• Ralph Thurman

How This Amazing International Charity Is Fighting Food Insecurity in Peru

Peru has made major economic strides in recent decades, which has allowed them to make improvements in food security. However, relatively high levels of food insecurity and income inequality remain prevalent. While the national food insecurity rate may have dropped, large portions of the country’s rural residents still do not know where their next meal will come from.

Fortunately, both international and domestic organizations are working to address food insecurity in Peru. Food For The Hungry, an international charity, has been active in Peru since 1982. The organization sponsors soup kitchens, value-based children’s activities, and emergency food programs with an emphasis on caring for people with tuberculosis (TB).

Here are just some of the ways this organization works towards food security in Peru and other nations.

Cultivation and Husbandry Practices

In Peru and many other nations served by Food For The Hungry, a large segment of the population works in the agricultural sector. When crops are damaged or destroyed by natural disasters or fail for other reasons, it can create a food emergency for everyone in the community.

Food For The Hungry collaborates with local experts to train and support farmers, teaching them the best practices in a variety of agricultural tasks. This knowledge allows agricultural workers to increase their output, raising sufficient livestock and harvesting enough crops to feed their families and make an income by selling their products.

Formal Schooling

Food insecurity is a product of extreme poverty, and a lack of access to formal education is one of the main causes of generational poverty. Food For The Hungry recognizes that improving educational access in low-income communities will allow the children growing up in these communities to one day find stable work. This will, in turn, aid in the fight against food insecurity.

The organization partners with teachers, caregivers, and communities in the 18 nations it serves to provide educational support for local children.

Robust Healthcare

Many food-insecure rural areas also struggle with a lack of access to clean water, which can lead to serious health problems. Unclean water can carry parasites that cause preventable waterborne diseases. This issue is often compounded by a lack of access to sanitation.

While Peru has improved in both safe water access and sanitation in recent years, about 2 million Peruvians do not have access to an improved water source. Approximately 4 million lack access to improved sanitation.

Food For The Hungry addresses these preventable diseases by partnering with communities to improve physical health in children and families. The organization works towards this goal by providing access to treatment and clean water sources, hosting educational workshops, providing training to families, and helping families take preventative measures to keep their children healthy.

Strong and Diverse Local Economies

Poverty is often a generational cycle, with numerous factors that cause it to be passed down from parents to their children. Failing infrastructures and a lack of job access are two of the main components of generational poverty.

Food For The Hungry is working to improve livelihoods and break the cycle of generational poverty in the communities it serves. It works with local markets and economies on community restoration and empowerment by providing access to vocational opportunities, training, and other solutions.

The charity also works with communities to build community savings groups that allow families to save and borrow money to open businesses or meet their needs.

Risk and Resilience: Food For The Hungry’s Process

Food For The Hungry has five main stages when designing and implementing its plans.

Stage One

Stage One deals with designing and implementing projects that work towards reducing disaster risk and building community resilience. An internal team works with the community to assess its needs in order to ensure the programs implemented will be utilized by locals. A particular focus is placed on needs that have an undue impact on children.

Stage Two

This stage is dedicated to increasing household and community capacity for disaster risk reduction and resilience. During this stage, Food For The Hungry collaborates with community leaders to implement the plan they develop. The organization also works directly with families, helping them develop household plans and activities that will support the larger community plan.

Stages Three, Four, and Five

The third and fourth stages focus on solidifying the presence of established programs in the community. The organization's tailored support varies depending on the specific hazards, vulnerabilities, and other relevant variables affecting the communities and households in the region. The goal is for these programs to become self-sufficient, able to continue after the community graduates from the Food for the Hungry program.

The fifth stage is graduation. Communities are considered robust and independent.

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