Stop Hunger Now Partners with Salesian Missions to Feed World’s Poorest Youth

RALEIGH, N.C. and NEW ROCHELLE, NY (May 22, 2012) - Stop Hunger Now—an international relief organization that provides food and life‐saving aid to the world’s most vulnerable—has developed an ongoing partnership with Salesian Missions. This year, Stop Hunger Now is slated to send eleven 40-foot-long containers of food to Salesian sites around the globe, up from the six shipped in 2011.

“Salesian programs are a good match for our mission to end hunger in our lifetime by providing food and life-saving aid while creating a global commitment to mobilize the necessary resources,” said Chessney Barrick, director of marketing and communications at Stop Hunger Now.

Stop Hunger Now’s mission is supported by more than 150,000 volunteers that work together, side-by-side, to provide life-saving sustenance to those in need. The Stop Hunger Now meal packaging program provides dehydrated, high protein, and highly nutritious meals that are used in crisis situations as well as in feeding programs for schools and orphanages in developing countries around the world.

Since its inception in 1998, Stop Hunger Now’s meal packaging program has provided more than 63 million meals to those suffering from hunger. While currently operating in 12 U.S. locations, two more are planned to open in 2012. In addition to packaging meals in the U.S., Stop Hunger Now has a meal packaging program in South Africa and hosted their first international million meal event on World Food Day, Oct 16, 2011, in Malaysia. The organization has set a goal to package 25 million meals in 2012, and looks to expand further by providing 150 million meals annually over the next five years.

In addition to food aid, Stop Hunger Now provides significant in-kind aid (such as food, medicines and other supplies) that support education and vocational training programs which are proven to have long-term sustainability—like those run by Salesian Missions. These programs promote education, encourage children to attend school, improve the health and nutrition of students, address gender inequalities, combat child labor, spur economic growth and create a platform to address global issues.

Meal shipments have already reached Salesian sites in Haiti, where meals are being utilized by the Lakay program for street children. The Salesians feed more than 600 youth every day in Cité Soleil alone, the poorest slum in Port-au-Prince. Other Stop Hunger Now shipments are en route to Honduras, South Sudan and East Timor where the meals will be shared among various Salesian programs located in those counties.

“The partnership with Stop Hunger Now allows Salesian Missions to expand its scope and breadth of services to youth in need,” said Jessica O’Connor, property and logistics officer at the Salesian Missions Office for International Programs. “The shipment of packaged meals helps us to improve the nutrition of orphans and other vulnerable children, and operate feeding programs for children in Salesian schools whose families cannot afford to feed them.”

Stop Hunger Now receives requests for meals from in-country partners all over the world who are interested in utilizing meals in feeding programs. Partnerships drive Stop Hunger Now’s major distribution channels.

According to Barrick, they look for partners like Salesian Missions that are able to work with Stop Hunger Now effectively and efficiently while adding value to each other’s work. Partners are chosen based on the quality of their programs, the need in their country, their ability to ensure the food is used as intended and the expected impact of the partner's programs.

“Partnering with Salesian Missions has been a great experience. The staff is quick, thorough, responsive and great at communicating the progress of projects and the state of the beneficiaries,” Barrick says, adding that receiving letters, photos and videos from those who actually receive the food has tremendous impact on the donors they rely on to package the food.

Salesian Missions has one of the largest networks that Stop Hunger Now works with and has extensive knowledge and experience when it comes to aid shipments. The partnership, while new, has already proven to be effective.

“Salesians Missions’ vast network throughout the globe provides an opportunity to extend our partnership beyond just one country,” says Barrick. “Their experience in logistics, communications and program facilitation has proven to be a huge asset in effectively donating Stop Hunger Now meals to their organization.”

Salesian Missions has a presence in more than 130 countries around the globe and specializes in providing more than just meals and a handout.

“Feeding hungry children is often the first step in providing an education,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco.

At every Salesian-run program serving youth around the globe, children receive educational opportunities and the support of caring adults. The Salesians are an integral part of the infrastructure in many countries and Salesian Missions plays an important role in making sure aid from the United States reaches its destination country and gets into the hands of those who need it most. Humanitarian partnerships like the one with Stop Hunger Now make a real difference.

“In order to build the movement to end hunger in our lifetime,” says Barrick. “We will have to work together as partners to share the stories from the field that create champions for our causes.”

ABOUT STOP HUNGER NOW

Established in 1998, Stop Hunger Now is an international relief organization headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina. It is driven by the vision of a world without hunger. Its mission is to provide food and life‐saving aid to the world’s most vulnerable and create a global commitment to mobilize the necessary resources. Stop Hunger Now currently conducts its successful meal packaging program in 12 cities throughout the United States and three locations in South Africa. More than 150,000 volunteers have packaged 65 million meals to support school feeding programs and provide disaster relief. In 2012, Stop Hunger Now will expand its services to two new locations in the United States, Northern California and Boston, and also into Malaysia. For more information, go to StopHungerNow.org.

ABOUT SALESIAN MISSIONS

Salesian Missions is headquartered in New Rochelle, NY, and is part of the Don Bosco Network—a worldwide federation of Salesian NGOs. The mission of the U.S.-based nonprofit Catholic organization is to raise funds for international programs that serve youth and families in poor communities around the globe. The Salesian missionaries are made up of priests, brothers and sisters, as well as laypeople—all dedicated to caring for poor children throughout the world in more than 130 countries and helping young people become self-sufficient by learning a trade that will help them gain employment. To date, more than 3 million youth have received services funded by Salesian Missions. These services and programs are provided to children regardless of race or religion. For more information, go to SalesianMissions.org.

Media Contacts:

SALESIAN MISSIONS: Hannah Gregory, media@missionnewswire.org, 917-310-1245

STOP HUNGER NOW: Chessney Barrick, cbarrick@stophungernow.org, 757-469-7045