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Church donates a combined $44 million to promote childhood nutrition

The donation will support efforts in 30 countries

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is giving a combined $44 million in funding to several organizations working around the world to increase childhood nutrition.

“Providing life-sustaining relief for vulnerable mothers and children is an important part of the Savior’s work,” said the Church’s Presiding Bishop Gérald Caussé. “We are grateful to collaborate with so many others who help alleviate hunger and poverty. May God bless them and others whose generous contributions make this possible.”

The projects — set to take place in 30 countries — will promote and incorporate principles of self-reliance and engage in evidence-based solutions to combat growing malnutrition rates before age 5, explained a news release about the donation from ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

The funding is going to CARE, Catholic Relief Services, Helen Keller International, The Hunger Project and several other organizations.

More than 3 million children will die this year from malnutrition, reported the Church. And half of all children globally suffer from essential vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

A group of women sits in a semicircle on a large tarp.
A workshop for young mothers led by workers with The Hunger Project in Uganda. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is donating a combined $44 million in August 2023 to several organizations, including The Hunger Project, to help combat childhood malnutrition in 30 countries. | The Hunger Project

Relief Society General President Camille N. Johnson said, “No humanitarian effort is more foundational to Christ’s Church than feeding the hungry. We are grateful to have the means to collaborate with wonderful organizations and provide relief to children and young mothers in dire need. As we serve together, we extend the reach of Christ’s loving arms.”

In 2022, the Church’s efforts to care for those in need included more than $1 billion in expenditures and 3,692 humanitarian projects in 190 countries and territories.

Other childhood nutrition assistance included a $32 million donation to the World Food Programme and $5 million to UNICEF’s No Time to Waste Initiative.

A woman in Ethiopia feeds her family’s chickens.
Belaynesh and her small family in southern Ethiopia have benefited from a program led by CARE International that feeds people in rural Ethiopia and improves economic status through basic business education. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced a combined $44 million donation to CARE and other organizations in August 2023. | CARE

Blaine R. Maxfield, managing director of the Church’s Welfare and Self-Reliance Services, said the growing levels of child malnutrition are a key priority for the Church.

“Our collaboration with these organizations helps provide relief to vulnerable children and mothers worldwide. These joint efforts will bless nearly 2 million lives in 30 countries. This response demonstrates our commitment to the two great commandments. We show our love to God by reaching out to care for His children, whatever their location or background.”

CARE

With the new funding, CARE will strengthen self-reliance initiatives that help women raise chickens, goats and bees; grow gardens; and improve their children’s diets. CARE stands for: Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere.

“We are immensely grateful,” said CARE USA President and CEO Michelle Nunn in the news release. “Funding from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints allows us to scale up our work in countries like Ethiopia and Ghana and improve the well-being of thousands more children and their families impacted by food insecurity and malnutrition.”

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Catholic Relief Services

Catholic Relief Services will use the funding to improve the nutritional status of some 165,000 adolescent girls, young mothers and their children under age 2 in countries like Guatemala, Liberia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Timor-Leste and Zambia.

“This is going to be transformative for thousands of adolescent girls and young women,” said Sean Callahan, president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services. “It will help Catholic Relief Services put an end to the cycle of malnourishment.”

A baby smiles as she is held by her mother.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced a combined $44 million donation to Catholic Relief Services and other organizations in August 2023 to combat global childhood malnutrition. | Anny Djahova, Catholic Relief Services
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Helen Keller International

The funding will support Helen Keller International’s efforts to help women have healthy pregnancies and babies have a nutritious start to life in Cambodia, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal.

“Across the world, mothers and children are struggling more than ever to maintain adequate nourishment,” said Shawn Baker, chief program officer. He expressed his gratitude for “the continued generosity of collaborators like The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as we build sustained access to good nutrition for families and communities during this critical time.”

A child’s arm is measured in Cambodia to detect malnutrition and growth.
A child is screened in Cambodia using a Mid-Upper Arm Circumference, or MUAC, tape, a simple tool to detect acute malnutrition. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced a combined $44 million donation to Helen Keller International and other organizations in August 2023 to combat global childhood malnutrition. | Helen Keller International
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The Hunger Project

The Hunger Project will help mothers and children receive sustainable nutrition and create community-based workshops to teach best practices for clean water, sanitation and hygiene. This work will be done in places from Mexico to Zambia.

The Hunger Project CEO Tim Prewitt said when he visits rural communities as part of his work, one thing is clear — they know a life without hunger is possible.

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Church and The Hunger Project working together on ending hunger in Ghana

“We must remember hunger is a cycle — an injustice passed from mother to child and perpetuated by systems of inequity. It can also be reversed. Collaborations such as our work with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are instrumental to supporting communities as they break that cycle.”

This project is funded in part by LDS Charities Australia.

How to follow the Church’s worldwide humanitarian efforts online
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