Food for the Hungry fights growing hunger crisis in Haiti
Food distributions and income generation projects meet acute needs PHOENIX (July 1, 2013) – Approximately 1.5 million Haitians currently face severe food insecurity due to drought and crop failure, according to the United Nations. Food for the Hungry (FH) is responding to this crisis though emergency food aid and income generation projects, based on goat and rabbit breeding.
In partnership with Something to Eat, FH has distributed high-protein, vitamin-fortified meals to malnourished children and children under age 2. FH health and nutrition staff identify the most vulnerable children for food distributions. The program is taking place in Belledere and nearby communities on the border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Additionally FH has provided goats and rabbits for families to breed. Families receive animals with training on animal husbandry and marketing. As animals breed, owners sell the offspring and gain income to buy food in local markets. This supplementary income is essential for surviving the food crisis.
“Food is available for purchase locally,” said Dave Evans, FH’s U.S. President. “But escalating prices for food staples are out of reach for the vast majority of poor farming families. These households are now faced with the double burden of poor harvests from their farms and the rising cost of food in the marketplace. It’s a very serious situation.”
Emergency food is distributed by FH in partnership with Something to Eat, an organization that recruits U.S. church youth groups and other groups to pack emergency food packets for shipment to food insecure countries. The food distributed to date was pre-positioned in the region in case of a crisis in Haiti or the Dominican Republic.
“An amazing part of this story is that the food was packaged by teenagers, impassioned by hunger issues, who personally raised the money to make it happen,” said Mike King, President/CEO of Youthfront, who organizes Something to Eat.
San Francisco Giants pitcher Jeremy Affeldt and author of To Stir a Movement, who has organized Something to Eat packing events, commented on the relief activity saying, “This is exactly the kind of need we want to meet. Our goal is to get healthy food into the hands of the most vulnerable in the face of crisis.
Now the challenge is to see this through till the crisis is over.” FH plans to do more food and animal distributions this month. Staff are monitoring the situation closely and coordinating efforts with the Haitian government and the United Nations. The focus of FH’s development work in Haiti includes child survival, education, sustainable farming, disaster risk reduction and church strengthening.
Founded in 1971, Food for the Hungry provides emergency relief and long-term development programs with operations in more than 20 countries to help the world's most vulnerable people. Learn more by visiting www.fh.org.
Contact: Eileen O’Gorman
Phone: (o) 480-609-7759 (c) 314 -323-4979