NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (Oct. 16, 2013) Everyday, more than 840 million people go hungry in a world of plenty. Additionally, two billion people lack the vitamins and minerals needed to live healthy lives according to the World Food Program and the United Nations.
Each year, Oct. 16th marks the observance of World Food Day aimed at bringing attention to the plight of the world’s hungry and undernourished while providing an opportunity for a deeper understanding of the complex solutions. This year’s theme is “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition.”
Many Salesian programs are dedicated to developing sustainable food systems and providing agricultural education. Working in more than 130 countries—operating primary schools, technical training centers, youth centers, orphanages and programs for street children—Salesian missionaries are on the front lines of the battle against hunger.
“The work has to be done to ensure better local, sustainable food supplies in the future,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “But foreign aid and feeding programs are also a necessity to feed the massive numbers of children who are hungry today and trying desperately to seek an education at our many schools around the globe.”
To achieve this, Salesian Missions develops and maintains vital partnerships with key organizations to deliver food to those most in need, with a focus on school children.
“Meals children receive at our schools may be their only meals,” says Father Hyde. “This food not only encourages them to attend school, it allows them to get the education they need because one cannot learn on an empty stomach.”
This World Food Day, Salesian Missions is proud to highlight some of its partnerships with other U.S. nonprofit organizations that make the delivery of life-saving and life-changing meals possible.
STOP HUNGER NOW
Stop Hunger Now is an international relief organization that provides food and life‐saving aid to the world’s most vulnerable. The nonprofit provides more than just food aid. It also 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 NGOs around the globe. Stop Hunger Now partners with Salesian Missions (in New Rochelle, N.Y.) which works to identify needs and coordinates the delivery of 40-foot shipping containers ofthe meals, supplemented with additional supplies when available. Recently, a shipment was successfully delivered to people in need in the Philippines. Here, more than 28 Salesian programs shared 660 boxes of fortified rice-soy meals. More than 3,100 poor children and families benefitted from this food assistance. This ongoing partnership continues to grow and so far Stop Hunger Now shipments have been received in Haiti, South Africa, Zambia and Sierra Leone where the meals are shared among various Salesian programs located in those countries. The Stop Hunger Now meal packaging program was created to give dedicated individuals the opportunity to participate in a hands-on international hunger relief program and to become educated, engaged advocates for the world’s poor and hungry.
FEED MY STARVING CHILDREN
Feed My Starving Children is a non-profit Christian organization committed to feeding God’s children hungry in body and spirit. Children and adults hand-pack meals specifically formulated for malnourished children, which are then shipped to nearly 70 countries around the world. Salesian Mission is a distribution partner to Feed My Starving Children. The Salesians receive much needed shipments of meals for youth in need at various Salesian-run centers across the globe and help Feed My Starving Children meet their mission of feeding malnourished children. Recently, the mountainous area of La Tinta, Guatemala, was affected by devastating floods. A food delivery arrived before the floods thanks to the partnership with Feed My Starving Children, so the Salesians were able to respond to the emergency immediately with a large quantity of protein-enriched rice. This partnership was also essential in the delivery of meals to Haiti following the devastating earthquake.