As 2016 comes to a close, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on what we’ve achieved together over the course of this year. With the help of more than 325,000 volunteers, we packaged and distributed more meals than ever before, hitting the 300 million meal mark in early December. We supported sustainable development projects around the globe that will enable entire communities to rise and break the cycle of poverty. We made real progress in our fight against hunger — and we feel more confident than ever that we can achieve zero hunger as we march toward 2030.
You may have received an email from us last week with highlights from 2016, but in case you missed it, here’s a look at a banner year in the fight against hunger:
On July 18, volunteers around the globe came together to #FollowtheSun and package millions of meals in honor of Mandela Day. Mandela Day is a global call to action to follow in Nelson Mandela’s footsteps, and we were inspired to see thousands of people answer that call in South Africa, Malaysia, the Philippines and more.
Farmers in the mountain village of Pala, Guatemala, travel up dirt roads to tend to concrete tanks of tilapia fish. As they care for the fish and maintain the tanks, they are working toward a future source of protein and income. Supported by Stop Hunger Now, this is one of multiple initiatives promoting self-sufficiency in communities around the globe.
After Hurricane Matthew made landfall in October of this year, Stop Hunger Now responded immediately by working with our in-country Impact Partners to distribute critical aid to communities impacted by this historic storm. In total, more than 22,170 people affected by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti have received 2,711,448 Stop Hunger Now meals.
In addition to our existing meal packaging program, we established new pathways to end hunger in 2016, including through community empowerment and emergency relief. One way we’re empowering communities is by sourcing vegetables from smallholder farmers in the Philippines for use in meals packaged by local volunteers to fight local hunger.
Through our new Advocacy program, we encouraged hunger champions to ask elected officials to prioritize the fight against world hunger and poverty. As one of 179 members of the Vote to End Hunger coalition, we helped deliver a petition with 630,000 signatures that triggered both U.S. presidential candidates to provide written responses on their agendas to end hunger.
Stop Hunger Now teamed up with Kraft Heinz to launch the #HeinzSelfieForGood campaign in November to provide nutritious meals to people in need around the globe. When you take a selfie with a #HeinzSelfieforGood bottle at participating restaurant locations through March 1, Kraft Heinz will make a donation to Stop Hunger Now.
Thanks, again, for an amazing year. Please help ensure we enable even more communities and families to rise in 2017 by making a holiday gift today.