Brands Fighting HungerAmerica is well known for its quick and easy businesses, from countless fast-food restaurants to convenience stores at every corner. However, while many items from these places are easily accessible and affordable for just about anyone, the nutritional value and healthiness of products available are not always sufficient for a person to thrive. Over thirty-seven million Americans have faced hunger and around fourteen million Americans have a restricted list of foods. Given the lack of healthy options, here are five American brands fighting hunger and making a mission to provide healthy choices for their consumers.

Dollar General

In 2018, Dollar General announced a plan to remodel around four hundred stores to include a refrigerated section that includes perishable merchandise. About four hundred and fifty stores also began to include healthier options such as fruits and vegetables in order to promote a healthier lifestyle to their customers at an affordable price point. Many stores have also pushed to include food options that contain less sodium and higher protein. Since the inclusion of refrigerated merchandise and healthier food options, a nearly seven percent increase in sales was seen compared to a couple of years before the new renovations.


Technology in the twentieth century surrounds everyone’s daily lives, and impoverished communities reap the benefits from tech as well. Propel is a company that focuses on bettering the financial health of low-income people by providing a technology service that easily allows people to budget and makes money. EBT balances can be checked right on the Fresh EBT app created by Propel, as well as countless useable coupons from many stores. Propel also aids people by providing job opportunities that are legit and safe. By creating a technological feature especially for those who are struggling, Propel has reached around forty million Americans and continues to benefit those who need help.

Daily Table

Daily Table was founded in 2012 by Trader Joe’s former president Doug Rauch. The products available from Daily Table are wholesome and healthy, and best of all, affordable to everyone as many of the products are also available through SNAP. Over forty thousand members utilize the two Daily Table stores to provide food for their families, saving around thirty percent on average when they checkout compared to other stores. Whether it is finding ingredients to make your own meal through learning from Daily Table’s cooking classes or grabbing something quick on the go, Daily Table makes it a priority to provide nutritious meals to low-income people.


With public school being the most popular option for American families, nutrition in schools often gets forgotten and overlooked as other priorities get in the way. Aramark is a company that specializes in all things school-related, including providing affordable meals during school. All of the meals are sourced in local areas and pass USDA regulations by meeting nutrition goals. School districts that include Aramark’s food programs see an average of around eighteen percent increase of free and reduced meal applications from parents. By bringing awareness to their children’s affordable school meal options, parents are able to ensure their child of a meal during school hours regardless of the price.


Cereal is an American breakfast staple, and Kellogg’s is a popular brand that helps Americans get their days started. Better Days is a program founded by Kellogg’s that aims to aid with hunger by providing nearly four hundred and fifty million servings of food a year. Just in the past year, as hunger rates are at an all-time high due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Kellogg has donated over thirteen million U.S. dollars in cash as well as food to help relieve hunger in impoverished communities. In the next decade, Kellogg hopes to benefit three billion people by providing Better Days for those who need it. Kellogg’s is also partners with Feeding America to help provide nourishment to hungry Americans.

As the United States moves forward in providing food security for struggling Americans, these five brands fighting hunger are contributing to healthy and nourishing products to better the lives of many.

— Karina Wong

Photo: Pexels

Hunger in NamibiaAlthough Namibia is an upper-middle-income country, it still struggles with a high rate of poverty and undernourishment. According to the World Food Program, 26.9% of the country’s population lives in poverty. In addition, according to the U.N., 430,000 people are in desperate need of food. Namibia, since its independence, has seen good economic growth. The country’s GDP grew from $3.8 billion in 2000 to $12.3 billion in 2019. However, hunger in Namibia remains a growing issue.

Over the past years, the agriculture economy in Namibia has suffered from droughts. The reduction of produce from the food industry is causing hunger in Namibia as families struggle to grow enough food to feed their families. Hunger in Namibia is leaving many children and families malnourished which significantly affects the progress of the nation. Still, both the government and its partners are working to address hunger in Namibia.

Who Is Affected?

Over the past decade, Namibia has faced a lot of droughts leaving low-income-earners struggling to make a living. With a population of approximately 2.4 million people in 2018, 18% (430,000) of the country’s people face severe acute food insecurity and need humanitarian aid.

