Tag Archives: charity

Hunger fighting app wins Webby Award

Charity Miles, the hunger fighting app, has won a prestigious Webby award. The Webbys are “the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet.”

Read the full article at Examiner.com

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Dunkin Donuts says it’s time to fight hunger in America

The Dunkin Donuts & Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation is helping to fight hunger in America.

Read the full article at Examiner.com

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10-Year Old Cancer Patient Brings Soup to the Hungry and Homeless

Ten year-old Natalia Marsh-Welton knows how cold she feels while getting chemotherapy for a brain tumor. She also knows how hard it must be too for those homeless and without food.

Natalia says, “I am cold all of the time. Imagine how cold people without homes must be.” As reported by Brad Evans of WLWT in Cincinnati, she decided to take action.

Read the full article at The Huffington Post

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Help Fight Hunger in America from Your Kitchen

The Child Hunger Ends Here program is part of ConAgra Foods’ ongoing commitment to help end child hunger in America. For every code entered by 8/31/13, ConAgra Foods will donate the monetary equivalent of one meal to Feeding America Credits: ConAgra Foods

This week I have an Easter oped in the Des Moines Register with some free ways you can fight world hunger using Charity Miles and FreeRice. There is another way too using groceries you might already have in your own kitchen.

ConAgra Foods has placed special codes on many of its products. These include Chef Boyardee, Healthy Choice, Hunts Tomato Sauce, Peter Pan peanut butter, Marie Callender and many others. When you see a red push pin on the product label that says Child Hunger Ends Here, the eight digit code is right next to it in a blue box.

You then go to the web site Child Hunger Ends Here, enter the 8 digit code, click submit and ConAgra will donate 1 meal to Feeding America. This will support food banks across the country which are part of the Feeding America network. So far 741,545 codes have been entered since January 11th and the goal is to reach 3 million meals.

When you visit the site you can view information about hunger in your state. There is also a complete list of ConAgra products where you can find the codes.

It’s an easy way to help support food banks with products you might very well have in your kitchen right now.

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Pope Can Unite World in Ending Hunger

Pope Francis can unite the world in ending hunger (Vatican photo)

Pope Francis can unite the world in ending hunger (Vatican photo)

Pope Francis can be a powerful leader in uniting all people and faiths in ending world hunger.

For any perceived differences that might exist among world religions and their followers certainly disappear when it comes down to the basic staple of food. Everyone on the planet needs access to food. The saving of human lives, the improvement of standards of living, and peacebuilding all rest first and foremost on food.

In 1920 when people were suffering from hunger in the aftermath of World War I, Pope Benedict XV praised a newly formed “European Relief Council” calling it “truly wonderful and providential” as it fed the hungry. The Pope said praised it “seeing that your work is not confined to any one people, but that it embraces all that are in need without distinction.”

This relief council had brought together organizations including the National Catholic Welfare Council and the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. When a famine struck Russia in 1921 these groups continued their relief work saving countless lives. Pope Benedict sent trainloads of food and rallied support to help the starving people.

After World War II churches served as collection points where people dropped off donations of food to be shipped overseas to starving people in Europe and Asia. There were many countries still suffering from the destruction of the war. The hungry were not forgotten.

Pope Pius XII said, “We must not allow death to engrave on millions of tombs of innocent children the tragic words of accusation: The little ones have asked for bread and there was no one to break it to them.” Around this time a new organization called Catholic Relief Services got its start.

The Pope embraced ingenuity in fighting hunger, whether it was the CARE package of food which people sent overseas or the Friendship Train. This was the train that crossed America during 1947 collecting food for the hungry in Europe, which helped fuel the reconstruction of a continent.

Pope Pius said when the food arrived in Italy, “Such a cheering contrast in the news of recent days has been the conception of the idea of a Friendship Train and its immediate and generous reception over the entire area of the United States, resulting in the donation of an impressively large quantity of foodstuffs destined and dispatched without delay for the relief of the hungry.”

