Something to Eat™ began in 2009 out of a desire to follow Jesus’ example of feeding the hungry and caring for the poor by giving students attending Youthfront Camps an opportunity to serve. Our name comes from Matthew 25:35-36, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” This small idea has grown into a thriving program, providing service opportunities to thousands of youth and their families and helping to feed families locally and worldwide.
Feed the Hunger (now called Something to Eat™) was born out of a desire to follow Jesus’ example of feeding the hungry and caring for the poor. Meals were packaged and sent to impoverished people in Central Africa as Youthfront began to lead young people in exploring their own spiritual hunger.
After a 7.0 earthquake devastated Haiti, Youthfront was flooded with questions from people wanting to help, and churches across the Kansas City metro mobilized with Feed The Hunger to send more than a quarter of a million meals to Haiti through Youthfront’s partner, The Global Orphan Project.
Feed the Hunger was renamed Something to Eat™ and continued to grow nationally. More than 750,000 meals were packaged and sent to Haiti. Churches and ministry groups across the U.S. began to catch the vision for providing impoverished people Something to Eat™ meals.
In 2012, 282,528 meals were packed and shipped to Kenya, Africa and were distributed by two ministries; Mchungagi Kundi Moja (MKM) and Firm Foundation (FF). The impact of Something to Eat’s meals were about far more than full bellies. They spoke of a distribution that bestowed dignity and showed love to groups of people who are often overlooked when it comes to relief aid.
MKM elected to use the food as part of their ongoing lunch program. They provided one meal per day for the preschoolers and some to the elementary-aged children while FF distributed the food to nine different villages in the country of Garissa after suffering from a catastrophic drought that killed 70% of their livestock. These villages possessed some of the most vulnerable and severe victims of food shortage.
The FF representative shared many positive stories regarding the food distribution of the Something to Eat™ meals: “10% of the relief food beneficiaries were elderly, HIV/AIDS victims and disabled people”, who are commonly discriminated against during food relief. This, along with the fact that the food was distributed peacefully was a huge success. Overall, the relief food distribution provided an opportunity to share the love of God physically and by making friends who are ready to hear the Gospel.
In 2013, Youthfront’s Something to Eat™ Initiative reached thousands of people with 142,560 nutritious meals sent to the Dominican Republic, 71,280 meals to Guatemala, and 71,280 meals to Nicaragua all the while challenging youth to think about how the Bible instructs us to care for the poor.
The meals that reached the Dominican Republic were distributed to churches and orphanages and used in Food for the Hungry’s ministry and educational classes on nutrition and food sustainability.
418,774 meals were packaged in churches, schools, and auditoriums by youth and adults, becoming an inter-generational experience for the whole family. The year kicked off with the second annual Peasant’s Day Feast on President’s Day which honored the poor.
In addition, Something to Eat™ provided relief for the Typhoon in the Philippines, naming the day “Pack Friday”, an alternative to Black Friday after Thanksgiving. While many were waiting in line to buy Christmas presents, around 200 people showed up to pack meals for the thousands of people suffering from food insecurity.
In 2014, 1,185,248 meals were packaged in churches, schools, and auditoriums by both children and adults throughout the US in Kansas City, KS, Spokane, WA and East Palo Alto, CA. Something to Eat™ kicked off the year with the second annual Peasant’s Day Feast on President’s Day, honoring the poor as scriptures instruct time and time again to fight for justice for the less fortunate. Many students, youth groups, and churches helped provide food for neighbors both locally and internationally.
In addition, Something to Eat™ hosted its 2nd annual Pack Friday event the day after Thanksgiving as an alternative to Black Friday. 150 people showed up to package meals for those in need. The food that was packaged was sent to food pantries in the Kansas City area to help the 1 in 5 kids that struggling with food insecurity.
Something to Eat™ shipped 85,536 meals to Guatemala. One of Something to Eat’s staff members had the opportunity to travel to Guatemala and see first hand how Something to Eat’s partner, Food for the Hungry, distributes its meals and the children they helped to grow to healthy heights and weights.
In May, 285,128 meals (a full container) was shipped to Nicaragua thanks to the students at Whitworth University in Spokane, WA. This food was staged for disaster relief then distributed to a small community facing food insecurity due to underemployment caused by the rainy season. Meals were also sent to the Philippines and Ghana to help children suffering from hunger.
In Kansas City, Something to Eat™ partnered with Mission Southside and Harvester’s and together they distributed 45,144 meals. Nationally, Generation Alive distributed 552,144 meals that students packaged, through the Something to Eat™ Initiative, in Spokane, to their local food pantry as they worked to make a difference and fight hunger in their city. Also, Youthfront and Generation Alive teamed up help students at Whitworth University (Spokane, WA) package 602,000 meals and students in East Palo Alto, CA packaged 175,000 meals.
In 2015, 5,000 students and their families worked together to package over 516,000 meals. Many of these meals were shipped to Nicaragua to help those suffering from the drought. Other meals were also distributed to local food pantries in the Kansas City and Spokane, WA areas. We also began a partnership with Convoy of Hope to distribute the meals packaged overseas and locally.
In 2016, Something to Eat™ re-branded itself with a new logo and mission statement while also shifting its focus locally to those facing food insecurity in the United States rather than abroad. A new curriculum was developed focused on teaching youth how to serve within their own communities. Combined with Generation Alive, Something to Eat™ shipped 1,045,866 meals to those suffering from food insecurity.
In 2017, Something To Eat™ continued its growth and impact within the greater Kansas City area and abroad alongside Generation Alive, packing just under one million meals to fight food insecurity. Something to Eat™ hosted 89 different packing events with a variety of organizations, including churches, schools, and businesses. Of those who hosted a Cone Zone party, 60% were new to the packing experience, introducing even more opportunities for people to make a difference in their communities.