According to a government report, the country’s agriculture sector, which is partially powered by smallholder farmers, provides for most of the country’s population. Many families who are low income find it difficult to buy food because of increasing food prices.

Malnutrition in Namibia is also affecting children. According to the World Food Program, approximately 23% of children in Namibia are stunted in their growth because they do not eat enough nutritious food. Stunting can have a dangerous effect on the development of children and can even influence their behaviors as they grow older.

Causes of Hunger in Namibia.

In 2019, because of the lack of rain, Namibia food production, both its crops and livestock, fell. Namibia lost 60,000 tons of crops and 60,000 livestock. The two main crops that are planted are maize, which declined in production by 26% between 2018 and 2019, and millet, which declined by 89%. The lack of rain in Namibia hit cereal production the hardest.

The most affected regions of the country are Northwestern parts and the Southern provinces. Due to losses in sales from their livestock, some farmer’s households are finding it difficult to purchase food from markets. Currently, families in 14 regions in Namibia spend more than 50% of their income on food. The cause of drought in Namibia has been attributed to climate change, which is said to be only getting worse.

What Is Being Done?

To help fight against the hunger crisis, the government incorporated the Hunger Initiative in the Harambee Prosperity Plan in August 2016, a plan which is in action through 2020. The plan focuses on 5 different pillars: Effective governance, economic advancement, social progression, infrastructure development, international relations and cooperation. The fight against hunger falls into the Social Progression sector. According to a government report in 2019, Namibia’s government is addressing the country’s hunger crisis by making food banks available in 7 different regions in the country. These food banks reach 17,260 food-insecure households. To deliver food the government relies on unemployed youth who are part of Street Committees.

Government aid provided to people who are food-insecure varies. For example, between 2016 and 2017 the government spent $304 million on its drought program but only $5 million in 2017-2018 because the impact of the drought was lower. To provide malnourished children with food, the government uses a program called the School Feeding Programme. In 2017 they fed 377,521 students. According to the government, providing students with food helps limit the school dropout rate among students who live in poverty. The World Food Program is also helping the government fight malnutrition in children by providing Namibia with technical assistance; the group also helps the country with both policy and strategic guidance.

Furthermore, to help farmers, the government work also extends to provide them with 162 tractors to aid in the cost of plowing for communal farmers.

Although Namibia faces the constant threat of drought, the government and its partners are dedicated to providing nutritious food to many families in need.

Joshua Meribole
Photo: Flickr

Rise Against Hunger: An Organization Striving to Create a Tangible Impact

With an alarming 805 million people in the world impacted by hunger, organizations such as Rise Against Hunger are striving to do their part in alleviating malnourished and hungry nations. Because poverty is largely caused by conflict and lack of resources, it is said to be the principal cause of hunger. Rise Against Hunger ignites the passion and drive to address this reality by doing its part in feeding millions and ending global hunger.

What Does Rise Against Hunger Do?

Established in 1998, Rise Against Hunger is an international hunger relief organization with aspirations to end hunger by 2030. Its daily task is to distribute food and aid to the world’s most vulnerable. The organization’s 2017 impact report shows that well over 1.4 million lives were impacted by this single organization in 36 different countries, sending out 76 million meals. A crucial factor in its success can be accredited to its four pillars toward ending world hunger:

  1. Grow movement
  2. Empower communities
  3. Nourish lives
  4. Emergency relief

An effective tool it uses for growing the movement is the volunteering events it hosts throughout different universities and other organizations. This allows people to come together as a community to take action with Rise Against Hunger by packaging meals for distribution to the world’s hungry.

The organization empowers communities by educating and advocating about topics such as sustainable agriculture and hosting clean water projects. Rise Against Hunger also nourishes lives by giving warm, sustainable meals to those who are in dire need by responding to disasters efficiently, therefore providing effective emergency relief with these prepackaged meals.

Who Does the Organization Help?