Now today, the resources exist more than ever to help the 870 million people worldwide who are suffering. These are people starving in the war-affected areas of South Sudan and Sudan, in Syria, and other countries impacted by conflict, drought and poverty. They are small children, who because they cannot get nutrition early in life either perish or suffer lasting physical and mental damage. Many of these children can be saved if more resources and effort are dedicated to fighting hunger.

Last year, the director of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, José Graziano da Silva, met with religious leaders trying to build unity in the fight against global hunger. There should be a shared commitment on the part of world religions to eradicate world hunger. The new Pope has the great opportunity to make this happen.

“For I was hungry and you gave me food.” Jesus called for the starving and poor to be fed and we each have the opportunity to carry out this mission every day. Hunger must not be a condition considered inevitable, not when we have the ability to end it. What is needed is the spirit and faith to win the struggle against man’s ancient enemy, hunger.

Article first published as Pope Can Unite World in Ending Hunger on Blogcritics.

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Movie industry can help end world hunger

The Hunger Games film recently teamed up with the World Food Programme and Feeding America. (United Nations)

Earlier this year former senator Chris Dodd, chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America, shared some great news about the movie industry. Dodd said, “Over the past five years, North American box office revenues are up six percent. This year has already begun with a tremendous start: as of April 19 – the box office was up 17 percent over the same period last year.”

The film industry is having great success. With that comes an opportunity to use its power to fight one of the greatest global threats: hunger and malnutrition. In fact, that is what the motion picture industry did when it was just getting started in the early 1900s.

During World War I (1914-1918) millions of people suffered from hunger as food supplies and farmlands were destroyed. American relief efforts, led by Herbert Hoover and many charities, came to the rescue.

Even after the fighting stopped hunger continued. Reconstruction from the war was a big enough task. The European nations were not yet able to produce enough food to sustain themselves. Hoover and other leaders had to find a way to fund aid for the hungry overseas.

The film industry did not sit idle. They took action. Theatres around the country hosted a special Sunday matinee on January 29, 1921 with proceeds going toward European relief. Motion picture actors made appearances encouraging people to attend the event. There was even a contest to see which theatre could collect the most donations.

Hoover’s memoir said the Motion Picture Campaign raised $169,000 to help feed Europe. This fundraising event coincided with a series of Invisible Guest Dinners that also raised funds. The invisible guest represented one of the hungry children in war-torn Europe.

This year the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and Feeding America teamed up with the Hunger Games film to raise awareness of the world’s nearly one billion hungry people. Rene McGuffin, senior WFP spokesperson, said, “The campaign was particularly successful in terms of raising awareness about hunger among the many fans and the general public. The campaign site, which included a public service announcement featuring the stars of the film, along with an interactive hunger quiz and several online contests, proved to be an effective tool for community engagement.”

In fact the campaign and film inspired some creative fundraising by schoolchildren, including this story on the WFP site. The Hunger Games film also inspired some canned good drives. The more of this kind of social action, the better.

At the time of World War I relief there was a great hope for peace, and for an end to both war and hunger. Those dreams have not been realized, at least not yet. It’s up to the current generation to keep up the struggle to achieve those goals. The film industry can be one of the leaders.

Article first published as Movie Industry Can Help End World Hunger on Blogcritics.

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Teaming Up to Defeat Hunger in America

Announcing the opening of the Fight Hunger Together initiative at Walmart are Feeding America president Vickie Escarra (left) and Kimberly Williams Paisley, an actress and award winning director of the film Shade. Photo credit: Feeding America

Some of the largest companies are teaming together to fight hunger in America, at a time of the year when it’s needed most.

Walmart last week announced its Fighting Hunger Together Campaign to make sure foodbanks have enough supplies to last during the spring and summer months. The foodbanks come to the aid of the 49 million Americans who suffer from food insecurity and struggle to get food on the table. General Mills, ConAgra Foods, Kraft Foods and Kellogg Company are joining the hunger relief effort which was announced last week in Nashville, Tennessee.

Walmart says customers can help the hungry when they shop. A press release said signs in the Walmart locations will point customers to products which will have “on-package labels that will “advise customers how to generate meals by entering product codes online, sharing a hashtag on Twitter or scanning a QR code.” Walmart says the campaign is expected to produce 42 million meals.

