What is Kids Against Hunger?
Kids Against Hunger packages highly nutritious, life-saving meals for starving children and malnourished children and their families in developing countries and the United States. The goal of the organization is for its meals to provide a stable nutritional base from which recipient families can move their families from starvation to self-sufficiency. Kids Against Hunger accomplishes this by mobilizing the energy and caring of American children, teens, and adults on behalf of hungry children around the world. Kids Against Hunger seeks to end the literal hunger of children receiving the meals, but also satisfies a hunger among prosperous Americans – a hunger for meaning and contribution.
Fulfilling Kids Against Hunger’s mission requires a vast food packaging capacity to meet an endless demand for food. Because physical constraints of the International Headquarters facility initially prevented further growth in production, the organization began expanding its operations by setting up food packaging “satellites”. Kids Against Hunger believes that the best way to engage the largest number of people is through a decentralized, locally-based network of food packaging satellites that are active in their community. This model engages and empowers people to realize they can make a difference in solving the worldwide problem of starvation and establishes relationships with organizations such as Kiwanis, Rotary, and many faith-based groups of widely varying denominations. This growth strategy also allows the organization to continuously expand its food packaging capacity and volunteer involvement.
The process of establishing a meal packaging satellite is easy. Individuals and groups who are passionate about feeding children license the Kids Against Hunger name, food formulation, and packaging process. This agreement governs product content and quality, as well as adherence to best practices. Each satellite is a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, and all of them are using volunteers in the same manual process to package the standardized food formulation for distribution to dozens of countries all over the globe.
It is Kids Against Hunger’s goal to develop this food packaging network, over the next ten years, with a two-tiered approach of local packaging satellites and regional divisions. The organization seeks to set up 50 divisions and 500 packaging satellites across the USA. Through this structure, Kids Against Hunger expects to generate the capacity to produce over one billion meals per year.
Since its launch, Kids Against Hunger has provided over 1 billion meals for children and their families in more than 60 countries through the efforts of hundreds of thousands of volunteers.
What's so special about your food package?
|Rice||Soy||Vitamins & flavoring||Vegetable blend|
The meal ingredients are formulated by food scientists to provide a rich source of easily digestible protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins needed by an undernourished child’s body and mind. The food is also acceptable to the broad diversity of ethnic tastes and religious differences around the world. The food offers all 9 of the essential amino acids required for complete nutrition, something that can’t be said about other typical food relief sources such as rice or beans alone. It is also very simple to prepare, requiring only 6 cups of boiling water to make a complete meal.Read more ...
What are your food packaging hours?
Packaging sessions can be scheduled Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. A packaging session is usually two hours long and we therefore recommend that you schedule a starting time of no later than 2:30 p.m. to allow for cleanup. To schedule a packaging session, please call Rick at 573.803.1542.
How was Kids Against Hunger started?
The organization was founded in March 1999 by Richard Proudfit, a successful entrepreneur. In 1974 Richard volunteered on a medical mission to Honduras after Hurricane Fifi had ravaged that country. Profoundly affected by the starvation he saw among the children there, he made a decision to commit his life and financial resources to solving the enormous problem of world hunger. His life’s work became clear to him – feed these starving children.
Richard Proudfit enlisted leading executives at Cargill, Pillsbury, General Mills, and Archer Daniels Midland to formulate a food that would meet all the nutritional requirements of severely malnourished children for physical growth and mental development. The result was the creation of a balanced, high nutrition food that can reverse the starvation process, and restore a child’s health and mental alertness.
To learn more about Richard Proudfit, please click here.
What types of people volunteer to package the food?
While our name implies that children are the source of our volunteers, in practice our volunteers come from all age groups and walks of life. Individuals and groups from churches, synagogues, schools, social clubs, businesses, senior centers, and civic groups are common sources of volunteers for packaging our food. Children from the fifth grade on seem to have the best experience in packaging events. Teens require minimal adult supervision and often plan their own packaging events. Some of the best volunteer experiences come when children, parents, and grandparents work together as a family. Schools and corporations often do packaging with us as a community service event.
Is my donation to Kids Against Hunger tax deductible?
How much do the meals cost?
The average program cost to produce each Kids Against Hunger meal is 25 cents.
Each bag of food (390 grams) includes six one-cup servings.
Each 32 lb. box of food holds 36 bags of food. That is the equivalent of 216 meals at a program cost of only $54. Each 40 ft. container load of food includes 285,120 meals or 40 pallets of food at a program cost of approx. $71,280.
