Something to Eat™ 2013 Impact Update
Over this past year, Youthfront’s Something to Eat™ Initiative has reached thousands of people around the world with shipments of nutritious meals sent to the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and Nicaragua and several other countries. While at the same time the lives of youth and their families here in the United States, have been challenged to think about what the Bible says about poverty and how it instructs us to care for the poor while packaging the meals to send abroad.
This year, 418,774 meals were packaged in churches, schools, and auditoriums, mainly by youth, but by adults and children as well. It has been awesome to see groups using Something to Eat™ as an intergenerational experience for the whole family. Something to Eat has proven to be a creative way to connect different age groups through service.
We kicked off the year with the first annual Peasant’s Day Feast on President’s Day. As the country spent a day recognizing and remembering the privileged and powerful of our country, the Justice Initiative Team decided that there was nothing more appropriate than to honor the peasants and the poor. The Scriptures instruct us time and time again to fight for justice for the less fortunate among us. Psalms 82:2-4 says, ““Enough! You’ve corrupted justice long enough; you’ve let the wicked get away with murder. You’re here to defend the defenseless, to make sure that underdogs get a fair break; your job is to stand up for the powerless, and prosecute all those who exploit them.” (The Message) In response to our calling to fight for justice for the “underdogs,” many students and their families, along with some youth groups and churches did just that.
Peasants’ Day Feast also was the start of our lent season, during which a number of churches set up a Something to Eat line for their members and community. They also had the opportunity to follow a weekly Lenten devotional provided to help them reflect on bringing justice to the vulnerable.
Our most recent and spur of the moment event this past year came in response to the Typhoon in the Philippines. We called it Pack Friday and held it the day after Thanksgiving as an alternative to Black Friday. While many were waiting in line to buy Christmas presents, around 200 people showed up to package meals for the thousands of people that are standing in food lines across the globe. We are currently waiting to send this shipment to the Philippines as our partners, Food for the Hungry(FH), are assessing the best time and way to send the food.
Along with the food that is going to the Philippines via our partner FH, we shipped 142,560 meals to the Dominican Republic, 71, 280 to Guatemala and 71, 280 to Nicaragua. The meals shipped to Nicaragua are being held at the port due because port officials want to collect a bribe from FH in order to release the meals. Please join us in praying for this situation, as FH does not want to pay the bribe and get a reputation that they will pay in the future. Pray that the meals will be released without paying a bribe so they can get to the Nicaraguans that need them most.
The meals that reached the DR were distributed to churches, orphanages and used alongside of FH’s ministry and educational classes used to teach healthy nutrition and as a supplement to food sustainability class. We have received reports back from the DR that all who received the meals are very thankful. Melvin, a 13-year-old boy who was completely healthy in February of 2013 is now sick in bed and disabled. His family is one of the poorest families in the region and cannot afford medicine and the medical supplies he needs to help him regain his strength. Upon receiving Something to Eat’s packaged meals in the DR, FH workers delivered some to his family. They are very thankful for these as he is now slowly recuperating and gaining muscle mass and tone again.
In the next year we are excited to host two big meal-packaging events with our friend Jeremy Affeldt’s organization Generation Alive. We will package 250,000 meals in San Francisco in January–up from 100,000 last year–and another 1 million meals at Whitworth College in WA in the spring. We are looking forward to being able to provide even more students with a tangible way to help the less fortunate by packaging meals that FH will continue to distribute. We are called “to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8) Thank you for your support of the Something to Eat program over the past year and for your help to fight for justice for the less fortunate.
Click here to see the 2012 Impact Update