Sunday, October 08, 2006

Stop Hunger Now

Stop Hunger Now's web site immediately draws attention to the fact that:

Every day 30,000 people die from starvation

That's 1250 people every hour

20 people every minute

One person every three seconds

YOU can make a difference with just $1

While I'm not a huge fan of the music that plays during the flash animation, the overall effect of the flash animation, words, and music made enough of an impression on me to replay the animation enough times to write down their message word-for-word on my blog. I guess that's effective marketing on their part. Looking through the web site in more detail reveals that $1 can provide five meals.

I have no prior involvement with Stop Hunger Now (SHN), though my research into hunger charities made me want to conduct more due diligence on the organization. Less than 2% of the organization's expenses go towards advertising or administration expense, making it an efficient charity and helping it to earn a 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator. 2004 revenues for the charity were only $13 million. However, the charity was only founded in 1998 and saw 27% year-over-year growth from 2003 to 2004.

SHN's tagline is Working together to end world hunger, and their mission is to provide the maximum amount of food and life saving aid to the maximum number of the most poor and hungry throughout the world in the most rapid, efficient and effective manner. SHN Founder Ray Buchanan spent 18 years in domestic food relief, though he is now "fueled by the vision of ending hunger in his lifetime and, to that end, has dedicated himself to helping those in the greatest need." As a result, his efforts are now on a global, rather than domestic, scale.

According to its website, Stop Hunger Now engages in the following efforts:

  • Emergency Relief: Providing food and aid immediately following a crisis situation
  • Food Security: Giving grants to local organizations effectively meeting the needs of the hungry
  • Seeds Programs: Partnering with organizations to supply people in areas of chronic drought and famine the necessary resources to rebuild their lives
  • Medicine and Medical Equipment: Extending life-saving medicine and medical equipment in areas lacking the necessary resources
  • Micro-Credit Loans: Helping impoverished women climb out of destitution by funding partner organizations that provide low-interest, revolving loans to empower women to start their own business
  • Capacity Building: Supporting partnership organizations with capacity building grants designed to maximize food and aid transportation, improve storage locations and local program infrastructure

Ever since reading The End of Poverty, I've felt strongly that more needs to be done to help the 2+ billion extreme and moderate poor, who struggle to get by on less than $2/day. Stop Hunger Now directs more than 94% of its expenses toward overseas programs.

Although I have no prior involvement with Stop Hunger Now, you can bet that won't last long. Based on everything I've read, it looks like a fast-growing, efficient organization that values many of the same things I do.

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