SEATTLE — Stop Hunger Now has distributed approximately 258 million meals in 59 nations. That’s evidence of an efficient supply chain in action. Founded by Ray Buchanan in 1998, the food relief organization partners with organizations in developing countries to package and distribute meals. Galvanized by recent legislation promoting global food security, Stop Hunger Now continues to increase its deliveries of life-saving aid to food-insecure countries throughout the world.
Buchanan has spent a lifetime as a servant leader. He founded and co-directed a food-relief organization called the Society of St. Andrew, enlisted in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War and now serves as an ordained United Methodist minister. Applying Buchanan’s methodology and experience delivering domestic food relief, Stop Hunger Now adopted an innovative approach to fighting extreme global hunger and poverty.
Not only does Stop Hunger Now provide food relief for the malnourished; it also gives its volunteers a sense of belonging and impact. The non-profit shapes relationships based on a principle supply chain experts Stuart Emmett and Barry Crocker refer to as “strategic trust.” Unlike most charities or volunteer organizations, Stop Hunger Now inspires and relies on volunteers to offer time and money, not one or the other.
Volunteers schedule packaging events at Stop Hunger Now warehouses or conduct mobile operations at locations of their choice. After sanitizing hands and donning hairnets, the process begins. Volunteers work in assembly line fashion, combining and sealing packages of rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and essential vitamins. Runners take the completed packages to the scales. Then the food is heat sealed and packed into boxes. Once the group meets its goal, the event ends with a celebration.
“People really want to be involved in something they know will have an impact,” said Buchanan. Volunteers connect with the world’s food insecure by participating in packaging events. “Strategic trust” blooms between volunteers, suppliers and global partners, as well as aid recipients. Everyone involved works together and feels the real impact they’ve made.
With the the Global Food Security Act of 2016, the U.S. is enabling organizations like Stop Hunger Now to expand their impact. Previous laws restricted collaboration, but the new act outlines an integrated approach to enhancing global food security.
Challenged to end hunger in our lifetime, Stop Hunger Now continues to leap at opportunities to make a difference. From its base in Raleigh, NC, the organization operates meal packaging programs in 20 U.S. cities and six other nations. Its mission is to feed the hungry, make a difference, and have fun doing it. To schedule an event or learn more about Stop Hunger Now, visit stophungernow.org.
– Tim Devine