Kids Against Hunger purchases the ingredients for its meals at very competitive prices through longstanding relationships with reliable suppliers. The necessary funds are raised through donations from individuals, corporations, churches, and other organizations.
What is a "Satellite" and how do I set one up?
Kids Against Hunger performs its mission through a network of food packaging “satellite” operations that extends across the U.S. and Canada. This network includes more than 70 locations across the U.S. and Canada. Satellites are nonprofit organizations affiliated with Kids Against Hunger that package the proprietary Kids Against Hunger formulated food for the malnourished and starving children of the world.
This is a decentralized and highly entrepreneurial organization. The majority of satellite locations operate under their own 501(c)(3) nonprofit status. Each satellite signs a licensing agreement with the Kids Against Hunger Headquarters office in Omaha (NE). We require some reporting, but this also governs product content and quality, as well as adherence to best practices. This model has allowed our program to reach into smaller communities and to develop new and innovative ways to engage people in more communities. We have also been able to establish relationships with organizations such as Kiwanis and Rotary, and many churches of widely varying denominations and faiths.
How does the food get to hungry children, and how can you be sure it gets to them?
We work closely with our distribution partners - churches, nonprofit organizations, and U.S. government agencies operating in poor countries - to distribute the meals prepared by our volunteers. We seek out organizations that have proven track records of successfully getting the food to the children and keeping it out of the hands of corrupt government officials and criminals. We always require our feeding partners to document how they distributed the food and provide us with pictures of the children who receive it.
How much of my donation actually goes towards program expenses?
What are your long-term objectives?
Kids Against Hunger has two long-term objectives:
- Create a national food packaging and distribution network of large regional packaging divisions and local packaging satellites.
- Deliver the food produced by Kids Against Hunger through partnerships with humanitarian organizations of high integrity and capability.
Can you come to our school/church/business to do a packaging event?
We do have a mobile packaging unit, but you are also welcome to set up a time to come to our Cape Girardeau location to package the meals (30 people max.). We do many off-site packaging events each year, but are only able to do so if your team can raise the funds needed to cover the cost of ingredients and travel and is able to follow our mobile packaging event guidelines. To schedule a special packaging event, please contact Rick at 573.803.1542.
Where have you sent your food?
Each Kids Against Hunger food packaging satellite is able to choose where its packaged food will be distributed. The International Headquarters office recommends that approximately two thirds of the meals be shipped internationally, and that the remaining third be distributed locally, but allocation varies based on each satellite’s location and global/local need. Some satellites focus almost exclusively on shipments to a particular country – while others put a higher emphasis on helping those in need within the local community where the food is being packaged.
The following is a list of countries Kids Against Hunger’s meals have been shipped to within the last several years:
Federated States of Micronesia
Papua New Guinea
Sao Tome & Principe
How many food packaging locations are there?
There are currently close to 60 satellite locations in 27 U.S. states, District of Columbia and Canada, distributing food to more than 60 countries. A complete list of satellite locations can be found here.
Can I make a donation in honor/memory of someone?
Yes. When making your donation through the “Donate” link on this web site, select “in honor/memory of” in the optional “Donation is” field and enter the person’s name. Please enter that person’s street address if you would like us notify him/her. Making a donation in honor/memory of someone is optional and that field does not have to be completed in order for the donation to be processed.
How do you decide where the food will be sent?
We prefer to ship where the need is the greatest, but we have to be careful. We have relationships with NGOs (non-governmental organizations) on the ground in the receiving countries and when one of our international partners appeals to us, we put them in line for a shipment. We can only ship to places where we know the food will be properly and freely distributed through an organization that can handle such an effort. Accountability is key - we need to have a good relationship with people we trust to do the right thing, because we can't always be there in the countries we're shipping to when the food is being distributed.
Do you require the children you feed to become Christians, or your volunteers to be Christians?
Again, Kids Against Hunger is a humanitarian organization. We have only one test to feed a child – ‘is the child hungry?’ We have only one test for accepting volunteers – ‘does the volunteer want to help feed hungry children?’ We require any organization that distributes our food to give the food freely out of love for the child without coercion or religious tests. To do otherwise would be a fundamental betrayal of our core beliefs.
How do you raise the money for your food?