You can also take part in the campaign by visiting the Walmart facebook page and voting for a community to win a million dollars.

The most important impact of the campaign though will be the awareness it raises about hunger in America. For at this time of the year donations to foodbanks are often reduced and this is especially a cause for alarm with unemployment rates high and potential budget cuts to food assistance programs in Congress.

Vicki Escarra, president and CEO of Feeding America, says, “No one in America should go hungry and we are proud to partner with Walmart in this effort. Through this program, Walmart and its partners are making a powerful impact that will not only address hunger this spring, but will have a lasting effect on the issue of hunger in America.”

The foodbanks across America are facing pressing needs. Lisa Hamler-Fugitt of the Ohio Second Harvest Foodbanks says,”families are stretched to the breaking point and the agencies that serve them are praying for a miracle.”

Donations though are not as robust as during the holidays months. Jennifer Small of the Maryland Food Bank says, “Typically donations are slower the January to September time period.”

Anna Hogan of the Cincinnati Freestore Foodbank says, “right now is typically the time period when donations are a bit less likely…. most donations come in during the holidays, and there is typically a drop off during the Spring and Summer.

The Freestore is holding a Hunger Walk next month to help build up food supplies.

Aside from immediate supply shortages, the biggest problem facing the fight against hunger is awareness. There is enough food in the country but funding cuts or not enough involvement from government, the public or companies leaves those fighting hunger without enough resources to do the job.

There is strength in numbers. The more people become aware and get involved the more likely hunger can be ended in America.

Article first published as Teaming up to Defeat Hunger in America on Blogcritics.

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Hunger Games Movie Inspiring Food Drives Across Country

A Hunger Games Design of a MockingJay set up for a food drive
Credits: Manna Food Bank

The Hunger Games movie is rallying support for the fight against hunger in the U.S. and abroad. The movie, which is set in the future after North America has suffered famine, is partnering with Feeding America and the World Food Programme .

The Manna Food Bank of North Carolina is holding a Hunger Games food drive. A sculpture based on the film was even set up at the nearby theater.

The West End Library in Washington, DC is conducting a food drive with the film’s release. The library’s web site states it hopes to draw attention to child hunger in the District. Feeding America states, “The District of Columbia (32.3%) and Oregon (29.2%) had the highest rates of children in households without consistent access to food.”

KHAS TV in Nebraska says that Hastings High School held a Hunger Games Food Drive. The students came up with the idea and set up a canned good collection at the Hastings Imperial Theater.

WSLS TV in Virginia reports that two high school classes carried out a food drive to benefit a local pantry in connection with their own “Hunger Games” trivia competition. WCYB TV reports that movie goers have been asked to bring in canned goods to the theater which will be donated to the Second Harvest Foodbank of Northeast Tennessee.

The owner of a movie theater in Temecula, California has also set up a Hunger Games food drive. Also in California, the Monterey Free County Libraries are hosting a food drive in conjunction with the opening of the film.

Lisa Hamler-Fugitt of Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks says she believes more such events are underway in her state. She says that the Cleveland Food Bank is also helping spread the word about a Sundance independent film about hunger called Finding North .

The Hunger Games has an opportunity to inspire action against the famine currently threatening the Sahel region of Africa as well as Sudan. East Africa was struck by famine last year and is still recovering. Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria and other countries are also facing severe hunger.

At the same time the President and the U.S. Congress are committing a low amount of funding for the Food for Peace program, the country’s main tool in fighting global hunger since the Eisenhower administration. The World Food Program USA is asking citizens to call on Congress to increase funding for Food for Peace from $1.4 billion to $2 billion to meet the growing crisis.

The Hunger Games, although fiction, has a chance to do some real world good if it inspires action and interest into hunger issues. Sometimes film is what it takes. An academy award winning film, The Seeds of Destiny, once inspired people to act against hunger in the wake of World War II. President Truman’s Cabinet Committee on World Food Programs even set up a viewing of the film.

