- Who are we?
What is Kids Against Hunger?
Every hour of every day 10 children per minute die of starvation or malnutrition related diseases. Kids Against Hunger is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to end that tragedy. Kids Against Hunger packages and ships highly nutritious, life-saving meals to starving and malnourished children in developing countries and the United States. We do this by mobilizing the energy and caring of American children, teens, and adults on behalf of hungry children around the world. Kids Against Hunger seeks to end the literal hunger of poor children receiving the meals, but also satisfies a hunger among prosperous Americans, a hunger for meaning and contribution.
We have a national packaging network made up of our headquarters facility in New Hope, Minnesota, a packaging division in Mankato, Minnesota, and satellites in 27 U.S. states and Canada staffed by volunteers who package the meals. In total, the packaging network has the capacity to produce over 50 million meals per year. We also work with other organizations seeking long term solutions to the systemic causes of hunger. Our aim is for our meals to provide a stable nutritional base from which the recipient peoples can move their families from starvation to self-sufficiency. Since its launch, Kids Against Hunger has provided over 162 million meals for children and their families in more than 60 countries through the efforts of over 800,000 volunteers.
How was Kids Against Hunger started?
The organization was founded in March 1999 by Richard Proudfit, a successful entrepreneur. In 1974 Richard volunteered on a medical mission to Honduras after Hurricane Fifi had ravaged that country. Profoundly affected by the starvation he saw among the children there, he made a decision to commit his life and financial resources to solving the enormous problem of world hunger. His life’s work became clear to him – feed these starving children.
Richard Proudfit enlisted leading executives at Cargill, Pillsbury, General Mills, and Archer Daniels Midland to formulate a food that would meet all the nutritional requirements of severely malnourished children for physical growth and mental development. The result was the creation of a balanced, high nutrition food that can reverse the starvation process, and restore a child’s health and mental alertness.
To learn more about Richard Proudfit, please click here.
What are your long-term objectives?
Kids Against Hunger has two long-term objectives:
- Create a national food packaging and distribution network of large regional packaging divisions and local packaging satellites.
- Deliver the food produced by Kids Against Hunger through partnerships with humanitarian organizations of high integrity and capability.
How many food packaging locations are there?
There are currently close to 100 satellite locations in 27 U.S. states, District of Columbia and Canada, distributing food to more than 60 countries. A complete list of satellite locations can be found here.
Do you require the children you feed to become Christians, or your volunteers to be Christians?
Again, Kids Against Hunger is a humanitarian organization. We have only one test to feed a child – ‘is the child hungry?’ We have only one test for accepting volunteers – ‘does the volunteer want to help feed hungry children?’ We require any organization that distributes our food to give the food freely out of love for the child without coercion or religious tests. To do otherwise would be a fundamental betrayal of our core beliefs.
What is Kids Against Hunger’s religious affiliation?
Kids Against Hunger is a humanitarian organization that is not affiliated with or restricted to a particular religious group (nonsectarian). We do not discriminate on any basis in any way, shape or form. All religions and non-religious groups can volunteer, donate, and help in any way. We feed children from all walks of life. Some of our volunteers and satellites are driven by their love of God and helping to feed all of His children, but all are welcome to help out in any way. We have had volunteers that are Jewish, Muslim, Lutheran, Buddhist, Hutterite, Methodist, Catholic, and others. We have had volunteers with no religious ties whatsoever. Despite our various diverse backgrounds, we all want to help feed starving children.
Do you provide aid for children/families in the U.S.?
Although our main focus is on feeding starving children abroad, we also help children and their families within the U.S. The recommendation we give to our food packaging centers (we call them "satellites") is to ship 2/3 of the packaged meals abroad and have 1/3 of them remain within the local community. Some of our satellites focus almost exclusively on helping children and their families in the U.S., e.g. through outreach to inner city families, homeless people, Native American reservations, seniors, and children.
The main reason we are focusing on other countries in the first place is because even though you will find HUNGRY people within the U.S., you won't find STARVING people. People in this country have food shelves and other places to assist them, whereas kids in foreign countries do not.
I work with an organization in XYZ country and would like to request food aid from you. Is that possible and what is the process?
Kids Against Hunger does not usually ship the meals directly to a foreign country. Instead, we rely on the expertise of reliable and trustworthy feeding partners to get the food to its destination safely. We work with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in over 40 countries to get our food shipped and distributed. A 40 ft. container of meals includes over $65,000 worth of food. As a nonprofit organization, we have to raise the funds for ingredients and supplies to package the food. We work with our feeding partners to cover our costs so that we can continue to provide our highly nutritious meals to starving children worldwide.
Is there a video I can watch that summarizes your program?
Yes, check out our YouTube channel here.
