What is Global Hunger?


William R Johnson, A1C, USAF

Team Dover Airmen sort more than 3,500 pounds of donated food July 6, 2015, at the Food Bank of Delaware in Milford, Del. The sorted food is distributed through a network of 550 hunger-relief programs including food closets, soup kitchens, daycares and shelters. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class William Johnson)

What is global hunger? Global hunger refers to limited or unreliable access to foods that are safe and nutritionally adequate. Some 795 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life. That’s about one in nine people on earth. The vast majority of the world’s hungry people live in developing countries, where 12.9 percent of the population is undernourished. In the United States, 1 in 6 people in America face hunger (Coleman-Jensen et al., 2018).

If you ever wanted to help, there’s an organization that’ll help you to get started. That organization is called Rise Against Hunger. Every week, volunteers package millions of meals through Rise Against Hunger’s meal packaging program. This week alone, more than 2 million meals will be packaged around the globe.

Churches, community centers and schools are all prime locations for holding meal packaging events and for local citizens to come together. Before each event, Rise Against Hunger’s staff, set up supplies, recycling areas, packaging materials and weigh stations, which takes about one hour. Once an assembly line is established and specific jobs are tailored to each station, the packaging fun begins.

All Rise Against Hunger meals include: rice, soy protein, dehydrated vegetables, and vitamin packets. This combination is chosen specially to ensure full quality protein, macronutrient and micronutrient content for the receiver. Many countries will then add their own variety of local spices to bring their own flavor profile to the meal.

A group of 40 to 50 volunteers can package 10,000 meals in just two hours.  At your first meal packaging event, you can expect to laugh with new neighbors, sing to tunes, hear hunger facts that will remind you why you’re there, and to smile because what you have spent your time doing that day will make you feel amazing.

In the span of a year, more than 350,000 volunteers of all ages package meals through Rise Against Hunger’s meal program. These meal packages are shipped around the world to support school feeding programs and crisis relief. The food stores, transports, cooks easily, and has a shelf-life of two years. In order to host your own event, you’ll need four things to get started.

First you need volunteers. Each volunteer can package between 125 and 150 meals per hour. Rise Against Hunger works with volunteer groups of all sizes and recommend talking to your local program about the number of volunteers and the timing of your event. Next comes the funding for the event. Because your group will cover the cost of each meal you package the organization has tools to help you fundraise this cost. They also recommend setting your meal target based on the number of volunteers and the timing.

Third, you have to make sure that you have plenty of space. It must be an indoor space with access to outlets. Rise Against Hunger will be arriving with 1,500 lbs. of ingredients for every 10,000 meals you package and a truck between 24 and 32 feet long. Finally, you will need tables to make sure volunteers have some thing to pack on. An ideal ratio is one table per five volunteers.

You can sign up today to host your own meal packaging event, make a huge difference in the lives of people in need worldwide, and even earn a compass point out of it.  Interested?

For more information go to https://www.riseagainsthunger.org/get-involved/host-a-meal-packaging-event/.

Can’t package meals? Visit https://www.riseagainsthunger.org/get-involved/ for other ways to join the movement to end hunger.