With the fact that hunger is growing worldwide this kind of activism could not come at a more important time.

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An Interview with David Green of Feeding Children Everywhere

Group of volunteers preparing meals which Feeding Children Everywhere will ship to the hungry both at home and abroad. The meal contains rice, protein (lentils), vegetables, vitamins and minerals.

Feeding Children Everywhere is a charity based in Florida that is taking on the hunger and malnutrition crisis both at home and abroad.

Founded by Don Campbell in 2010, Feeding Children Everywhere quickly brought 250,000 meals into Haiti to help earthquake victims. Since then they have continued and expanded hunger relief efforts.

Feeding Children Everywhere hosts meal packing events where volunteers gather to prepare food that will be shipped to those in need. David Green, the Chief Operating Officer, recently took time to discuss the charity’s accomplishments and vision.

How many meals has your organization made and shipped here in the United States and around the world?

We were founded in August of 2010. In 19 months we’ve shipped 7.2 million meals to hungry kids around the world.

What are some of the communities in the U.S. that have received meals from Feeding Children Everywhere?

We’ve sent a large number or meals to crisis food pantries in Florida’s public schools. We now have events planned for public schools in Georgia, California, Colorado, Texas, New York, and Arizona. Our goal is that by 2015 we will be providing 100 million meals a year to crisis food pantries in public schools around the U.S.

Is your organization involved with supporting summer feeding for children who no longer have access to meals provided through school feeding?

We support programs year round. We believe that Children always need sustainable access to food.

When we send meals to a school it is targeted to last an entire year. We want to make sure the program is consistent and reliable year round.

The meals go in the crisis food pantry at the school. If the school is closed then there is nobody there to distribute meals.

What countries have you sent meals?

A lot. Most recent or upcoming would be:

Kenya, Ghana, Haiti, Guatemala, Honduras, Ethiopia, India, Dominican Republic, U.S.

Where do you receive funding to produce the meals?

Our funding comes primarily from the 25 cents per meal that meal packing event sponsors donate to fund a project. In 2011, 93% of the donations we received went directly to meals for kids.

How can some get involved with Feeding Children Everywhere?

Volunteer at a local packing event in their area, become an intern, sponsor a meal packing event, donate, or become one of our “Hunger Heroes.”

For more information visit Feeding Children Everywhere.

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Matthew 25: Ministries ready to aid Midwest towns leveled by massive storms

The "Doorway to Helping the Needy of the World" located in the Matthew 25: Ministries processing center (photo courtesy Matthew 25: Ministries)

Matthew 25: Ministries, a humanitarian aid agency in Cincinnati, is collecting food, first aid, blankets and other supplies for communities devastated by tornadoes on Friday.

The Tri-State area of Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky saw one its most destructive storms in its history. Early reports say at least 17 people have been killed in Indiana and Kentucky by tornadoes.

Large parts of the town of Holton, Indiana have been leveled and fatalities reported according to WLWT news. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that 80 percent of homes in the town of Moscow, Ohio were damaged.

In Kenton County in Northern Kentucky tornadoes tore through residential areas and caused 3 deaths. The Cincinnati Enquirer also reports that multiple homes were destroyed, trees uprooted and cars and trucks were lifted and thrown by the powerful winds.

Matthew 25: Ministries says it’s working to assess the damage and needs of the victims. For information on how to donate visit their web site at www.m25m.org. Matthew 25 Ministries says it accepts donations of cash or goods for disaster aid and humanitarian relief programs. They also welcome volunteers to their 132,000 square foot facility in Cincinnati.

Update from Matthew 25: Ministries — We expect to begin disaster relief next week for areas in the Tri-state damaged by yesterday’s tornadoes. Matthew 25’s Assessment Team, led by Disaster Relief Coordinator Tim Mettey, will personally deliver initial supplies, identify the most urgent needs, work with partners to establish distribution centers and develop operational templates for ongoing aid. Matthew 25 is currently requesting first response support including monetary donations, non-perishable food, personal care products, cleaning supplies, paper products, baby supplies, and first aid items.

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