How can I get more involved?
Host a packaging event – Countless congregations, civic organizations, corporations and schools have enjoyed organizing a Stop Hunger Now meal packaging event. It’s an immensely fun, hands-on and rewarding experience for anyone of any age. A group of 40- 50 volunteers can package 10,152 meals in just two hours. To get started organizing your packaging event, contact your local program coordinator to set a goal for the number of meals you will package. Recruit volunteers based on the number of meals you plan to package, then you can begin funding for your event. All you need to raise is $0.29 cents for each meal you will package.
Donate – Make a donation through our website or mail in your check to our main office located at 615 Hillsborough Street, Suite 200, Raleigh, NC, 27603. Funds will go to the area of greatest need, which may include life-saving aid such as medical supplies, food or clothes. You also can make a donation in honor or in memory of someone you care about. We will send a card acknowledging your gift to the chosen recipient.
Join our sustaining giving program – Help Stop Hunger Now form a sustainable foundation by making a monthly donation to help in the fight against hunger. Automatic monthly gifts will provideStop Hunger Now with the day-to-day support we need in a way that’s more convenient for you.
Spread the word – Join the hunger movement by spreading the word about the tragedy that is chronic hunger and Stop Hunger Now’s mission to end it in our lifetime.
- Become an advocate for the hungry by inviting your friends and family to visit our website to learn more about what we do
- See the faces of those we’re serving, read their stories, and connect with like-minded volunteers by liking us on Facebook
- Get the latest, up-to-date happenings by following us on Twitter
- Read up on the impact of your support on our blog
Can my young children be involved?
Children 5 and up can participate in Stop Hunger Now’s meal packaging program. There are a variety of jobs throughout the assembly line process that can accommodate young children and people with special needs.
Do host groups have to go through some sort of preliminary training to hold an event?
There are no training requirements to organize a meal packaging event. Prior to beginning the meal packaging event an education and training session is conducted for all volunteers present. During this session clear instructions on how to package through our assembly line process are provided.
What does the $0.29 per meal cost cover?
Stop Hunger Now asks meal packaging participants to donate $0.29 cents per meal they package. These funds are used to acquire the ingredients as well as pay staffing and support costs to make it possible for us to bring this event to you. Supplies are purchased on the general commodities markets, and we get reduced rates on most of our ingredients.
We continually strive to be good stewards of the contributions we receive. Last year, we carefully managed administrative and fundraising costs, allowing us to invest 87.9 percent of expenses in our programs.
Why does Stop Hunger Now use volunteers to package meals versus automated production?
Stop Hunger Now conducts meal packaging events with volunteers because we feel that it is as important to engage as many people as possible in the effort to eradicate hunger as it is to package and distribute the meals. We engage people in the effort to end hunger by providing an immensely fulfilling, impactful, and fun experience for volunteers.
Our events also serve as a platform to educate people about hunger, what they can do about it, and to inspire them to take further action. Creating such a movement through educating people about the issue is essential to creating the will to mobilize the necessary resources to end hunger in our lifetime.
Has Stop Hunger Now considered the energy costs of shipping raw materials to meal packaging event locations?
Stop Hunger Now is committed to efficiency, cost effectiveness, and reducing our impact on the environment. Toward this end, we continue our efforts to establish the meal packaging program internationally. Current locations include South Africa, Italy, Malaysia, the Philippines, Peru and India.
By establishing the program in other countries, we are able to procure the ingredients locally, support local food production, engage local volunteers in helping provide food to their communities, and significantly reduce transportation costs and environmental impact.
How do you determine where you ship meals and how do you ensure they are received by those who need them?
Stop Hunger Now requires that our in-country partners complete a Stop Hunger Now Food Request application. Once this form is complete, our Distribution/Monitoring & Evaluation team determines if the requesting organization meets the requirements to receive a shipment of meals or donated aid. The requesting organization is assessed based on the following criteria:
Accountability: All candidate organizations will be reviewed to ensure that they are safe, honest and reliable. Donated meals are to feed the hungry and not to support any political or theological views. Efforts are made to ensure that aid is not being provided to or used to support any oppressive group.
