When someone lacks the physical or financial capability to meet their nutritional needs, it leads to malnutrition, wasting, stunted growth and death.
Fighting all forms of hunger is one of the key humanitarian initiatives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
For example, the Church’s annual Caring for Those in Need report for 2022 lists:
- 520 food security projects.
- 46 childhood nutrition projects funded.
- $32 million for the World Food Programme.
- $5 million for UNICEF’s global nutrition campaign.
Often, the Church’s most effective way to bring relief to people is to partner with local humanitarian and nonprofit organizations that have local resources and the expertise to address all different types of hunger and malnutrition.
Below are some of those examples of collaboration and response.
World Food Programme
A $32 million donation to the United Nations World Food Programme in September 2022 was the Church’s largest one-time donation to a humanitarian organization to date.
The organization was able to increase food rations at three refugee camps in Dadaab in eastern Kenya, helping families and children sustain their own cooking together.
Another way the donation helped was by providing more super cereal — a highly fortified porridge that provides calories, proteins and vitamins to pregnant and breastfeeding mothers in need.
The Hunger Project
In Ghana, Naomi Osabutey learned to make bread, and it’s now the primary source of her income. Patience Nugba-Yiyiava was taught how to grow and sell vegetables to help her family.
Funding from the Church helped The Hunger Project train these women and many others to become more self-reliant and have dignity and ability to care for themselves and their households.
In a new effort to help young children receive proper nutrition and early intervention — and in an attempt to end the cycle of child malnutrition — the Church donated $5 million in September 2022 to UNICEF’s new “No Time To Waste” global malnutrition campaign.
The campaign is particularly designed to help children suffering from wasting, which is defined as low weight for height.
The Church’s donation included materials to assist with the prevention, detection and treatment of wasting and other forms of malnutrition.
Catholic Relief Services and Caritas
Mothers in Liberia in western Africa have enrolled in a project called Healthy Living through Integrated Nutrition (HELINA), implemented by Catholic Relief Services and funded by the Church. This has helped fight both wasting and stunting, which is defined as low height-for-age.
The Church, Catholic Relief Services and Caritas have also been working together in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in providing food and other resources to victims of conflict in the central African region.
Agents of the Savior’s relief
Relief Society General President Camille N. Johnson recently traveled to Uganda in Central Africa, where she saw how the Church has partnered with UNICEF to provide temporal relief to mothers and children.
“The Good Shepherd’s flock is known and numbered. He knows His children, even in a remote corner of Uganda,” she said at BYU Women’s Conference earlier this month.
President Johnson said it is both a blessing and a covenantal responsibility for members of the Church to provide temporal relief to others around the world.
Referencing Doctrine and Covenants 81:5, President Johnson said, “Sisters, we can be agents of the Savior’s relief by aligning ourselves with Him in succoring the weak, lifting the hands that hang down and strengthening those with feeble knees and backs.”