Established in 1946 for the purpose of ending hunger and malnutrition in developing nations, the nonprofit organization Freedom from Hunger was first known as “Meals for Millions.” What began as an operation to distribute nutrient-rich food supplement has evolved into a diverse organization that orchestrates malaria prevention, education, savings and credit programs.
Freedom from Hunger operates in 20 countries, all of which are classified as low- or middle-income. These countries include Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Madagascar, Mali, Mexico, Niger, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, Togo and Vietnam. From its inception, Freedom from Hunger has been an innovative player in the field of philanthropy. The food supplement they began distributing in the 1970s is still widely used today in developing countries.
By tackling the causes of hunger and not solely its symptoms, Freedom from Hunger has managed to not only treat the malady, but has also worked to prevent it entirely. Giving options to those at risk, including preventative healthcare measures, access to education, pathways to save money and lines of credit, allows individuals to escape hunger and potential impoverishment.
Freedom from Hunger is also unique in its focus on women. The organization believes that the resources they provide will do more for families when put in women’s hands. Empowering women has long been a key development strategy, but no humanitarian organization commits more to this vision than Freedom from Hunger.
Another tactic practiced by the organization is partnering with local organizations. Working with communities that share the organization’s goals allows Freedom from Hunger to use the cultural knowledge of local agencies to teach people the skills necessary to eliminate hunger and poverty.
Giving communities the “self-help” tools they need to control their futures makes Freedom from Hunger’s programs truly sustainable. In its nearly 70 years, Freedom from Hunger has changed millions of lives for the better. Its continued efforts abroad are sure to change millions more.
– Elise L. Riley