How do you package meals and ship them worldwide?
Kids Against Hunger is a nonprofit organization that is funded through the generosity of our financial contributors. We use the funds received through donations to purchase the high-quality ingredients that are a part of Kids Against Hunger’s specific food recipe (e.g. rice, soy, vitamin powder) and supplies (e.g. sealing machines, plastic bags, packaging tape) from established suppliers. We often acquire ingredients by the truck load to achieve cost savings. Those items are temporarily stored in our warehouse
The next step is for volunteers to assemble the ingredients in a specified order and quantity – and following our hygiene and food packaging standards – to weigh and seal the bags, box them up, and load them onto pallets. Meals packaged at the Headquarters location, and pallets of food from those satellite locations who either do not have current relationships with reliable feeding partners, or who are choosing to combine their food packaging efforts with those of the Headquarters office, are then returned to the warehouse to await shipment.
Shipping arrangements are generally made by our feeding partners in the U.S. who work with the recipient organization(s) in foreign countries. They pick up the cargo, or we initiate the shipment to their location within the U.S., and have it transported to the destination country via plane or cargo ship. We have worked with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in more than 60 countries to get our food shipped and distributed. Each 40 ft. container of meals includes over $62,500 worth of food – that is the equivalent of 270,864 meals. The cost to ship a container of food varies depending on its destination, but it can range anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000.
How do you decide where the food will be sent?
Decisions regarding the destination of our food are made on a case-by-case basis. We make every effort to provide our meals to those feeding partners who will ship them to where the need is greatest. When one of our partners submits an appeal for food and is approved, we place them “in line” for a shipment. This is subject to food availability and import approval from the government in the recipient country. We will provide meals only to those organizations that we believe we can trust to distribute the food properly and freely to those who are in need.
Do you provide food aid for families in the U.S.?
Kids Against Hunger’s main focus is on feeding starving children abroad, but we also help families within the U.S. We recommend that our food packaging satellites ship 2/3 of the packaged meals abroad and to distribute the remaining 1/3 within the local community where the satellite is active. Some of our satellites focus almost exclusively on helping families in the U.S. – for example through outreach to inner city families, homeless people, Native American reservations, seniors, and children.
The main reason for Kids Against Hunger’s overall focus on shipping our meals to foreign countries is because – even though there are hungry people within the U.S. – you are not likely to find starving people. The U.S. has a safety net in place to assist those in need – including food shelves, food stamps, and church pantries – whereas families in foreign countries in most cases cannot rely on support from their government and are left to fend for themselves.