Latest Load of Food was Shipped to Somalia

We Have 2 loads scheduled to ship to Sierra Leone. One load is from Many Hands Many Meals and the other if from Kids Fighting Hunger in St. Cloud.

Food For Kidz will be shipping a load of Food to Haiti along with a Kubota tractor donated by John Neisen

FFK will also be shipping a load of food to Afghanistan with the Air Force reserves. On that load will be some eyeglasses and blankets from WoolAid Which Mary Baumgarten orchestrated.

Food Distribution

We have sent 2 truck loads to Haiti since the hurricane blew through

Honduras has received 2 loads lately

4 loads went to Mozambique with Mattermore. A partner of ours.  Mozambique has been experiencing severe drought for over 2 years.

 

 

Helping Nepal

food to nepal earthquake food for kidzIf your child is five years old, and someone asked you if you’re planning for their High School Graduation already, your response is likely no. While it’s true you are not planning the reception and choosing where to celebrate, you are laying the ground work to help your child graduate from High School. From teaching valuable life lessons and learning to read, to teaching responsibility and how to be a good friend, you are helping ready your child for later in life.

The same parallel can be drawn to helping the people of natural disasters, like the people of Nepal. While Food For Kidz does not have food being distributed yet in the hardest hit areas of Nepal, valuable leg work is being done to help the people hardest hit by the devastating Earthquake. As with all emergency situations, we all want to act as quick as possible. Food For Kidz is no different. However, we are very careful not to inhibit emergency relief organizations that are already best positioned to help. Limited resources like communication, transportation, and airports are overwhelmed in the first few days and weeks following such a disaster.

In Nepal,  the International agencies are responding with aid which are overwhelming customs and the infrastructure of the country. It will take several months for the logistics to clear and transportation problems to be rectified before shipment of our food is expected.

The GOOD NEWS is that Food For Kids does have routes planned for shipment through India and on to Kathmandu when it is possible to send shipments of food. We can plan now for food packing events for response to this tragic situation.  Either donating to Food For Kidz or helping package food as soon as possible, will help thousands of people in the months to come!  Shipments to Nepal will be ready in several months.The need is great and will be ongoing for quite some time.

We also never know when another natural disaster like this will strike, and helping package food now helps speed the process along later when we need to act quickly. Please check on the next event nearest you, consider scheduling your own food packing event, or read about other ways you can help.

Food to Ukraine

food for kidz food to displaced people ukraineImagine needing to leave your home, but having no place to go. What would you do? What would you take with you, knowing you are likely going to walk and have children to carry?

There are millions of displaced people around the world who either become refugees to another country, or stay within the borders of their own country with no real place to go. Food, shelter, health, and safety are basic, immediate needs. There are displaced people in need of food in the Ukraine, and Food For Kidz is currently shipping 3 containers of food (855,360 meals) to the people there.

According to a recent article in ABC NEWS, “ 38 million people are internally displaced worldwide by conflict”. What can you do? There are ways you can help, and Food For Kidz will continue to engage volunteers in packing food. We continue to monitor situations and ways we can help get food to those in need, and work with global partners to reduce time and streamline resources.

Please sign-up for our newsletter at the bottom of our homepage, so we can send you news and opportunities to help in your area.

Mary’s Trip to Kabul: Delivering Food and Fitting Hearing Aids

Afghan school greetingDue to her previous work with the Bayat Foundation, Mary Baumgarten of Food for Kidz accepted an invitation from the Bayat Foundation to travel to Kabul, Afghanistan to participate in an event two years in the making. While visiting Food for Kidz in MN, Ehsan and Fatema Bayat were introduced to the Starkey Foundation, and the plans were set in motion for the Starkey Hearing Foundation to travel to Kabul. Food for Kidz in Stewart, MN has worked closely with the Bayat Foundation in the distribution of millions of meals throughout the provinces and cities of Afghanistan. The food is distributed in hospitals, schools, and orphanages.