It costs Kids Against Hunger about 25 cents to buy the ingredients, packaging, and shipping for each meal. That means when we ship a cargo container (285,120 meals) to a country, it includes $71,280 worth of food. As a nonprofit organization we raise all our funds from the generosity of individual donors, corporations, churches, synagogues, and foundations. Put simply, the more money we receive from donors, the more children we can feed.
You package food to be shipped worldwide. What is involved in that process?
We purchase bulk raw ingredients and store them at our warehouse. Then, volunteers like you come in and assemble the bags using our ingredients. The bags are then boxed up, loaded onto a pallet and stored to await shipment. Our international shipping is provided by the U.S. government or our international feeding partners. They pick up the cargo (or we have it shipped to their location within the U.S.) and transport it by plane or by ship to the destination country.
What is Kids Against Hunger’s religious affiliation?
Kids Against Hunger is a humanitarian organization that is not affiliated with or restricted to a particular religious group (nonsectarian). We do not discriminate on any basis in any way, shape or form. All religions and non-religious groups can volunteer, donate, and help in any way. We feed children from all walks of life. Some of our volunteers and satellites are driven by their love of God and helping to feed all of His children, but all are welcome to help out in any way. We have had volunteers that are Jewish, Muslim, Lutheran, Buddhist, Hutterite, Methodist, Catholic, and others. We have had volunteers with no religious ties whatsoever. Despite our various diverse backgrounds, we all want to help feed starving children.
I would like to make a donation. What are my options?
There are many convenient ways to support Kids Against Hunger by making a donation:
- Mail a check, money order, or cash to: Kids Against Hunger - Southeast Missouri, 3107 Kage Road, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701.
- Make an online donation right here on our web site (using PayPal). You can choose to use a PayPal account, or have the donation charged to your credit card. To donate, please click on the “Donate” link at the right.
You send meals to prevent people from death by starvation. What happens when that food is gone?
It's not enough to simply fill the stomach and walk away. It's not enough to simply send food. This is why we partner with people on the ground who promote continued sustainability in these regions. What does that mean? Well, it means that some of our partners are setting up schools, teaching the local people how to farm and ways to improve their health. They administer necessary emergency medicines and teach people about proper hygiene and basic first aid.
There are many efforts made to teach the local people how to advance so that they are never on the brink of starvation again. That's not to say we never deliver to the same place twice - sometimes the children in the area need a little extra boost of nutrition so we will go in with another smaller shipment when necessary.
Do you provide aid for children/families in the U.S.?
Although our main focus is on feeding starving children abroad, we also help children and their families within the U.S. The recommendation we give to our food packaging centers (we call them "satellites") is to ship 2/3 of the packaged meals abroad and have 1/3 of them remain within the local community. Some of our satellites focus almost exclusively on helping children and their families in the U.S., e.g. through outreach to inner city families, homeless people, Native American reservations, seniors, and children.
The main reason we are focusing on other countries in the first place is because even though you will find HUNGRY people within the U.S., you won't find STARVING people. People in this country have food shelves and other places to assist them, whereas kids in foreign countries do not.
I work with an organization in XYZ country and would like to request food aid from you. Is that possible and what is the process?
Kids Against Hunger relies on the expertise of reliable and trustworthy feeding partners to get the food to its destination safely. We work with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in over 40 countries to get our food shipped and distributed. A 40 ft. container of meals includes over $65,000 worth of food. As a nonprofit organization, we have to raise the funds for ingredients and supplies to package the food. We work with our feeding partners to cover our costs so that we can continue to provide our highly nutritious meals to starving children worldwide.
What about local agriculture?
We are in constant communication with our partners on the ground regarding just such an issue. It would not be good for us to go into a situation where we're causing harm. Our NGOs will tell us that their region is suffering a drought and the crops have been destroyed, and what little food they do have available is too expensive for the local people. If there is a viable agricultural commodity in an area, the situation wouldn't be desperate enough for an appeal from an NGO, and we take steps to determine the actual need.
What is your mission and vision statement?
Our mission at Kids Against Hunger is to significantly reduce the number of hungry children in the USA and to feed starving children throughout the world. We ship meals to starving children and their families in over 60 countries through partnerships with humanitarian organizations worldwide.
It is our vision to set up food packaging satellites in the USA and around the world, and to spearhead community and youth volunteer packaging of Kids Against Hunger’s highly nutritious meals. It is also our vision to deliver Kids Against Hunger’s food through partnerships with humanitarian organizations in the USA and worldwide.