

Step in to make a life-changing difference for a child — just like José and Yareling’s sponsors have done.

For $34 a month, you’ll help rescue a boy or girl from the enemies of childhood: hunger, disease and poverty. Please say YES!

I want to find a child to sponsor!

Hunger in America: One mom’s story

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Everything was going well for Teri and her daughters. As a single mom, it’s not easy, but Teri had a good job and she was able to provide for her family. (Names have been changed to protect the privacy of those we serve.)

Then one morning she went to work, and, along with 1,900 other employees, was hit with the shocking news that the manufacturing plant was being closed.

How would she provide for 9-year-old Jackylee and 6-year-old Braylee?

“Everything became a struggle,” she remembers, tears streaming down her face. “I don’t have no help…and then my mama, she try to help me, too, but she’s struggling too `cause she’s on a fixed income…it’s a struggle, it’s hard.”

I asked Teri if she ever runs out of food.

“Yeah, I run out every month,” she says. “There are times like I got to the point where, like basically, we was all starving.

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“There are times like I got to the point where, like basically, we was all starving.”

— Teri

And other times the family is down to the bare minimum.

“I really don’t be worried about me — I can go without — but like sometimes when they’re having to constantly eat noodles and stuff, it bothers me, they don’t so much complain, but it bothers me,” Teri says.

She tries to not let her girls see how hard this is for her, but they notice. Jakylee told her, “It’s okay mama. We know you do everything you can for us.”

Those simple words touched her heart: “It kind of broke me up.”

Like most parents, Teri has a strong sense of responsibility. In tears, she says, “I’m use to being able to give them whatever they want and I don’t like to have to ask people for help.”

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And like most parents, she wants to protect her children from getting hurt. But one of her girls shared this:

“…about a week ago, she was telling me that some kid asked her, ‘Is that the only pair of shoes you got `cause you wear them every day?’ Like that did something to me — it made me mad that this kid did that, and then it hurt me too, `cause I’m like, what can I do `cause I don’t want my kids getting picked at because I fall short.”

Everything is a struggle — shoes, clothing, food.

Teri remembers having to tell Jakylee that she had cereal but not milk.

“She’ll be like, ‘I’m not hungry,’ and she’ll go to bed…” says Teri. “It’s like she just be trying to make it easier on me. But I know that `cause I know her and I know how she eat and for her to go to bed and say she’s not hungry, she ain’t going to eat, I know it’s not true.”

You can stand in the gap for a family in need

Please give today to help parents like Teri provide for their hungry children. Your gift can provide boxes filled with food and essentials that will put smiles on the faces of children like Braylee.

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Donate

You can provide food and essentials for hungry children like Braylee!

Introducing the Kenya Food and Nutrition Team

By Paul Odongo

At Feed the Children, we couldn’t do our work without the support of individuals, corporations and organizations—people like you. Your gifts help us attract and hire top-notch staff who implement our programs here and around the world—who help create a world where no child goes to bed hungry.

Today we’d like you to meet the Food & Nutrition Team in Kenya.

Many people mistakenly think Food & Nutrition consists simply of providing meals to hungry kids. We do work with feeding programs in communities and schools throughout Central America, Africa and the Philippines. But the food is only a fraction of what we do. Kenya’s Food & Nutrition Team also works to train and empower parents and communities through the Care Group program.

Their work starts before a child is even born, and continues through the child’s first thousand days of life. Studies have consistently shown that these few years can be the most important period in a child’s life. What happens in those early years helps ensure whether they will grow into healthy and well-nourished children.

Through the Care Group Model, we help educate entire communities on good hygiene, nutrition, sanitation and health. We employ seven Care Group Promoters, who are each responsible for four Care Groups. These groups typically consist of ten to twelve Lead Mothers, who are volunteers and the real lifeblood of what we do.

Each Lead Mother reaches out to ten to fifteen neighbor women who are pregnant, lactating, or have a child under five years of age. These Lead Mothers meet frequently in their Care Groups to learn key messages about nutrition and caregiving, which they pass on to their communities.

DSC_0145It’s mothers training mothers, and it works.

“We began teaching this year, and the community is already energized and taking action towards some of the issues in their communities,” says Anthony Muburi, a Care Group Promoter. This teaching includes how to access nutrient-rich foods and appropriate nutrition for infants and young children. The groups also help mothers access deworming medication for children, to prevent parasites. All activities focus on reducing stunting, which can result in permanent, irreversible negative health, developmental, and well-being outcomes for the remainder of children’s lives.

“When we started the program, there was some skepticism,” says Dennis Kaunda, a supervisor. “We had to take some time to sensitize the Ministry of Health officials on this model and how we would implement it.”

Along with the Care Groups, Food & Nutrition takes a big-picture approach, working with government to advocate for policies and budgets that encourage good nutrition and foster child development. We have been pivotal in nutrition advocacy in Kajiado County, which led to the launch of the County Nutrition Action Plan in June this year. This is one our most visible achievements, and the first of its kind in Kenya. We are helping get county government and other partners involved in the fight against hunger. The action plan will provide framework and coordination for a variety of interventions, activities and programs by county government, stakeholders and partners.

We salute the Food & Nutrition team in Kenya: Clementina Ngina, the Pillar Manager; Dennis Kaunda and Japheth Kaeke, supervisors on the ground; Anthony Muburi, Deborah Nekesa, Kevin Wanyonyi, Jackline Jerotich, Mercy Nyangaresi, Gladys Gathua and Everline Ahidi, our Care Group Promoters; and Esther Komen, a Program Officer that represents the team in Kajiado.

Will you stand with these dedicated individuals? Learn more about our work in Kenya here.

 

Chickasaw Nation Testifies to the Importance of SNAP

In case you missed it, Melinda R. Newport, MS, RD/LD, the Director of WIC and Child Nutrition Programs for the Chickasaw Nation, delivered testimony before the House Agriculture Committee Nov. 16, 2016 on the importance of the SNAP program and reported on the outcome of the Packed Promise project.

Funded by a USDA grant (Demonstration Projects to End Childhood Hunger), Packed Promise allows participants to shop online for food benefits that are shipped directly to them. Participants receive a 25-pound box of shelf stable food and a $15 FRESH check to purchase fresh produce from WIC retailers and farmers markets.

Newport noted the importance of the close partnership between the Chickasaw Nation and Feed the Children in carrying out the project. Feed the Children’s experience in bulk food ordering, packaging, and delivery was leveraged to establish a viable food access point for children across rural Oklahoma. Also, its logistics expertise and food buying power allow more children to be served for less money spent.

As of November 2016, Packed Promise had shipped 793,000 pounds of food to families in need and had redeemed $261,000 in FRESH checks – all to help vulnerable Oklahoma families. Read Newport’s full testimony here.

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

Donate

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.

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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!

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Donate