Billions of people around the world lack the nutrients their bodies need to lead an active and healthy life. Feed the Children – an international anti-hunger organization – is celebrating World Food Day with a goal of raising $100,000 to further support its important work to make a meaningful difference in the lives of children and families both across the United States and around the world.
This year, World Food Day calls for action to make healthy and sustainable diets affordable and accessible to everyone. At the same time, it calls on everyone to start thinking about what we eat. Currently, more than two million Americans live in a food desert, which means they live more than a mile away from the closest grocery store. Many of these same individuals have an income at or below the federal poverty level and less access to a high-quality, nutritious diet, according to the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service. Fast food offers struggling families a convenient solution to stretch their limited food dollars but healthier food items at these locations are often limited. This means, many times, these families are affected by both hunger and obesity due to the lack of nutritious food.
By working with corporate and community partners, Feed the Children is dedicated to helping families and communities across the U.S. achieve stable lives and to reducing the need for help tomorrow, while providing food and resources to help them today. These partnerships include organizations like AJC International. Through its program AJC Cares, the company’s employees can contribute personal time, financial donations and energy in supporting nonprofits like Feed the Children.
Feed the Children also works internationally in 10 countries 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.
These efforts are changing the lives of children like Diego, 9, who lives with his parents in the rural mountain community of Guasuyuca, Nicaragua. Diego had suffered from chronic malnutrition for many years and his growth was stunted because he wasn’t receiving the nutrition he needed to grow and develop. However, he now eats VitaMeal, a balanced, vitamin-rich meal five days a week at a Feed the Children school meals center. Long-time corporate partner NuSkin regularly donates VitaMeal to help kids in communities like Guasuyuca. The varied diet has already improved Diego’s health and is helping him put on weight.
“With the support of Feed the Children’s programs, we feel blessed,” Diego’s mother said. “Mothers like me feel motivated to work harder for the welfare of our families.”
Another of Feed the Children’s international programs provides materials for school gardens. This has been life-changing for Jose “Ever” Cordon Paz, a 16-year-old student in Honduras.
Ever had always been curious about agriculture and had helped his father plant crops on his family’s land.
“I had always helped my dad plant corn and beans,” he said. “These the only crops that we had planted previously, because this is what you always get."
Through the school gardens program sponsored by Feed the Children, he was able to learn to grow different plants that were native to Honduras as well as how to maximize the use of his family’s land to produce additional crops to provide more well-balanced nutrition.
He has also shared his new-found knowledge with his parents and neighbors in hopes of helping his entire community.
Through domestic and international efforts, Feed the Children distributed 88.6 million pounds of food and essentials across the United States and around the world valued at $344 million in fiscal year 2018. Through partnerships and programs, the organization’s outreach benefited approximately 5.1 million in the U.S. and more than 1.4 million internationally, for a total of 6.5 million children and families globally.
“We recognize hunger can’t be fought alone, but by working together, with partners like NuSkin and AJC International, we can help provide children and families with the food and essentials they need to flourish and break the cycle of poverty,” said Travis Arnold, president and chief executive officer of Feed the Children.
For more information on how you can help support the organization’s World Food Day efforts, visit feedthechildren.org/pages/world-food-day. Each gift delivers much-needed food and programs to families in the U.S. and around the world.