As families around the world are working to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact, Feed the Children, a leading nonprofit focused on alleviating childhood hunger, is celebrating the 75th Anniversary of World Food Day Oct. 16 by working harder than ever to provide food and essentials to those who are hungry.
Due to the pandemic, it is estimated one in four children in the United States are food insecure and more than 2 billion people worldwide are experiencing moderate or severe food insecurity, meaning they have difficulty in regularly accessing enough nutritious food. In fact, 2020 has been labeled as the hungriest year in modern history.
It’s a sentiment that is echoed across the country by many of Feed the Children’s community partners.
“Since COVID-19, we are helping 4 times as many families with food assistance and we couldn’t do that without Feed the Children,” said Eric Johns Pastor of the Buffalo Dream Center. “With the demand for food increasing and families in need, we’ve had to make sure that we’re out there in the community helping people. “
This year, World Food Day calls for action to grow, nourish, sustain - together. Organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), organizations and individuals are encouraged to help preserve access to safe and nutritious food. This is an essential part of the response to COVID-19, particularly for vulnerable communities who have been most impacted by the pandemic.
The world “could be facing multiple famines of biblical proportions,” according to David Beasley, Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme. He noted that economic crisis, conflict, and a decline in aid create a “perfect storm,” adding that there is “a real danger that more people could potentially die from the economic impact of COVID-19 than from the virus itself.”
Feed the Children is working to stamp out hunger and make a difference in the lives of children and families across the United States and in the 10 countries around the world where it serves, including El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Malawi, Nicaragua, the Philippines, Tanzania and Uganda. There they provide a child-focused community development approach which emphasizes four key program areas including food and nutrition, health and water, education, and livelihoods.
Internationally, Feed the Children staff and community volunteers have been working to educate their communities about the virus as well as provide school meals in a small setting to help children receive proper nutrition.
The global nonprofit works with public and private partners to ensure everyone, everywhere, has access to the safe, healthy and nutritious food they need. By working with a vast network of community partners, Feed the Children provides food and essentials to help children and their families achieve stable lives, while providing food and resources to help them today.
For volunteer Deby Fabrazzo, helping distribute food and household items provided perspective during this pandemic and made her grateful for what her family has.
“My husband and I have three teenage children. We haven’t worried about food insecurity and we’ve been very healthy,” Fabrazzo said. “This has served as a reminder that we have so much to be thankful for. We have obviously never been through a pandemic before and this experience has been a very eye-opening one.”
Fabrazzo added “from my perspective, what we can offer the community is hope. This is a tangible way that we can make a difference during a time that feels really hopeless.”
In the U.S. and around the world, Feed the Children distributed approximately 78 million pounds of food and essentials valued at more than $269 million in fiscal year 2019. Through its partnerships and programs, the nonprofit’s outreach to children and their families benefited approximately 4.7 million people in the U.S. and more than 1.6 million internationally for a total of 6.3 million people globally.
“Feed the Children is taking action to ensure our neighbors aren't forgotten. We understand that many families are facing unexpected challenges, and we are working diligently with our corporate and community partners to ensure that as needs rise, children and their families continue to receive the food and supplies they need,” said Travis Arnold, Feed the Children president and CEO.
For more information on how you can help support Feed the Children’s World Food Day efforts, visit feedthechildren.org/pages/worldfoodday. Each dollar given multiplies by seven to deliver much-needed food and programs to families in the U.S. and around the world.