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 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.
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.
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.
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.