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Feeding the “Least of These My Brethren”

January 2024

African woman feeding her child.
© Photo By: Dooshima Tsee/Catholic Relief Services

The world is facing a mounting hunger crisis among its most vulnerable population: children. More than three million children die each year from malnutrition, and half of all children globally suffer from essential vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

In August 2023, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints donated a combined $44 million to nine organizations to promote childhood nutrition and alleviate food insecurity. These donations will support a range of hunger relief efforts in 30 countries around the globe that will bless nearly two million people.

Donations totaling $44 million will promote childhood nutrition and bless nearly two million lives in 30 countries.

The Church collaborates with organizations that incorporate principles of self-reliance and engage in evidence-based solutions. Among the organizations that received a share of the $44 million are CARE International, Catholic Relief Services, Helen Keller International, and The Hunger Project. The Church’s work with these and other organizations is an ongoing labor of love that will only grow in coming years.

CARE International

With the Church’s funding, CARE will strengthen self-reliance initiatives that help women raise chickens, goats, and bees; grow gardens; and improve their children’s diets in countries including Ethiopia and Ghana.

Catholic Relief Services

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

African woman feeding chickens inside a chicken coop.
Funding from the Church helps women like Belaynesh from rural Ethiopia raise chickens to feed her children. She is part of a program led by CARE International that improves the food security and nutrition of families with young children in Ethiopia and Ghana. “I’ve noticed [our children are] strong and have a better academic performance,” says Belaynesh. “We are very happy with how things are changing for us.” © Photo By: Care International

Helen Keller International

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

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.

“Providing life-sustaining relief for vulnerable mothers and children is an important part of the Savior’s work,” says 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.”

“No humanitarian effort is more foundational to Christ’s Church than feeding the hungry. . . . As we serve together, we extend the reach of Christ’s loving arms.”
—Camille N. Johnson, Relief Society General President

Camille N. Johnson, Relief Society General President, adds: “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.”

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