Importation: Partnering organization must have the ability to pay the cost of shipping all requested containers. In addition, each partner must have contacts, knowledge and the ability to guide each shipment through customs.
Storage: The target partner needs to have the ability to store and secure a minimum of
10 pallets. Each pallet will be 4-feet by 4-feet with the height of 7.5 feet and weigh 2,175 pounds. The donated meals will need to be secured as well.
Distribution: Partnering program must maintain control of the donated food. Any loss of control will cause the meals to be sold in local markets and result in undermining the local economy. Meals are primarily used to support programs that are designed for sustainability and not survivability.
The partner organization receiving the aid pays the shipping costs for each meal shipment. Once the shipment is received and distributed, the partner organization is required to report back to Stop Hunger Now with the results of the distribution. We require our partner organizations to agree not to barter or sell the aid they receive, which keeps the food we send out of the general market.
Once the meals are shipped, can a group that has packaged the meals follow them to their final destination and distribution?
Yes. Once meals are packaged and collected in our warehouse to total 285,120 for a full container, the local Program Manager will notify the meal packaging host organization by email with details of the shipment: where they are being shipped, who will be receiving them and, when available, photos of the meals arriving at their destination.
Can we designate where our meals go?
We invite and encourage groups that are interested in packaging meals to recommend worthy in-country partners to distribute the meals that they package. Stop Hunger Now will evaluate prospective meal recipients to validate their accountability and in order to ensure that the meals will be received, stored, secured and distributed effectively as explained above.
It is important to note that the application and approval process can take several months, meaning that the application process needs to begin at least 9 months before the packaging event.
Stop Hunger Now’s priority is to meet our existing commitments before we add new partners. Lastly, we require that the group package a full 20-ft (142,560 meals) or 40-ft container (285,120 meals) to support the designated in-country recipient shipment.
Any organization can apply for Stop Hunger Now meals regardless of whether a volunteer group intends on packaging meals specifically for them.
Where do the pictures of meal shipments come from?
Our in-country partners provide us with pictures of their meal distribution programs and Stop Hunger Now meals being received and served.
How is providing food aid to developing countries sustainable? How will communities become self-sufficient?
Addressing hunger is a key strategy to increasing education rates and providing a way out of poverty in developing countries. Providing meals in schools increases enrollment. As education levels rise, birth rates and disease rates fall, and communities begin to sustain themselves. The food resources needed to eradicate life-threatening malnutrition are sustainable and hunger experts agree that school feeding programs are the most effective tool for increasing access to education and improving the nutritional status of children.
How do people who do not read English know how to prepare the meals?
On the back of each meal bag is an easy-to-understand graphic illustration demonstrating the cooking process. Preparing the meals is simple.
Do you have plans to develop water systems in the areas you work in? If not, how are they assured clean water to prepare the meals?
Water is needed to prepare Stop Hunger Now meals, so an organization that receives our meals must be able to demonstrate they have access to water. In some cases, Stop Hunger Now has provided limited funding to help a community develop access to water, but this is not our focus and our resources are limited for this purpose. However, we do encourage partnerships with organizations that focus on providing clean water. The meals are cooked to 150 degrees, which ensures any parasites are killed during preparation.
Do you give aid domestically?
Stop Hunger Now is committed to working with our partners around the world to address hunger and malnutrition in the most strategic way possible through the distribution of food and in-kind aid. Since the inception of the meal packaging program, Stop Hunger Now has received frequent inquiries about the domestic distribution of meals.
Stop Hunger Now accepts food requests from NGOs all over the world, including within the U.S. We evaluate each request, domestic and international, using consistent criteria. In addition to our routine vetting process, we consider the need (severity of hunger issues) and whether we can have a sustainable impact. The Board of Trustees approved in 2013 to allow distribution of our meals to fully-vetted U.S. partners. To date, our distribution in the U.S. primarily has been in the form of crisis response.
Is Stop Hunger Now a faith-based organization?
Although founded by a clergyman, Stop Hunger Now is first and foremost dedicated to creating a world without hunger. We believe that this imperative is in keeping with the traditions of the great faiths of the world, and Stop Hunger Now actively seeks to engage people of all faiths in our mission to end world hunger in our lifetime.