Tom Barbitta, the Rise Against Hunger Chief Marketing Director, emphasizes the importance of how education plays a vital role in global poverty and how this, as a result, affects the hunger scale of a nation. “A country has never been able to lift itself out of poverty without first hitting a 40 percent literacy rate,” he told The Borgen Project. “Because of this, around 40 percent of the meals distributed from Rise Against Hunger end up in school feeding programs.”

Children who are living in severe poverty have to spend their time begging for food, rather than receiving an education that will benefit them in the future. The organization keeps this in the forefront of its work and Baritta comments that “we hope to empower young minds to take control of their own community.”

Aspirations Become Reality

A 12-year-old child from Zambia, Aswali, who once did not have adequate access to food, now receives meals each day from Rise Against Hunger distributed by Family Legacy Missions. He is also able to provide food for his family while attending school, decreasing the global poverty rate.

Meals from Rise Against Hunger are also distributed to vocational training facilities. In places such as West Africa, when the people in these facilities have access to meals, they are able to focus on their skills which will, in turn, give them an income that allows them to allocate more food for their families and live life on their own terms.

Rise Against Hunger is an organization that makes valuable efforts toward putting an end to the widespread global hunger. Its impact remains prevalent, with thousands of volunteers joining each year creating an effective tool for growing the movement. Rise Against Hunger understands the importance of every individual being able to make a viable difference toward diminishing poverty.

– Angelina Gillispie

Photo: Flickr

How many people are starving around the world?In the U.S., it is not uncommon to hear the all-too-familiar phrase about “the starving children in Africa” who would “love to have that food you are wasting!” Seemingly daily reminders of how many people are starving around the world permeate Western society, whether through billboards, commercials, requests to donate to X or Y charity at the grocery checkout or homeless people begging at stoplights.

Despite all these reminders, the U.S. ranks lower than the average developed country in the Commitment to Development Index. Designed by the Center for Global Development (CDG), the Commitment to Development Index measures developed countries’ contributions to providing necessary aid in seven fields: aid, finance, technology, environment, trade, security and migration. Out of the 27 countries measured, the U.S. ranks twenty-third overall.

In the meantime, approximately 793 million people are starving around the world, according to the U.N. That makes up about 11 percent of the population. Of the 793 million, more than 100 million suffer from severe malnutrition and risk starving to death. Of the 793 million, 780 million, or 98 percent, inhabit developing countries. One million children under the age of five die from malnourishment each year, comprising 45 percent of all child deaths up to age five.

A person living comfortably in a developed country may find it difficult to address issues like global poverty or think about how many people are starving around the world. Though not necessarily intentional, this lack of awareness leads to inaction. When local political figures do not hear anything from the people they represent on certain issues, they focus on addressing other topics about which people seem to care more. As a result, bills regarding hunger do not get passed, people do not volunteer their energy and nothing gets done about global poverty.

Considering how many people are starving around the world today, people in developed countries must take action, even just by calling or emailing their political representatives about addressing global poverty. Though it seems like an insurmountable task, enough mobilization beginning at the individual level can help to eradicate poverty once and for all.

– Francesca Colella

Photo: Flickr

current global issues

Among all the good in the world, and all the progress being made in global issues, there is still much more to be done. Given the overwhelming disasters that nations, including the U.S., have been or still are going through, it is important to be aware of the most pressing global issues.