Food for Kidz has worked closely with the Bayat Foundation in the distribution of millions of meals throughout Afghanistan

Afghanistan schoolDuring her recent visit to Afghanistan, Mary’s movement was restricted because of security concerns. However, restricted travel and a tight schedule didn’t stop her from visiting a school with Mrs. Bayat. The lack of any desks, chalk boards, and paper didn’t deter the teachers from still trying to teach these children. The Head Attendant at the school kept reiterating how the children’s health and capacity for learning had improved since receiving the food from Food for Kidz.

Afghanistan school maryAlong with the Starkey Foundation and Bayat Foundation over 850 children and adults were fitted with hearing aids and given the gift of hearing. Previous to our visit, 600 children were identified as needing hearing aids and impressions taken of their ears. These children were then bussed to the Bayat Media Center compound in Kabul where our teams fit each child with their personalized hearing aids. Children who had never heard before were able to hear for the first time. The excitement in their eyes and surprised expressions on their faces when they heard their first sounds was very moving.

No desksCommunication was a challenge. However, the combination of sign language interrupters and English translators helped us to effectively communicate with our clients. Only providing the service for 2 days limited our exposure, but the word spread throughout Kabul quickly. We had over 300 Afghans walk-in patients on the second day. These walk-ins were mothers with children, elderly, and teenage children. One mother brought in her four children who were all hearing impaired, and she was able leave the event with all four children able to hear for the first time in their lives.

Hearing aidNeedless to say everyone was extremely grateful; the mother who could hear her child for the first time, the teenage boy who could hear music, the little boy who could now hear his voice and joyfully proclaimed by giggling and shouting “Ba, Ba, Ba”, LOUDLY to everyone, and the children amazed that the water fountain in the courtyard made noise! These are only a few of the examples of gratitude we experienced. Many were still silent, but the gesture of their hand over their hearts and tears spoke volumes.

Engaging Kids in Generosity and Compassion

food for kidzHow do you instill a generous spirit in young children so they continually grow in compassion and understanding?

“There never was any heart truly great and generous, that was not also tender and compassionate.”  Robert Frost

Teaching kids to give of themselves to help others is one of life’s most valuable lessons, and one that takes time and repetition. There are many ways to teach volunteerism and philanthropy, and it starts in very simple ways. Consistency and creativity help kids of various ages, abilities and learning styles internalize the many ways they can make a difference in the world.

“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” Edward Everett Hale

As the holidays approach and opportunities abound to give of our time, talents, resources, skills, and money, it’s important to take the time to involve kids, for the true value of doing these things is to involve others and raise another generation who wants to help.

Questions to ask that will help you and young people get the most out of holiday “giving”

  • Is giving money the only way to help with this, or is there a way to be more involved, if only in a small way?
  • When donating money, is there a way for the children to be involved such as hand delivering?
  • When supporting a project or organization somewhere, is a tour possible? Are there people or animals benefiting with whom the children can interact, such as a senior center , nursing home or animal shelter?
  • Is there part of the fundraiser that kids can help with such as making signs or decorating collection boxes?
  • Is there an easier fundraiser that kids can do more self-sufficiently, or better yet can the kids decide how to raise money and what they’d like to do? Can they take the lead?
  • Is there an activity involved such as packaging food at Food for Kidz (all ages welcome), packing shoe boxes for Operation Shoe box, or other “hands on” ways to help?
  • Have you made sure activities are as much of a family event as possible? Kids have a hard time understanding why they are going through their clothes, toys or books to donate, if parents aren’t doing the same.
  • Are you prepared to answer questions? Do you know where money goes when kids throw it in the big red kettle outside the shopping mall? Be prepared to explain what the money is used for and how it helps people.
  • Is there a new, meaningful, and memorable tradition you can start with your family? Maybe something your kids will look forward to each year and anticipate.
  • Are there ways to keep the spirit of giving alive long after the holidays are over? Can you make a plan to involve kids all year round in different ways so they learn that compassion isn’t limited to the holidays, and neither is the need?

