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.” Each year the program has grown and provided service opportunities to thousands of youth and their families.
Feed the Hunger (now called Something to Eat™) is born out of a desire to follow Jesus’s example of feeding the hungry and caring for the poor. Meals are packaged and sent to impoverished people in Central Africa as Youthfront begins to lead young people in exploring their own spiritual hunger.
A 7.0 earthquake devastates Haiti. Within hours, Youthfront is flooded with questions from people who want to help, and churches across the Kansas City metro mobilize to send more than a quarter of a million meals to Haiti through Youthfront’s partner, The Global Orphan Project.
Feed the Hunger is renamed Something to Eat™ and continues to grow nationally. More than 750,000 meals have now been packaged and sent to Haiti. Churches and ministry groups across the U.S. begin to catch the vision for providing impoverished people Something to Eat™.
The 282,528 meals that were packed between Summer of 2011 and Feb. 22nd, 2012 were shipped to Kenya, Africa and were distributed by two ministries. Mchungagi Kundi Moja (MKM) and Firm Foundation (FF). Both ministries expressed sincere appreciation for the food. The stories told about the impact our meals have had on the people there are about far more than full bellies, they speak of a distribution that bestowed dignity and showed love to groups of people who often get overlooked even when it comes to relief aid.
MKM elected to use the food as part of their ongoing lunch program. They provide one meal per day for the preschoolers and some to the elementary aged children. It is very evident that the meals are benefiting the children, as they are now happier and healthier.
FF distributed the food to the nine different villages in the country of Garissa that had the most vulnerable and severe victims of the most recent catastrophic drought. Garissa is a one and a half hour drive from the Somalia border. When these villages were struck by the drought it slowly killed 70% of their livestock. A more common problem to face this region is the constant flooding of the Tana River which makes it challenging for farmers to reach harvest with a full crop.
The FF representative shared many positive stories regarding the food distribution of the Something to Eat™ meals. Among them was the story of how successful the food distribution process was. ”10% of the relief food beneficiaries were elderly, HIV/AIDS victims and disabled people. We gave first a priority to the 10% so that they feel happy and that they were not discriminated against in the relief food distribution.” It is very common that the most vulnerable of people are discriminated against and never get their share of the relief food that is being distributed. This along with the fact that the food was distributed peacefully was a huge success for this area.
The FF representative said, “During the food distribution the beneficiaries were saying that they were happy and that even if people say you are infidel you are useful infidel. Generally Somali people like other Muslim people call people of other faiths and anything strange infidel. That is their worldview and I made them understand that I am not infidel neither am I strange but I am a Christian who is a believer of the true God and above all I love them for they are my neighbors.” He also shared that he is getting stopped while on the main road between two of the villages and has people thanking him for the food and is told that they are now happier and healthier and can now attend school. The FF representative plans to go back to this village and help start a soccer team to be able to continue to build the relationships that were first start during the food distribution.
“In brief the relief food distribution has helped in the ministry by opening more doors in sharing the love of God physically and also opened more opportunities to make more friends who are ready to hear the Gospel. The chairman of the disabled group and a representative of the HIV/AIDS group have expressed a strong willingness to hear the Gospel. The chief and the elders mindset has changed toward the Somali Christians who they used to persecute and reject. All this could not have happened if it were not for the relief food from supporters, partners, and affiliates.“
These are just a few of the positive stories that were shared due to the meals that were shipped to Africa. Thank you for participating in Youthfront’s Something to Eat™ Initiative and helping make an impact on lives around the world. Our hope and prayer is that your life was impacted by your experience with Something to Eat™.
We are also excited to announce a new partnership with Food for the Hungry. FH will assist us in the distribution of our current meals as well as meals we will be packaging in the future, to make sure, like the experience in Africa, they get distributed to those in need in a way that is most dignifying and empowering for all involved. The plan is to send 139,000 meals to the Dominican Republic, 69,500 meals to Managua, Nicaragua as well as another 69,500 meals to Guatemala City, Guatemala. These meals will go towards the supplemental feeding of the youth in educational programs. At the same time we plan on keeping at least 71,280 meals ready for any disaster relief situation that might present itself in the form of a hurricane, mudslide, earthquake, etc.
Please consider taking the time to packages more meals this year as a way to help our brothers and sisters around the world who are facing hunger due to the world food crisis.
Over this past year, Youthfront’s Something to Eat™ Initiative has reached thousands of people around the world with shipments of nutritious meals sent to the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and Nicaragua and several other countries. While at the same time the lives of youth and their families here in the United States, have been challenged to think about what the Bible says about poverty and how it instructs us to care for the poor while packaging the meals to send abroad.
This year, 418,774 meals were packaged in churches, schools, and auditoriums, mainly by youth, but by adults and children as well. It has been awesome to see groups using Something to Eat™ as an intergenerational experience for the whole family. Something to Eat has proven to be a creative way to connect different age groups through service.
We kicked off the year with the second annual Peasant’s Day Feast on President’s Day. As the country spent a day recognizing and remembering the privileged and powerful of our country, the Justice Initiative Team decided that there was nothing more appropriate than to honor the peasants and the poor. The Scriptures instruct us time and time again to fight for justice for the less fortunate among us. Psalms 82:2-4 says, ““Enough! You’ve corrupted justice long enough; you’ve let the wicked get away with murder. You’re here to defend the defenseless, to make sure that underdogs get a fair break; your job is to stand up for the powerless, and prosecute all those who exploit them.” (The Message) In response to our calling to fight for justice for the “underdogs,” many students and their families, along with some youth groups and churches did just that.