Top 10 Current Global Issues

  1. Climate Change
    The global temperatures are rising, and are estimated to increase from 2.6 degrees Celsius to 4.8 degrees Celsius by 2100. This would cause more severe weather, crises with food and resources and the spread of diseases. The reduction of greenhouse emissions and the spreading of education on the importance of going green can help make a big difference. Lobbying governments and discussing policies to reduce carbon emissions and encouraging reforestation is an effective way of making progress with climate change.
  2. Pollution
    Pollution is one of the most difficult global issues to combat, as the umbrella term refers to ocean litter, pesticides and fertilizers, air, light and noise pollution. Clean water is essential for humans and animals, but more than one billion people don’t have access to clean water due to pollution from toxic substances, sewage or industrial waste. It is of the utmost importance that people all over the world begin working to minimize the various types of pollution, in order to better the health of the planet and all those living on it.
  3. Violence
    Violence can be found in the social, cultural and economic aspects of the world. Whether it is conflict that has broken out in a city, hatred targeted at a certain group of people or sexual harassment occurring on the street, violence is a preventable problem that has been an issue for longer than necessary. With continued work on behalf of the governments of all nations, as well as the individual citizens, the issue can be addressed and reduced.
  4. Security and Well Being
    The U.N. is a perfect example of preventing the lack of security and well being that is a serious global issue. Through its efforts with regional organizations and representatives that are skilled in security, the U.N. is working toward increasing the well being of people throughout the world.
  5. Lack of Education
    More than 72 million children throughout the globe that are of the age to be in primary education are not enrolled in school. This can be attributed to inequality and marginalization as well as poverty. Fortunately, there are many organizations that work directly with the issue of education in providing the proper tools and resources to aid schools.
  6. Unemployment
    Without the necessary education and skills for employment, many people, particularly 15- to 24-year olds, struggle to find jobs and create a proper living for themselves and their families. This leads to a lack of necessary resources, such as enough food, clothing, transportation and proper living conditions. Fortunately, there are organizations throughout the world teaching people in need the skills for jobs and interviewing, helping to lift people from the vicious cycle of poverty.
  7. Government Corruption
    Corruption is a major cause of poverty considering how it affects the poor the most, eroding political and economic development, democracy and more. Corruption can be detrimental to the safety and well being of citizens living within the corrupted vicinity, and can cause an increase in violence and physical threats without as much regulation in the government.
  8. Malnourishment & Hunger
    Currently there are 795 million people who do not have enough to eat. Long-term success to ending world hunger starts with ending poverty. With fighting poverty through proper training for employment, education and the teaching of cooking and gardening skills, people who are suffering will be more likely to get jobs, earn enough money to buy food and even learn how to make their own food to save money.
  9. Substance Abuse
    The United Nations reports that, by the beginning of the 21st century, an estimated 185 million people over the age of 15 were consuming drugs globally. The drugs most commonly used are marijuana, cocaine, alcohol, amphetamine stimulants, opiates and volatile solvents. Different classes of people, both poor and rich, partake in substance abuse, and it is a persistent issue throughout the world. Petitions and projects are in progress to end the global issue of substance abuse.
  10. Terrorism
    Terrorism is an issue throughout the world that causes fear and insecurity, violence and death. Across the globe, terrorists attack innocent people, often without warning. This makes civilians feel defenseless in their everyday lives. Making national security a higher priority is key in combating terrorism, as well as promoting justice in wrongdoings to illustrate the enforcement of the law and the serious punishments for terror crimes.

With so many current global issues that require immediate attention, it is easy to get discouraged. However, the amount of progress that organizations have made in combating these problems is admirable, and the world will continue to improve in the years to come. By staying active in current events, and standing up for the health and safety of all humans, everyone is able to make a difference in changing the fate of our world.

– Chloe Turner

Photo: Flickr



Hunger in GuineaSituated in West Africa, Guinea is a country populated with around 12 million people. As in many impoverished countries, hunger and malnutrition are issues primarily affecting the rural areas of the nation. Over half of the population lives in extremely poor conditions, and 17.5 percent are food-insecure. Coupled with poor socioeconomic conditions and a weak government, natural disasters and disease further add to the chronic malnourishment issue. There are several programs, however, that have contributed to alleviating the consequences of hunger in Guinea over the past few decades.

The World Food Programme (WFP) has been working on reducing hunger in Guinea since the mid-1960s. In the time the organization has spent in Guinea, WFP has effectively improved nourishment by promoting education programs in schools, providing nourishment to women and children specifically with HIV, tuberculosis and Ebola and promoting locally grown foods. Another area of focus for food insecurity that the WFP is addressing is access to healthcare supplies by supporting government incentives for air transport.

Similarly, Action Against Hunger (AAH) is helping Guinea move forward in food security and nutrition. AAH began work in the mid-1990s and has worked to fight disease such as cholera, while also promoting better practices relating to hunger in Guinea. AAH assisted 264,124 people in 2016.