What would you add to this list? In what ways do you involve your children  in serving others?

Story from the Hardest Hit Area of Typhoon Haiyan

Apollo, a pastor living in the hardest hit area by Typhoon Haiyan was kind enough to share his story with us. Food for Kidz and our many volunteers are humbled by the stories of hardship experienced by so many, and at the same time inspired to continue with our mission.

“My family and the Church we pastored-Family Life Crossroads Ministries of Asia, Inc. in Tacloban City (the hardest-hit area by the typhoon “Haiyan” in the Philippines) and Catbalogan City, Samar, Philippines would like to say a heartfelt thanks for helping us in times of our grief and need. Being one of the survivors, we were in need of food. The food packs you have given have greatly helped us a lot.

Thank you, the Lord bless you and all your kind efforts in helping our brethren in need. You might not ever meet or know us personally, but we are assured of the love you shared to us in such a time like this. Your kind of love we will always be remembered. We pray that God will continue to use Food for Kidz and your program in a greater way for Him and His glory. Thank you again and God bless.”

Aljobert’s Story of Survival During the Typhoon

A story we received via email and a letter of thanks we want to share with you.

a story from the Philippines food reliefAljobert, one of the tenants in a farmland in Ormoc, Philippines lived in a small makeshift nipa hut with his wife. Like most of the homes in their barangay (village), their home was made up of very light materials. They lived with his wife’s parents, both above sixty years old, and one niece who just turned one. When the winds picked up at seven in the morning on Nov. 8, 2013, their house was the first to go. Roof, walls, posts…all gone. They couldn’t take shelter from their neighbors, because every house in their area had been flattened. So they made a decision to seek shelter at a concrete house a couple hundred meters from theirs. Because visibility was poor at the height of the storm, they couldn’t be sure if the house they sought for shelter to was still standing. Worse, the direction of the house they were attempting to reach was the exact opposite of the direction of the howling winds.

With two elderlies and his wife, Aljobert had no choice but to place the one-year old child inside his shirt. That way, he could shield the child from the cold rain and at the same time use his free hand to carry one of his wife’s parents who wasn’t well during that time.

A walk which normally took less than five minutes took about thirty, and the dangers of metal sheets, steel railings, falling trees and other debris were life-threatening obstacles to hurdle with each step they took.

Fortunately, they were able to reach the home of their landlord, and even though the structure didn’t have a roof anymore, they were already far from danger.

This is the kind of testimonies we constantly hear when we distribute relief goods to people. That is why it is not surprising to see their happy reactions every time they receive help from various foundations and private donors. They appreciate the help so much that you can sometimes see tears streaming from their faces upon receiving the goods. When we ask them why the sentimental reaction, a single question will normally illicit a long story as to how much they suffered during the storm and how even after the calamity, the hard days don’t seem to stop. The after-effects of the damage brought by the storm are still strongly felt by all victims. Most of these recipients are tenants of a farmland, and their day-to-day sustenance rely on their work as farmhands. Nowadays, with almost a 100% of the farmlands destroyed by the typhoon, land-owners cannot offer them work. Thus, they rely mostly on the relief goods coming in to survive.

Aljobert’s tale is not a rare story. Most of the survivors have the same harrowing tales and life-altering experiences. Most people, if not all, just consider themselves fortunate that they simply survived the storm.

On behalf of all the recipients, we thank you, Food For Kidz, as well as all the people involved in sending the rice packs. They may not know who all of you are, but they are very thankful for the help you’ve all sent. Thank you for thinking about their survival. Thank you for your aid. Thank you for your efforts. Most of all, thank you for your concern. I hope you will continue your humanitarian work and that all of you will be continually blessed.

Nutrition is Key for People Battling Ebola, You Can Help!

ebola liberia food hunger reliefThe Ebola outbreak is in the news a lot lately. Efforts are underway to help those who have been affected or are trying desperately to keep the virus at bay. While there is a number of things health care and government officials are trying to put in place, one thing is certain. Nutrition plays a key role in helping those battling Ebola, and we need to work together to get healthy food to those in need.

