“This is the United Nations’ best strategy for alleviating poverty,” Warren says. “We’ve learned that when we set up school feeding programs, enrollment doubles and GPAs increase. It makes sense, because obviously, children can’t learn, nor do they attend school, when they’re hungry.”
Stop Hunger Now was on the ground for the 2007 earthquake in Peru, she adds, and on the ground one week ahead of the two most recent major hurricanes in Haiti. It also sends meals to Africa and Central America, and in 2009 will open Sharehouses in Mississippi, Arizona, and South Africa. The organization has received a $100,000 grant for its work with rural churches from The Duke Endowment.
When people ask about serving the hungry in the United States, Warren replies that no organization can successfully be all things to all people.
“We’re focused on those overseas who need help most urgently,” Warren says. The rice-based meals Stop Hunger Now offers are welcomed in Haiti, where she has been several times in the past year, and other developing countries, but might not be in this country.
She believes that the global economic crisis is making Americans “even more alert and aware” of the reality of global starvation.
“People want to give — they’re inherently starving to give, especially in churches, and especially among small rural congregations where there are limited opportunities to participate in hands-on mission,” Warren says.
“People of all denominations are seeing what a transformative experience this work is.”
Learn more about Stop Hunger Now.