There are also several other videos available to watch online (click on the links below):
Four Minute Overview of Kids Against Hunger (on YouTube)
"The News Hour with Jim Lehrer" (aired on 12/22/08 on PBS)
"Religion & Ethics News Weekly" (aired on 12/13/08 on PBS)
"On the Road with Jason Davis" - Minnesotans against hunger (aired 05/11/08 on KSTP)
"On the Road with Jason Davis" - Interview with Richard Proudfit (aired 05/08/08 on KSTP)
Please check our "News" section periodically for additional video clips from our feeding partners and food packaging events.
What is your mission and vision statement?
It is our mission to significantly reduce the number of hungry children in the USA and to feed God’s starving children throughout the world.
It is our vision to set up food packaging satellites in the USA and around the world, and to spearhead community and youth volunteer packaging of Kids Against Hunger’s highly nutritious meals. It is also our vision to deliver Kids Against Hunger’s food through partnerships with humanitarian organizations in the USA and worldwide.
- Our Food
What's so special about your food package?
Rice Soy Vitamins & flavoring Vegetable blend
The meal ingredients are formulated by food scientists to provide a rich source of easily digestible protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins needed by an undernourished child’s body and mind. The food is also acceptable to the broad diversity of ethnic tastes and religious differences around the world. The food offers all 9 of the essential amino acids required for complete nutrition, something that can’t be said about other typical food relief sources such as rice or beans alone. It is also very simple to prepare, requiring only 6 cups of boiling water to make a complete meal.Our food consists of:
- high-quality white rice
- fortified, crushed soy - 52% protein
- blend of 6 dehydrated vegetables
- 21 vitamins & minerals
The specific formula took nearly three years to develop. The rice was chosen because it is so widely recognized worldwide. We use premium long-grain white rice. We chose white rice specifically because of its shelf life. The soy we use is fortified with ten vitamins in addition to the high protein content of the soy. The vegetables provide both color and flavor to the food. The vitamin formula is a proprietary formula and is the “secret sauce” that goes into our food.
We provide 21 vitamins and minerals and each bag of our food contains six servings of the dehydrated food which when boiled will serve six children and provide all the vitamins and minerals they need for a day. It provides not just a meal - but better health to starving children. Additionally, our bags are specifically made to be three-ply for strength and they are made of a moisture-proof and odor-proof material to prevent spoilage and insect or rodent problems. Our food has a shelf life of at least three years.
Seeing is believing:
Her bloated bellly
shows that she is
...after 18 months
of eating Kids Against
...and all grown up!
How much do the meals cost?
The average program cost to produce each Kids Against Hunger meal is 25 cents.
Each bag of food (390 grams) includes six one-cup servings.
Each 32 lb. box of food holds 36 bags of food. That is the equivalent of 216 meals at a program cost of only $54. Each 40 ft. container load of food includes 285,120 meals or 40 pallets of food at a program cost of approx. $71,280.
Kids Against Hunger purchases the ingredients for its meals at very competitive prices through longstanding relationships with reliable suppliers. The necessary funds are raised through donations from individuals, corporations, churches, and other organizations.
How does the food get to hungry children, and how can you be sure it gets to them?
We work closely with our distribution partners - churches, nonprofit organizations, and U.S. government agencies operating in poor countries - to distribute the meals prepared by our volunteers. We seek out organizations that have proven track records of successfully getting the food to the children and keeping it out of the hands of corrupt government officials and criminals. We always require our feeding partners to document how they distributed the food and provide us with pictures of the children who receive it.
Where have you sent your food?
Each Kids Against Hunger food packaging satellite is able to choose where its packaged food will be distributed. The International Headquarters office recommends that approximately two thirds of the meals be shipped internationally, and that the remaining third be distributed locally, but allocation varies based on each satellite's location and global/local need. Some satellites focus almost exclusively on shipments to a particular country – while others put a higher emphasis on helping those in need within the local community where the food is being packaged.
The following is a list of countries Kids Against Hunger's meals have been shipped to within the last several years:
Federated States of Micronesia
Papua New Guinea
Sao Tome & Principe
How do you decide where the food will be sent?
We prefer to ship where the need is the greatest, but we have to be careful. We have relationships with NGOs (non-governmental organizations) on the ground in the receiving countries and when one of our international partners appeals to us, we put them in line for a shipment. We can only ship to places where we know the food will be properly and freely distributed through an organization that can handle such an effort. Accountability is key - we need to have a good relationship with people we trust to do the right thing, because we can't always be there in the countries we're shipping to when the food is being distributed.
You package food to be shipped worldwide. What is involved in that process?
We purchase bulk raw ingredients and store them at our warehouse. Then, volunteers like you come in and assemble the bags using our ingredients. The bags are then boxed up, loaded onto a pallet and stored to await shipment. Our international shipping is provided by the U.S. government or our international feeding partners. They pick up the cargo (or we have it shipped to their location within the U.S.) and transport it by plane or by ship to the destination country.
You send meals to prevent people from death by starvation. What happens when that food is gone?