Earlier in 2017, two native Guineans were celebrated on International Women’s Day for their contributions to the fight against hunger in Guinea. The food security, resiliency and archeology project team of the Stop Hunger foundation awarded the two women for their work in involving local parboiling in schools in rural areas that experience food-insecurity. Supported by local government, the program is an excellent example of mobilization of local communities and the effectiveness that larger nonprofits have in sparking efforts toward reliving hunger in Guinea.

Casey Hess

Photo: Flickr

Guinea Persists
More than half of Guinea’s population lives below the poverty line despite the country’s great mineral wealth. Guinea ranks 178th out of 187 countries on the Human Development Index. Poverty in Guinea is an immense problem, as 40% of children below the age of five are chronically malnourished.

Foreign investments have unfortunately been dropping due to political, social and governmental crises, including emerging tensions with refugee populations coming from Sierra Leone, Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire.

There are around 25 foreign international mining companies that currently run operations in Guinea, as well as four domestic mining companies. Guinea has the largest export of bauxite in the world — the primary source of aluminum — as well as possessing vast iron ore, gold and diamond reserves, but, unfortunately, this generation of wealth is lost on the population, as the country gains little compensation for its mineral riches.

Guinea has also been faced with an Ebola crisis during the global outbreak between 2014-2015. It is clear that it had a profound effect on various social aspects of Guinean life. Unemployment doubled in urban areas, and many families withdrew their children from school.

Today, Guinea’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has rebounded by 5.2% from the shock of the Ebola crisis, but, unfortunately, the growing economy has been unable to reduce poverty in Guinea, as it persists in rural areas where 67% of the population resides.

The current government of Guinea headed by President Condé, the country’s first democratically elected leader, received help from the World Bank. Jointly, they started the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Development Project. The project aims to cut poverty in Guinea by investing in transport and energy, as well as cutting back red tape on job and business creation. By increasing public transit connectivity, President Condé hopes to allow rural workers to go to work in the city. As of now, these workers are landlocked and dependent on subsistence farming for a living.

Guinea has a bright future ahead if it is able to keep its current foreign investment status. With the help of foreign investors, it will be able to continue to develop its MSME Development Project.

Josh Ward

Photo: Flickr

The World Food Program (WFP) is the world’s largest organization dedicated to fighting hunger and promoting food security. As a branch of the U.N. the WFP is funded solely through voluntary donations which allow the organization to reach around 80 million people annually in 80 countries.

Though the WFP has a strong impact on the battle against world hunger, over 795 million people remain undernourished globally. Often people in developing countries become undernourished when faced with external factors like natural disasters or political instability. These factors can cause entire communities to lose access to necessities like food and water.

Currently, southern Africa is experiencing drought due to the year’s El Nino weather pattern — it is believed that Malawi was hit the hardest of the countries affected. The drought coupled with severe flash floods has devastated the country’s crops.

Up to 40 percent of the population of Malawi may need emergency assistance. In an attempt to provide food relief to vulnerable populations like those in Malawi, the WFP created an app called ShareTheMeal.

ShareTheMeal allows users to help those in need with the touch of a button. By choosing to share a meal, users donate 50 cents, the cost to feed one child for one day, to school children in Malawi. Of course, more than one meal can be donated at a time, but allowing users to donate as little as 50 cents makes food relief an affordable act for all.

At this time, WFP is focusing ShareTheMeal towards food relief in Malawi, but the app has been used to help several other vulnerable communities since its inception in the summer of 2015. In fact, the ShareTheMeal website states that donations on the app have provided over 7.5 million meals to those in need.

Recently, between June and July of 2016, all donations on the app went to feeding Syrian refugee children in Lebanon. The donations from those two months were enough to provide one year worth of food to 1,500 children.

While these numbers may seem impressive, the WFP is setting the bar even higher for relief in Malawi. Through ShareTheMeal, the WFP’s goal is to provide 58,000 school children with food for an entire year. If the goal is reached, those 58,000 children will have better chances of staying in school and learning the essential skills that could one day lift them out of poverty.

Weston Northrop

Photo: Flickr

Hunger in NigeriaAfter assessing areas of the country previously cut off from foreign assistance by Boko Haram, the U.N. released a statement on July 1, declaring that 50,000 children in northern Nigeria stand to die from undernourishment and hunger in Nigeria if left untreated.