Stop Hunger Now does not evangelize or seek to promote any particular faith or religion. We adhere to guiding principles that are consistent with the Code of Conduct for Humanitarian Agencies, which include: humanitarian imperative comes first; aid is given regardless of the race, creed or nationality of the recipients and without adverse distinction of any kind; and aid will not be used to further a particular political or religious standpoint.
Stop Hunger Now may provide meals and other aid to faith-based organizations that have evangelical purposes. Our agreement with these organizations, however, is that meals will not be used subversively, coercively, or to promote any religious or political objectives.
Why do you use textured soy protein instead of whey protein?
Stop Hunger Now uses soy protein because it’s vegetarian. Stop Hunger Now meals are appropriate for most diets because they are rice-based, vegetarian and can be augmented with locally available food and spices.
Why do you use white rice instead of more nutritious whole grain/brown rice?
While there are nutritional benefits to whole grain and brown rices, white rice takes less time to prepare and is less expensive, which allows us to feed more people.
Where do you get your materials and ingredients?
Stop Hunger Now facilitates events all over the world and, as much as possible, uses locally available ingredients and materials in every country where we package meals to help sustain the local economy.
What is the impact of these meals on the places where they are distributed and how do you measure that impact?
Stop Hunger Now meals pack a big punch. Every dehydrated rice/soy meal is fortified with 23 essential vitamins and nutrients. Research has shown that one in three people in developing countries are adversely affected by vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Addressing the problem of hunger is the single point where we can leverage relief for all humanitarian issues. With your support, relief organizations such as Stop Hunger Now have the means to deliver to ongoing school feeding programs that sustain lifelong change. Providing a hot meal during school gives parents an incentive to send their children to school. Through receiving a primary school education, the cycle of poverty can begin to be broken by leveraging change in many other issues including education, maternal health, childhood mortality, gender equality and combating HIV/AIDS.
We currently require that our in-country partners report on the impact of the Stop Hunger Now shipments they received. Our strategic plan recognizes the challenges of getting impact reports from our in-country partners, and we are working to improve that process.
Do you think it’s really possible to end world hunger in our lifetime?
The world has enough production potential and distribution capability to feed everyone. The world has actually produced enough food to feed itself since the 1960s – enough to feed everyone 4.3 pounds of food each day. The need is for both the moral and political will to end hunger. We have the resources, we know where to go, we strive with the hunger community to end apathy towards hunger and create a movement to end hunger in our lifetime. Stop Hunger Now meals are used to target under-resourced schools and health centers. The two most important factors in economic growth and poverty reduction, education and health are addressed through this approach. Stop Hunger Now is growing the movement by creating educated advocates and volunteers for the poor that are mobilizing even more resources toward these proven poverty solutions. This is accomplished while also building up local, in-country meal packaging to help local farmers and improve food security and disaster preparedness.
If schools get this food from you for free, don’t you think we’re hurting the local economy/local farmer who used to supply them food?
Imported aid does have the potential to undermine local food producers, and there are those who would use this as a reason not to provide any aid at all while thousands die of starvation, which we believe is unconscionable in a world where we produce enough food to feed every single person.
The effort to end hunger must involve short-term strategies to end immediate suffering as well as long-term strategies to decrease poverty and increase food production capacity. The food we provide is best utilized when it leverages other sustainable development initiatives such as school feeding programs, food for work programs, and HIV/AIDS treatment programs because addressing hunger in a developing country can provide huge benefits in addressing other major issues.
By supporting school feeding programs we are also helping the local farmer/food provider. Economically, these school programs have a limited amount of money to buy food, whether locally or elsewhere. When the school program does not have to spend its food money on this basic nutrition, it can spend what money it has to buy additional food from local farmers. This will further increase the nutritional intake of the students, as well as provide additional income to the local farmer.
Stop Hunger Now is growing the movement by creating educated advocates and volunteers for the poor that are mobilizing even more resources toward these proven poverty solutions. This is accomplished while also building up local, in-country meal packaging to help local farmers and improve food security and disaster preparedness.