Many families living in the remote, rural communities of the developing world face crushing hardships each day. For example, it is estimated 820 million people worldwide do not have enough to eat. In response to this crisis, the United Nations has called for charities to provide urgent humanitarian aid to communities facing hunger issues, particularly in hotspots such as Guatemala. In the remote communities of Guatemala, children face a high risk of malnutrition — but your support can help deliver life-sustaining food where it is needed most.
As part of its response to the hunger crisis, Cross Catholic Outreach is partnering with Caritas in the Diocese of Santa Rosa, Guatemala, to pack, ship and distribute 816,480 protein-rich meals to vulnerable families.
Our brothers and sisters in Guatemala have suffered the consequences of poverty in silence for far too long. Chief among their hardships — extreme hunger, which can easily lead to dangerous malnutrition. In fact, according to UNICEF, one out of two Guatemalan children under age 5 currently suffers from chronic malnutrition.
Poverty is often the root cause of this tragedy. Imagine parents being forced to choose which of their children will eat on a given day! That is the kind of horrible decision some families face. Catholic leaders in the Diocese of Santa Rosa de Lima have reached out to the poor and marginalized in their community, determined to end this hunger crisis and the suffering it creates.
When the hungry receive nourishment, their lives are transformed. You become part of this transformation when you contribute to Cross Catholic Outreach and our ministry partners.
Since 2014, Cross Catholic Outreach has supported the diocese’s material and spiritual ministries through programs for faith formation, food, education, agriculture and housing, impacting thousands of families. Under the leadership of newly appointed Bishop José Cayetano Parra Novo, Caritas in the Diocese of Santa Rosa de Lima continues to work closely with Cross Catholic Outreach to strengthen local families by delivering humanitarian aid and supporting integral human development.
By generously extending support to partners like the Diocese of Santa Rosa de Lima, you can replace an overwhelming need with overwhelming hope.
Appointed in 2021, Bishop José Cayetano Parra Novo has already taken an active role in the compassionate work of Caritas Santa Rosa de Lima. Here, His Excellency celebrates a Confirmation Mass.
“A consistent theme of Catholic social teaching is the option or love of preference for the poor. Today, this preference has to be expressed in worldwide dimensions, embracing the immense numbers of the hungry, the needy, the homeless, those without medical care, and those without hope.” — St. John Paul 2, Solicitudo Rei Socialis
To combat Guatemala’s hunger crisis, Cross Catholic Outreach has a simple but effective plan: distribute Vitafood. This fortified rice product is specifically designed to reverse the effects of child malnutrition by providing an optimal balance of vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, fat and carbohydrates.
The donated Vitafood is used by local priests and pastoral parishioners to feed hungry children and families throughout the region, benefiting as many as 3,000 people with each distribution. As the meals are given to the hungry, a food technician is on hand to train the families on how to prepare the Vitafood in combination with locally grown foods, resulting in meals that are both nutritious and culturally appropriate.
Margarita had a tough time affording food after her husband Ignacio suffered a stroke. The couple’s children are grown, but with their own children to feed there wasn’t enough to provide for their parents. It was a heartbreaking situation — but sadly not uncommon for rural families in Guatemala. When Vitafood is provided, these families no longer must choose which family members get food and are able to focus their attention and energy on other needs. Your generous support is miraculous to vulnerable families, bringing them hope and relief.
Margarita is in her home, having just made a fresh pot of food. She and Ignacio are incredibly grateful for the outreaches of the Diocese of Santa Rosa and the generosity friends like you have shown to make past and future Vitafood shipments possible.
Use it for reflections and notes to grow in your spiritual life. You’ll also receive a prayer request form to mail back so that we can pray for your needs. In effect, this creates a spiritual bridge to connect you to our sisters and brothers in Christ in the developing world!
Cross Mission Partners also receive a semiannual Mission Update with news, insights and information about the good work and accomplishments made possible by your support.
Around the world, poor families struggle to feed their children. Learn more about malnutrition in Nicaragua — and how Cross Catholic Outreach is responding — in the stories below.
About 820 million people do not have enough food to eat. Your support can help Catholic missions fight the hunger crisis and provide nutritious Vitafood meals.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Catholic leaders in developing countries had raised concerns about another serious problem threatening the poor — food insecurity.
Vitafood is the generic name for all of Cross Catholic Outreach’s specially formulated meal packs, which are designed to meet the needs of the malnourished.
Each pack of Vitafood has three main components: a rice or lentil base, a protein (usually soy or beans) and key vitamins to energize, strengthen and improve the health of malnourished children and families.
Vitafood meal packs are extremely flexible. They come in several different varieties and can be prepared with additional spices or ingredients to suit local tastes. No matter how it is prepared, Vitafood’s nutritional value remains the same, providing the optimal balance of vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, fat and carbohydrates that hungry bodies need.
Cross Catholic Outreach shipped 20.5 million Vitafood meals to feed the hungry through Catholic ministries around the world in Fiscal Year 2021.
Proceeds from this campaign will be used to cover any expenditures incurred through June 30, 2023, 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.