Something to Eat™ 2012 Impact Update
The 282,528 meals that were packed between Summer of 2011 and Feb. 22nd, 2012 were shipped to Kenya, Africa and were distributed by two ministries. Mchungagi Kundi Moja (MKM) and Firm Foundation (FF). Both ministries expressed sincere appreciation for the food. The stories told about the impact our meals have had on the people there are about far more than full bellies, they speak of a distribution that bestowed dignity and showed love to groups of people who often get overlooked even when it comes to relief aid.
MKM elected to use the food as part of their ongoing lunch program. They provide one meal per day for the preschoolers and some to the elementary aged children. It is very evident that the meals are benefiting the children, as they are now happier and healthier.
FF distributed the food to the nine different villages in the country of Garissa that had the most vulnerable and severe victims of the most recent catastrophic drought. Garissa is a one and a half hour drive from the Somalia border. When these villages were struck by the drought it slowly killed 70% of their livestock. A more common problem to face this region is the constant flooding of the Tana River which makes it challenging for farmers to reach harvest with a full crop.
The FF representative shared many positive stories regarding the food distribution of the Something to Eat™ meals. Among them was the story of how successful the food distribution process was. ”10% of the relief food beneficiaries were elderly, HIV/AIDS victims and disabled people. We gave first a priority to the 10% so that they feel happy and that they were not discriminated against in the relief food distribution.” It is very common that the most vulnerable of people are discriminated against and never get their share of the relief food that is being distributed. This along with the fact that the food was distributed peacefully was a huge success for this area.
The FF representative said, “During the food distribution the beneficiaries were saying that they were happy and that even if people say you are infidel you are useful infidel. Generally Somali people like other Muslim people call people of other faiths and anything strange infidel. That is their worldview and I made them understand that I am not infidel neither am I strange but I am a Christian who is a believer of the true God and above all I love them for they are my neighbors.” He also shared that he is getting stopped while on the main road between two of the villages and has people thanking him for the food and is told that they are now happier and healthier and can now attend school. The FF representative plans to go back to this village and help start a soccer team to be able to continue to build the relationships that were first start during the food distribution.
“In brief the relief food distribution has helped in the ministry by opening more doors in sharing the love of God physically and also opened more opportunities to make more friends who are ready to hear the Gospel. The chairman of the disabled group and a representative of the HIV/AIDS group have expressed a strong willingness to hear the Gospel. The chief and the elders mindset has changed toward the Somali Christians who they used to persecute and reject. All this could not have happened if it were not for the relief food from supporters, partners, and affiliates.“
These are just a few of the positive stories that were shared due to the meals that were shipped to Africa. Thank you for participating in Youthfront’s Something to Eat™ Initiative and helping make an impact on lives around the world. Our hope and prayer is that your life was impacted by your experience with Something to Eat™.
We are also excited to announce a new partnership with Food for the Hungry. FH will assist us in the distribution of our current meals as well as meals we will be packaging in the future, to make sure, like the experience in Africa, they get distributed to those in need in a way that is most dignifying and empowering for all involved. The plan is to send 139,000 meals to the Dominican Republic, 69,500 meals to Managua, Nicaragua as well as another 69,500 meals to Guatemala City, Guatemala. These meals will go towards the supplemental feeding of the youth in educational programs. At the same time we plan on keeping at least 71,280 meals ready for any disaster relief situation that might present itself in the form of a hurricane, mudslide, earthquake, etc.
Please consider taking the time to packages more meals this year as a way to help our brothers and sisters around the world who are facing hunger due to the world food crisis.