Hunger is one of the most devastating needs among children living in poverty. Every day, our staff around the world meet new children who don’t have enough to eat. So many children are sick, dangerously thin, have low energy, listless eyes and more because of lack of food. It’s heartbreaking.
But hunger is also one of the biggest needs Holt donors help meet. This year alone, Holt donors will have helped to feed more than 50,000 children by Thanksgiving.
Your gift to help feed a hungry child can look several different ways in the field. But by whatever means and in whichever circumstance, you help to meet children exactly where they are — rushing food to them in the moment they need it most.
Here are 5 ways you help feed children around the world!
1. Emergency Food Delivery
For families already living in poverty, all it takes is one crisis to send them over the edge. Whether it’s a natural disaster, a lost job or moving to a new city, this can be all it takes to cause children to skip meals, or even go days without food. For these children and families, the help you give is immediate. Holt’s on-the-ground staff and partners quickly deliver food and other immediate essentials to families in urgent need. Most recently, you helped make ongoing emergency food deliveries to families in crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic. In many countries, families have lost jobs or are in quarantine and unable to buy food. Schools closed and children who relied on free school lunch have nothing to eat. But because of your gifts, we’ve gone door to door, delivering boxes of rice, cooking oil, protein, vegetables and more to fill children’s empty bellies.
2. Free School Lunch
So many kids show up to class with empty stomachs and nothing to eat. But hunger pains make learning extremely difficult. That’s why you help provide free school lunches to Holt-supported schools and daycares! For so many children, this is the only regular meal they receive each day, which makes it so important! Our staff around the world ensure that these meals are nutritious and filling — often including whole grains, milk, hard-boiled eggs and more.
3. Formula for Babies
The first months and years of a child’s life are so critical. It’s when their brains and bodies grow exponentially, setting the trajectory for the rest of their lives. That’s why nutrition during this time is so important. But this becomes difficult for babies in orphanage or foster care, or the babies of families living in poverty. That’s why you provide them with nutrient-rich infant formula. You help to ensure that no matter their difficult situation, they receive the nutrients — and the chance — to grow healthy and strong.
One of the most sustainable and empowering ways to feed a child and their family is to teach them to grow food themselves! That’s why in places like Thailand, Vietnam and Ethiopia, you give families the tools and training they need to grow a garden. Whether it’s a “kitchen garden” of composted food scraps and small pots on urban windowsills, or larger garden plots in rural areas, so many families can now feed their children with fresh garden fruits and vegetables. Equipped with buckets, fertilizer and garden seeds, children and parents can enjoy gardening together. Even more, when families grow their own produce, they have nourishing food to feed their children. And they can sell any surplus in the marketplace — generating additional income to support themselves.
A goat or cow or chickens might seem like a strange gift to give a family living in poverty, but a gift like this can absolutely change their life! Raising livestock can provide a family with fresh milk, cheese, eggs and meat — all critical protein for growing kids. Livestock can even provide fertilizer for a family’s garden, and any excess food or animal offspring can be sold for a profit. Your gift of livestock to a child and their family prevents malnutrition for years to come.