The Hunger Initiative

This week’s Foodie Friday is a bit unusual – normally you’ll see a recipe or restaurant review or other food-related news. But this is a cause I’m very passionate about, and something I hope you’ll join me in supporting.

In 2009, and again in 2010, my church (along with another local church and ImpactLives) set aside one day to pack a shipping container full of food – 285,000 meals – to send to a region of the world in need. The first year, the food was sent to the Mathare Valley slum in Nairobi, Kenya. The next year it was sent to Haiti. And we were all set to do this again in October of 2011, but it was postponed. Postponed so that something even greater could happen. The Hunger Initiative was founded, and now, instead of two churches partnering with one food organization, we’re going to have eleven churches and three food organization packing food at eight locations. And instead of 285,000 meals, we’ll be packing three-and-a-half times that.

One million meals, packed in one day.

The Horn of Africa is experiencing the worst drought since the 1950s, and some 12 million Somalis, Kenyans, and Ethiopians are starving because of it. At the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, more than 2,000 Somalis are arriving each week, often waiting two weeks without food while a spot is found for them. Thousands of children die waiting.

The meals packed on February 25th will go to those children, those families, waiting for their spots in the refugee camp. And to pack those meals, The Hunger Initiative needs volunteers and donations. And that’s where you and I come in.

The packing day is Saturday, February 25th. If you live in Minnesota, I strongly urge you to sign up for a two-hour shift at one of the eight locations involved (I will be at the Maple Grove location). And no matter who you are or where you are, I encourage you to donate. One box of food costs $50 for supplies and shipping. I want to raise enough to send five boxes of food. I’ll pay for one box myself, which leaves $200 to pay for the other four.

$200 in 7 weeks. I think we can do that.

You can donate online through The Hunger Initiative’s website, or in person on the day of the event. In the next few days I will post a snail-mail address for those of you who want to donate via cash or check but won’t be volunteering. Of course if you know me personally you can get your donation to me and I will make sure it gets to The Hunger Initiative.

If you donate online or in person but still want your donation to count toward my $200 goal, you’ll have to contact me to let me know how much you’ve donated. I’ll be keeping a running tally of the total amount raised on my blog. I won’t reveal any information about individual donations, just the total.

For more information about The Hunger Initiative, or to sign up or donate, go to their website.

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