Food Projects - 080600 Animals, Agriculture & Livelihoods

Working At The Heart of a Hunger Crisis

Every Meal Counts for Children Growing Up Hungry

With a heavy heart, Teresa* tucked her five children into bed. She had nothing to feed them for the evening meal, so she prayed: “God, we know that You see us going to bed without food. We ask that You would help us.”

Then, she put water on to boil. Her little ones fell asleep to the sound of the bubbling. It not only distracted them from their growling stomachs but also gave them hope that there would be ingredients to cook soon.

“It is better to go to bed with hope,” said Teresa, speaking from her childhood experience. Growing up, she remembers surviving on hot water for ten days. It’s a painful memory. “Hunger feels like dizziness,” she added. “It’s hard to walk—you can’t do anything.”

Teresa and her husband Gabriel* live on the island of Madagascar, off the southeast coast of Africa. Most of the population subsists on less than $2 a day. Back-to-back droughts recently devastated the region they call home, and families are suffering from a critical food shortage.

Out of great compassion for the boys and girls in their village, Teresa and Gabriel lead a children’s program with our local church partner.

Nine-year-old Adrianna* attends the program twice every week. There, she delights in Bible lessons, songs, games, and prayer. “I feel so happy when I come to the center,” she said. “I like learning about the Word of God. My favorite song is ‘Jesus Loves Me.’”

Adrianna and her five brothers often go to bed with hunger pangs. Their mother walks around the village frequently, seeking customers who will pay her to clean their laundry. If she returns home empty-handed, she cannot buy cassava to feed her children.

“I’m sad when I don’t get to eat,” Adrianna shared. “When I feel hungry, my stomach hurts.”

But here, in this hunger hotspot, God uses your prayers and support to meet children like Adrianna in their need.

Together with local church partners, Samaritan’s Purse has been able to provide families in Madagascar with emergency food kits. We’ve also started running feeding programs that reach children like Adrianna in 50 locations across the country. Over the next few months, this will equate to nearly 100,000 meals from locally purchased food staples plus a mix of nutrient-rich, dried vegetables grown by Canadian farmers.

Pots of water like Teresa’s—once boiling in vain—are transformed into steaming, wholesome meals. Every mouthful is made possible through the generosity of friends like you. Now, boys and girls who come to Teresa and Gabriel’s children’s program receive a nutritious, warm meal two times a week. They’re nourished, body and soul, in Jesus’ Name.

When Adrianna is there, she is the picture of pure joy. Her eyes are bright, and her dimpled cheeks are glowing. A large bowl, heaped with rice and veggies, sits on her lap. She laughs with a friend as she scoops spoonfuls of the healthy lunch into her mouth. Her toothy grin reappears between each bite.

In such moments, Adrianna has hope over hunger. And as you support our partners in diligently sharing the Gospel in word and deed, Adrianna and many other children are seeing the love of God, who cares for them. “The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him” (Nahum 1:7, ESV).

*Name changed.

Food Projects - 080600 Animals, Agriculture & Livelihoods

More than a billion people worldwide are suffering from chronic malnutrition. Through your gifts, Samaritan’s Purse is providing lasting solutions through hands-on farming training, home garden projects, and practical education about nutrition, as well as desperately-needed food staples for hungry families in emergency situations.