A woman hands a plate of rice to a little girl while another girl and boy wait, smiling.
At the home of Maria Elena Jimenez, children in Guatemala receive a nourishing Vitafood meal.

Fighting Hunger in Haiti and Around the World

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the number of hungry people in the world has increased by 150 million — and recent world events are making it even more challenging for the poor to secure proper nutrition (United Nations, World Health Organization). The ongoing war in Ukraine, for example, has caused upheaval in the agricultural sector, making it even more difficult for poor families in developing countries to access and afford the food they need.

At times like these, the world needs the Church’s light more than ever — and the compassionate generosity of American Catholics is helping shine that beacon of hope where it is needed most!

Earlier this year, our donors gave generously to send nutritious meals to developing nations and support feeding programs. This profound display of mercy has helped guarantee that thousands of children, pregnant mothers, the elderly and other vulnerable populations would not go hungry.

Plates and hearts have been filled, and many precious souls are praising God for hearty meals!

A Haitian woman balances a large bag of sugar atop her head.
Jesilène Pierre, a mother of four daughters, carries food staples home from a food outreach in Kobonal, Haiti.

Partner Highlight: Haitian Resource Development Foundation

Haiti has been one of the nations blessed by our donors. There, the rate of hunger and the threat of malnutrition have grown especially alarming in recent months, so the Church’s hunger relief efforts have become even more imperative.

In fact, the United Nations recently reported that hunger levels in Haiti have reached a “catastrophic” level, with a record-breaking 4.7 million Haitians (almost half the population) having too little to eat. Gang activity, road blockades and fuel shortages have placed an incredible burden on infrastructure and transportation services throughout the country, making it extremely difficult for families to reach food markets and access the supplies they need.

These people need a lifeline — and that’s exactly what our food programs are providing. Because American Catholics gave generously, partners such as the Haitian Resource Development Foundation (HRDF) are being equipped to share nourishing meals with those in greatest need. In the months since this campaign launched, we were able to prepare and ship a 40-foot container of Vitafood meal packs to HRDF for distribution in Haiti. That outreach alone has ensured that 272,160 servings of nutritious food will be available to school feeding programs, mobile medical clinics and other life-sustaining outreaches supported by our ministry partner!

A family of eight stands outside their home in Haiti.
The Thermidor family stands outside their home in southern Haiti.

The Thermidor Family Gives Thanks for Vitafood in Haiti

Vitafood is specially formulated to strengthen and energize undernourished bodies. Every meal pack contains:

  • A rice, potato or lentil base.
  • A protein such as soy or beans.
  • A blend of critical vitamins and minerals.

Thanks to the meals we’ve shipped, HRDF will be able to continue its vital work, delivering Vitafood that is a godsend for families such as the Thermidors.

Yves and Mericile have three adult children and three children under age 8. With unemployment at almost 41% in Haiti, finding steady work has been an intense challenge — especially in small rural villages like theirs. The family has struggled to eke out an existence through subsistence farming, growing barely enough to survive.

Before receiving help from HRDF, they typically had just enough food for a single meal; on some days, they ate nothing at all.

Thank God people like you stepped forward to provide them with nourishing meals! With this support, the Thermidors have received a box of Vitafood (about 216 meals) every two weeks — enough for the entire family to eat two meals a day. They’re even able to flavor the meal packs with local herbs and seasonings to suit their tastes.

With one burden lifted, many families such as this one can finally breathe a deep sigh of relief. The children are growing stronger, and the adults feel more freedom to address other needs. Full plates today are helping them fight for a brighter tomorrow!

Donate to Make a Difference

A female student in her school uniform stands smiling.
Around the world, children such as Edias are healthier and happier with help from hearty meals.

Elsewhere Around the World: Children With Disabilities Strengthened in Zambia

We’re currently working to support feeding programs in a total of 19 developing countries. In Zambia, for instance, the funding we provide allows the Dagama School for Physically Disabled Children to purchase local ingredients and provide nourishing meals for 170 students such as Edias Kaira. Edias, 7, was born into a very poor family. From a young age, she was paralyzed on the right side of her body, affecting the mobility in her right arm and causing her right leg to grow shorter than the left. Sadly, her parents could not afford any medical support or physical therapy, so over time, this imbalance curved her spine and dislocated her hip. The pain Edias endured day after day was heartbreaking, but her parents saw no way of helping their daughter without outside support.

But thanks to the generosity of our supporters in the U.S., the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Assisi were empowered to relieve Edias’ pain and offer her and her family a path to a brighter future!

At the Dagama School, the loving sisters have provided Edias with nutritious meals each day, energizing her as she attended her classes. Edias was also provided with a special shoe raise to help balance her legs, and the school’s physiotherapist has helped her adapt to it. Because our compassionate donors help support the school’s feeding program, Edias’ life has dramatically changed. She is now benefiting from hearty regular meals, quality education and Catholic faith formation — and she is walking without extreme pain for the first time in her life.

In Zambia, Haiti and developing nations throughout the world, strength and hope are rising with help from nourishing meals!

A world map with certain countries highlighted in red.
Right now, we’re working to feed the hungry in Belize, Bolivia, China, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Malawi, Mexico, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Peru and Zambia.

Nourishing Meals, Abundant Life

In John 10:10, Jesus says, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Inspired by those words, we believe God doesn’t just want his children to survive; he wants them to thrive — and the Church plays a critical role in that outreach.

When American Catholics gave to address urgent hunger needs, they helped families regain their health and their hope for the future. They ensured that children and families could overcome the painful symptoms of malnourishment and finally live the joyful, abundant lives that our Lord describes!

Our team at Cross Catholic Outreach is so grateful to everyone who made this mission possible. By putting their faith into action and stepping forward to fight world hunger, they have nourished many bodies and souls in his name!

Donations from this campaign will be used to cover any expenditures incurred through June 30, 2024, the close of our ministry’s fiscal year. In the event that more funds are raised than needed to fully fund the project, the excess funds, if any, will be used to meet the most urgent needs of the ministry.