Food For Kidz, along with Kids Fighting Hunger and Harvest Pak have cumulatively sent 356,000 meals to Liberia from Stewart, MN…

According to an article in The Economist.com, “Unintended Consequences” on September 6, 2014, “The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation says the epidemic is endangering harvests and pushing up food prices. The creation of quarantine zones has created labour shortages, hampered cash-crop production and led to panic buying.” Hunger and proper nutrition is already playing a leading role in the crisis spreading across several countries.

Steve Holt wrote in TakePart.com an article entitled “There’s No Cure for Ebola, but This Commonsense Fix Could Prevent the Next Outbreak” discussing the critical need for better nutrition in these Ebola outbreak areas. He quoted Bruce Ribner, a medical director of the infectious diseases unit at Emory University Hospital, “If you have somebody who is well nourished and you have somebody who is poorly nourished, and they suffer the same illness, infectious or otherwise, the person who has better nutrition has a better survival outlook.” Providing nourishment to people is one area where we can all work together to help!

What’s Been Done to Help in Liberia

Food For Kidz, along with Kids Fighting Hunger and Harvest Pak have cumulatively sent 356,000 meals to Liberia from the Stewart, MN warehouse in recent days. Partner organizations MatterMore and Outreach are coordinating with health organizations on the ground in Liberia to help with food distribution.

How You Can Help Now!

For us to be able to respond when the time comes, we need to have food packaged and ready to ship! We need those interested in helping to get started with organizing a packing event! People who are willing to assist by scheduling and coordinating a packing event as a response to the needs in Liberia should call us. We also have monthly packing events in Stewart; just show up and help!

Food and Water to Afghanistan Landslide Survivors

Afghanistan Landslide flooding relief 5 10 14

In cooperation with the Bayat Foundation, Afghanistan’s Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation & Development (MRRD) and coordinated by Food for Kidz partners, Host Nation PerspectivesSWA and AZ Corp., together we are able to transport, deliver and distribute 45,000 meals and 28,000 bottles of water to the victims of the flooding and landslide survivors in northern Afghanistan. The Food for Kidz supply of food that was quickly available was from an initial donation from Food for Kidz to the Bayat Foundation for their work with the impoverished in Afghanistan. The Bayat Foundation graciously made available what remained from 500,000 meals that airlifted from the 437th Air Wing, MPLS in early spring. A response for humanitarian aid following a natural disaster has to be well planned and coordinated through many channels to affect the best results. Every point of contact, from the warehouse pickup, logistics transport, organizational support and the planned and well-orchestrated distribution, needs to be in sync and with all prepared to perform their respective duties. The coordination of these events was masterfully handled by Todd Cline, CTO of Host Nation PerspectivesSWA.

Afghanistan IL food to be delivered to landslide flooding areaAfghan survivors wait for food donations Tuesday, May 6, near where a double landslide struck in the northeastern province of Badakhshan. More than 2,000 people were killed when a mass of rock and mud came crashing down Friday, May 2, in the village of Abi Barak.

According to a recent CNN article published on May 5th  “White tents line the sides of the valley where the landslide struck. Some villagers weep, others pray. The remnants of their shattered community lies buried below, submerged under as much as 60 meters of mud. In the space of one devastating week, natural disasters killed more people in Afghanistan than they did all last year. At the heart of the destruction was the double landslide that engulfed a village in a remote northeastern province on Friday, killing more than 2,000 people.”

“The scale of this landslide is absolutely devastating, with an entire village practically wiped away,” said Richard Danziger, the chief of mission for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Afghanistan. “Hundreds of families have lost everything and are in immense need of assistance.” (quoted from CNN article)

Food for Kidz is also currently working with Richard Danziger’s staff at International Organization of Migration to provide solutions for further aid and redevelopment in the future. Food for Kidz, along with ImpactLives is donating over 500,000 additional meals in response to the needs not only in the landslide area, but the northern region devastated by the flooding.