Stop Hunger Now, Salesian Missions Partnership Feeds Poor Youth around the Globe
(MissionNewswire) Vulnerable children in schools and youth centers in some of the poorest places on the planet have access to life-saving food thanks to an ongoing partnership between Salesian Missions and Stop Hunger Now.
Close to 823 million people do not have enough to eat and nearly half of them are children, according to Stop Hunger Now, an international relief organization that provides food and life‐saving aid to the world’s most vulnerable. Of those who go hungry daily, 98 percent reside in developing countries where there is not only a shortage of food, but major challenges for aid to reach its destination. Working with Salesian Missions to ensure delivery and distribution, more than 10 countries have already received shipments of food this year, and will receive several more in the coming months.
Stop Hunger Now 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 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.
“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,” says Chessney Barrick, director of communications and cause marketing at Stop Hunger Now.
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. It is volunteer-based and coordinates the streamlined packaging of highly nutritious dehydrated meals comprised of rice, soy, vegetables, flavoring, and 21 essential vitamins and minerals.
Founded in 1998, Stop Hunger Now has delivered aid and disaster relief supplies in the form of food, medicines, medical supplies, medical equipment, clothing, school supplies and more to thousands of disaster victims and other hungry and vulnerable people in 65 countries.
More than 300,000 volunteers have participated in the organization’s fun, exciting and rewarding activites. Stop Hunger Now meal packaging provides volunteers the opportunity to have an exponential and sustainable international impact right from their own communities.
The organization operates meal packaging locations in 17 cities throughout the U.S. and international locations in South Africa and Malaysia. Late in 2013, it plans to initiate the meal packaging program in new locations including Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth and Bologna, Italy.
This year Stop Hunger Now shipments have already reached the Salesian Society of St. John Bosco 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.
“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,” explains Jessica O’Connor, property and logistics officer at the Salesian Missions Office for International Programs.
“The partnership with Stop Hunger Now allows Salesian Missions to expand its scope of services to youth in need,” adds O’Connor. “Stop Hunger Now is one of our favorite partners to work with because they are very flexible. They actively seek out opportunities to enhance shipments with additional donated items that the beneficiaries need, and they go the extra mile to help Salesian Missions meet any additional emergency requests for food that we receive.”
Partnerships, like those with Salesian Missions, drive Stop Hunger Now’s major distribution channels. According to Barrick, the organization looks for those who 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.
With programs in more than 130 countries around the globe, Salesian Missions has one of the largest networks that Stop Hunger Now works with and they have extensive knowledge and experience when it comes to aid shipments. The Salesians are an integral part of the existing 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.
“Partnering with Salesian Missions has been a great experience and their vast network around 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.”
Barrick also praises Salesian Missions’ staff who she says are very thorough, responsive and excellent at communicating the progress of projects and the state of the beneficiaries. She notes 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.
“Feeding hungry children is often the first step in providing an education,” says Father Mark Hyde, executive director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Hungry and malnourished youth cannot focus on learning. Our programs work to educate and meet the basic needs of poor youth.”
At every Salesian program serving youth around the globe, children receive educational opportunities and the support of caring adults. 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
This year, Stop Hunger Now is celebrating its 15th anniversary in its ongoing work to create a movement to end hunger. More than 100,000,000 meals have been packaged and distributed with other life-saving aid to 65 countries, impacting millions of lives. The organization is driven by a vision of a world without hunger and a mission to end hunger in our lifetime by providing food and life-saving aid to the world’s most vulnerable and by creating a global commitment to mobilize the necessary resources.
In its efforts to respond to emergency needs around the world Stop Hunger Now receives and distributes significant donations of in-kind aid. These donations are large quantities of food, medicines, medical supplies and other such items as may be of use in fighting hunger and providing relief in a crisis. For more information visit www.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.