“Unless we reach these children with treatment, one in five of them will die. We cannot allow that to happen,” stated Jean Gough, Nigeria Representative of UNICEF.

Over the past year, the Nigerian army, with the help of troops from neighboring countries, fought to reclaim territories in the north taken by Boko Haram. The struggle resulted in the displacement of 2.4 million people in Nigeria, Chad, Niger, and Cameroon, making food insecurity and malnutrition an emergent issue in these countries.

The violence in northern Nigeria greatly disturbed the supply of food to markets, increasing the cost of basic commodities. However, the recapturing of northern territories allowed humanitarian agencies like MSF to provide aid in the form of medical services and health supplies to the most vulnerable residents of these areas.

In addition, on June 27, the U.N. Central Emergency Response Fund allocated $13 million to provide immediate life-saving aid to northern Nigeria. Funds will be used to provide food, money for purchasing food, nutritional supplements, and seed and tools for the forthcoming planting season.

Unfortunately, this is only a portion of what needs to be done to end hunger in Nigeria. Conflict between the militant group and the Nigerian army is still ongoing, and the afflicted areas need more rapid assistance.

“While the government and humanitarian organizations have stepped up relief assistance, the situation in these areas requires a much faster and wider response,” said the U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Munir Safieldin.

Hopefully increased efforts from international organizations will continue to assist reducing malnutrition and the under-five mortality rate in the country.

Ugochi Ihenatu
Photo: Flickr

A large number of children in Nadjote, a small village located 18 km from the city of Dapaong, suffer from serious malnutrition. In order to combat this suffering, the Togolese government has established a safety net program aiming to financially help the most vulnerable households.

Specifically, the government set up a cash transfer program to provide financial assistance to households with malnutrition-suffering children in Togo.

This program is intended to provide a brighter future for children from the most disadvantaged families. Moreover, this program encourages households to obtain birth certificates for their children, offer them with education and health care.

Abna Kolani is one of the beneficiaries. She gave birth to seven children, but three of them died of malnutrition. As a beneficiary, during the past 12 months, she has received monthly financial assistance of 5,000 CFAF—around $9—for the children’s feeding and education.

According to the World Bank article, Abna noted that “With the money I receive each month to provide my youngest child with better nutrition, I can provide healthier food for all my children. I see a big change in their physical condition— their health and hygiene conditions are much better than before.”

“When they are sick, I can take them to the health center to receive care. In addition, the program has allowed me to send my eldest child to school and now all four have birth certificates.” Abna continued.

The project was launched by the Togolese government in 2013 and supported by the World Bank and the Japanese government.

Cooperating with the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the program is aimed for parents with children between the ages of 0 and 24 months in the Kara and Savanes regions where malnutrition rates are extremely high.

Nanifei Lardja is another mother living in Nadjote mentioned in the World Bank article. Naniferi has five children, and she says, “I buy corn for 2,000 francs, soap for 1,000 francs, and small fish for 1,000 francs. I have my small plot for the vegetables I need and put aside the remaining 1,000 francs for other possible expenses.”

The program gives her not only material support but also confidence for a better future with her children.

“We are very pleased to note that the support activities organized, in particular the educational talks on the rights of children, nutrition, health and basic family practices have produced largely positive effects,” said Joachim Boko, a Social Protection Specialist at the World Bank.

According to Pounpouni Koumaï Tchadarou, the Regional Director for Social Action in the Savanes region and Program Coordinator, this program offers much more than mere financial assistance. Besides the 5,000 francs supplement, this program also provides a range of services, such as reminders of regular prenatal care and children’s register.

“We do everything to ensure that school-age children attend school. We also do home visits to heighten the awareness of the beneficiaries regarding the role played by good hygiene in improving the health of their children,” said Tchadarou.

“One day, you will come back here and see that the children you have helped have become teachers, nurses, and doctors,” said Yom Kouloukitibe, one of the 14,016 recipients to date of this financial assistance.

Shengyu Wang

Sources: World Bank 1, UNICEF, World Bank 2
Photo: Flickr