Peasants’ Day Feast also was the start of our lent season, during which a number of churches set up a Something to Eat line for their members and community. They also had the opportunity to follow a weekly Lenten devotional provided to help them reflect on bringing justice to the vulnerable.
Our most recent and spur of the moment event this past year came in response to the Typhoon in the Philippines. We called it Pack Friday and held it the day after Thanksgiving as an alternative to Black Friday. While many were waiting in line to buy Christmas presents, around 200 people showed up to package meals for the thousands of people that are standing in food lines across the globe. We are currently waiting to send this shipment to the Philippines as our partners, Food for the Hungry(FH), are assessing the best time and way to send the food.
Along with the food that is going to the Philippines via our partner FH, we shipped 142,560 meals to the Dominican Republic, 71, 280 to Guatemala and 71, 280 to Nicaragua. The meals shipped to Nicaragua are being held at the port due because port officials want to collect a bribe from FH in order to release the meals. Please join us in praying for this situation, as FH does not want to pay the bribe and get a reputation that they will pay in the future. Pray that the meals will be released without paying a bribe so they can get to the Nicaraguans that need them most.
The meals that reached the DR were distributed to churches, orphanages and used alongside of FH’s ministry and educational classes used to teach healthy nutrition and as a supplement to food sustainability class. We have received reports back from the DR that all who received the meals are very thankful. Melvin, a 13-year-old boy who was completely healthy in February of 2013 is now sick in bed and disabled. His family is one of the poorest families in the region and cannot afford medicine and the medical supplies he needs to help him regain his strength. Upon receiving Something to Eat’s packaged meals in the DR, FH workers delivered some to his family. They are very thankful for these as he is now slowly recuperating and gaining muscle mass and tone again.
In the next year we are excited to host two big meal-packaging events with our friend Jeremy Affeldt’s organization Generation Alive. We will package 250,000 meals in San Francisco in January–up from 100,000 last year–and another 1 million meals at Whitworth College in WA in the spring. We are looking forward to being able to provide even more students with a tangible way to help the less fortunate by packaging meals that FH will continue to distribute. We are called “to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8) Thank you for your support of the Something to Eat program over the past year and for your help to fight for justice for the less fortunate.
This past year marks the 6th year of Youthfront’s Something to Eat™ Initiative that has reached thousands of people around the world with shipments of nutritious meals. Over the past six years the meals have been sent to the Horn of Africa, Ghana, Haiti, Philippines, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Nicaragua and several other countries. These meals have also been used locally in food pantries in the Kansas City and Spokane, WA areas. The food packaged has not only filled hungry bellies but also provided a glimpse of hope, that will one day be fulfilled in the return of Christ who will forever eliminate this brokenness. While at the same time the lives of youth and their families packaging the meals have been challenged to think about what the Bible says about poverty and how it instructs us to care for the poor.
This year, 1,175,286 meals were packaged in churches, schools, and auditoriums, mainly by youth, but by adults and children as well in Kansas City, KS; Spokane, WA; and East Palo Alto, CA . It has been awesome to see groups using Something to Eat™ as an intergenerational experience for the whole family. This year Something to Eat has connected generations while allowing them to serve side by side. One elderly participant shared that is was a great way to be able to interact with the youth and children in her congregation.
We kicked off the year with the second annual Peasant’s Day Feast on President’s Day, and are beginning to plan for the third annual Feast! As the country spent a day recognizing and remembering the privileged and powerful of our country, the Justice Initiative Team decided that there was nothing more appropriate than to honor the peasants and the poor. The Scriptures instruct us time and time again to fight for justice for the less fortunate among us. Micah 6:8 says, “But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don’t take yourself too seriously— take God seriously.” (MSG) In response to our calling to do what is fair and just to our neighbors, many students and their families, along with some youth groups and churches did just that and helped provided food for our neighbors both locally and internationally.
This past year we also celebrated our 2nd annual Pack Friday event that is held the day after Thanksgiving as an alternative to Black Friday. While many were waiting in line to buy Christmas presents, around 150 people showed up to package meals for the thousands of people that are standing in food lines across the globe. 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.
This year we distributed 1,185,248 meals both locally and internationally. This past spring we shipped 85,536 meals to Guatemala. One of our staff members had the opportunity to travel to Guatemala to see first hand how the food was being used. While there he took footage of the distribution programs our partner Food for the Hungry oversees and witnessed first hand the positive effects the nutritious food is having on helping the children grow to healthy heights and weights. If you have seen our new videos, some of the footage is from Guatemala. 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. It was then distributed to a small community where members were facing food insecurity due to underemployment caused by the rainy season. The food was used as a supplement that helped this community cope with the food scarcity. The food was also distributed to the elderly and disabled children. Also, meals were recently sent to the Philippines and Ghana to help children suffering from hunger. We are still waiting for the reports back from our partners who are distributing the meals. If you would like an update on these two shipments please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Kansas City we have partnered with Mission Southside and Harvester’s and together they have received 45,144 meals. Both organization have mentioned that they like the packages as they are a complete meal and only seasoning needs to be added! We have shipments going out in early 2015 to these partners.
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 work 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 package 175,000 meals.
In 2015 we are excited to continue to provide even more students with a tangible way to help the less fortunate by packaging meals that will continue to distribute to bring hope to the hungry. Thank you for your support of the Something to Eat program over the past year and for your help to fight for justice for the least of these.
This year over 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.
In 2015, we began the process of rebranding Something to Eat and will be revealing our new logo and mission statement in 2016. We continue to provide service and learning opportunities for students, as they learn that working together to provide food for those in need and learn why loving their neighbor is important.