It's not enough to simply fill the stomach and walk away. It's not enough to simply send food. This is why we partner with people on the ground who promote continued sustainability in these regions. What does that mean? Well, it means that some of our partners are setting up schools, teaching the local people how to farm and ways to improve their health. They administer necessary emergency medicines and teach people about proper hygiene and basic first aid.
There are many efforts made to teach the local people how to advance so that they are never on the brink of starvation again. That's not to say we never deliver to the same place twice - sometimes the children in the area need a little extra boost of nutrition so we will go in with another smaller shipment when necessary.
What about local agriculture? If you ship your food for free, won't that hurt their economy?
We are in constant communication with our partners on the ground regarding just such an issue. It would not be good for us to go into a situation where we're causing harm. Our NGOs will tell us that their region is suffering a drought and the crops have been destroyed, and what little food they do have available is too expensive for the local people. If there is a viable agricultural commodity in an area, the situation wouldn't be desperate enough for an appeal from an NGO, and we take steps to determine the actual need.
- This Satellite
What are your food packaging hours?
Since we are the corporate headquarters for the Kids Against Hunger network, we are generally only open during regular business hours. Packaging sessions can be scheduled Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. A packaging session is usually two hours long and we therefore recommend that you schedule a starting time of no later than 2:30 p.m. to allow for cleanup. To schedule a packaging session, please call Angie at (763) 257-0202.
We understand that many volunteers are unable to come to our office during normal business hours. If this applies to you, please contact one of our other locations in the Twin Cities metro area as they may have evening and/or weekend availability. The list of packaging locations can be found here (or by clicking on “Locations” at the top of this page).
What types of people volunteer to package the food?
While our name implies that children are the source of our volunteers, in practice our volunteers come from all age groups and walks of life. Individuals and groups from churches, synagogues, schools, social clubs, businesses, senior centers, and civic groups are common sources of volunteers for packaging our food. Children from the fifth grade on seem to have the best experience in packaging events. Teens require minimal adult supervision and often plan their own packaging events. Some of the best volunteer experiences come when children, parents, and grandparents work together as a family. Schools and corporations often do packaging with us as a community service event.
What is a "Satellite" and how do I set one up?
A “satellite” is an independent, mostly volunteer-driven nonprofit organization that is affiliated with Kids Against Hunger and has followed the process of becoming officially licensed to use the Kids Against Hunger name and food formula through the organization’s headquarters in New Hope, MN. Individuals at each satellite package the proprietary Kids Against Hunger food for the malnourished and starving children of the world.
A satellite must have a facility in which it can set up its manual packaging equipment and store supplies and the packaged food. The actual food packaging is done by volunteers and so the satellite needs the ability to attract, schedule, and supervise volunteer food packagers as well as the ability to fundraise to cover the cost of the ingredients used. For more information on satellites (and to find out how you can set up your own), please read this article.
Can you come to our school/church/business to do a packaging event?
We do not have a mobile packaging unit, but you are welcome to set up a time to come to our New Hope location to package the meals (30 people max.). We do several off-site packaging events each year, but are only able to do so if your team can raise the funds needed to cover the cost of ingredients and travel and is able to follow our mobile packaging event guidelines. To schedule a special packaging event, please contact Kathy at (763) 257-0202.
I made a donation to Kids Against Hunger last year, but have not received a year-end tax receipt. Why?We generally acknowledge each donation right away and that letter can serve as your tax receipt at year-end. To keep administrative expenses at a minimum, we do not send additional year-end receipts unless requested.
Is my donation to Kids Against Hunger tax deductible?Yes. Kids Against Hunger has been recognized by the IRS as exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is approved for tax deductible donations.
How much of my donation actually goes towards program expenses?Because of Kids Against Hunger's volunteer-driven program, very little of your contribution goes towards overhead expenses. As our most recent IRS Form 990 shows, 89% of your donations are going directly into the feeding program.
Can I make a donation in honor/memory of someone?
Yes. When making your donation through the “Donate” link on this web site, select “in honor/memory of” in the optional “Donation is” field and enter the person’s name. Please enter that person’s street address if you would like us notify him/her. Making a donation in honor/memory of someone is optional and that field does not have to be completed in order for the donation to be processed.
How do you raise the money for your food?
It costs Kids Against Hunger about 25 cents to buy the ingredients, packaging, and shipping for each meal. That means when we ship a cargo container (285,120 meals) to a country, it includes $71,280 worth of food. As a nonprofit organization we raise all our funds from the generosity of individual donors, corporations, churches, synagogues, and foundations. Put simply, the more money we receive from donors, the more children we can feed.
I would like to make a donation. What are my options?
There are many convenient ways to support Kids Against Hunger by making a donation:
- Mail a check, money order, or cash to: KAH Your Site, Your Address, Your City, State ZIP.
- Make an online donation right here on our web site (using PayPal). You can choose to use a PayPal account, or have the donation charged to your credit card. To donate, please click on the “Donate” link at the right.
|Kids Against Hunger - Louisville|
|4209 Gardiner View Avenue|
|Louisville, Kentucky 40213|