This morning at church, on a beautiful, sunny, cool day in coastal Mississippi, we had a “packing event” for international food aid for Somalia through the group “Stop Hunger Now”. We also donated $5,000 through special offerings collected by our youth. We have done these events before, but our minister was aware of this crisis now and called to say that we wanted to respond.
Stop Hunger Now is an international hunger relief agency that has been fulfilling its commitment to end hunger for more than 12 years. Since 1998, the organization has coordinated the distribution of food and other lifesaving aid to children and families in countries all over the world.
Stop Hunger Now has provided more than $70 million dollars worth of direct aid and 34 million meals to 72 countries worldwide.
Stop Hunger Now created its meal packaging program, in 2005. The program perfected the assembly process that combines rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and a flavoring mix including 21 essential vitamins and minerals into small meal packets. Each meal costs only 25 cents. The food stores easily, has a shelf-life of five years and transports quickly.
Stop Hunger Now works with international partners that ship and distribute the meals in-country. Stop Hunger Now primarily ships its meals to support school feeding programs, but also provides meals to our in-country partners for crisis relief.
The packaging operation is mobile, (i.e. it can go wherever volunteers are located), and can be adapted to accommodate as few as 25 and as many as 500 volunteers at a time. One SHN packaging event can result in the packaging of more than 1,000,000 meals or product servings. The use of volunteers for product packaging has resulted in an extremely cost-effective operation while, at the same time, increasing awareness of global hunger and food insecurity issues across a broad cross-section of the US population.