Dear Friends and Family,
Greetings! I am excited to share with you what God has been doing in my life recently. I have had the enriching experience of working with World Hunger Relief, Inc. (WHRI) for the past six months. WHRI is a nonprofit farm in Waco, Texas, that teaches people about sustainable farming, local and international hunger issues, and provides produce and meats at the local farmers market. The farm also partners with communities in various countries to educate and encourage locals to farm more sustainably and efficiently. WHRI aims to assist these farmers with appropriate resources and knowledge.
World Hunger Relief, Inc. would like to send me, along with a team, to our partnering community, Valle Nuevo, in El Salvador. This community is a rural farming community working hard to develop opportunities for their youth. Valle Nuevo has asked WHRI for direction in creating various livestock and produce enterprises to create jobs and income for local youth.
While there, the WHRI team and I will talk with locals about their dreams and support the development of a plan of action to create agricultural enterprises for the community. I will be further researching local technologies that are appropriate for the community’s economic and environmental situation to take this information back to the WHRI farm in Waco. The research will be used for WHRI’s educational programming, ensuring that we are giving the most accurate representation of the lives of those living in one of our partner communities, sharing the most appropriate technologies for the developing world, and providing motivation to respond in the most helpful ways.
I am excited about the opportunity to learn and serve alongside the people of Valle Nuevo, El Salvador. I seek your prayerful support in this mission. This trip is funded entirely on donation from individuals and churches, like yourself. Would you please consider supporting this trip financially? I will need a total of $800 to fund all my expenses. I ask you to consider financially partnering with me in this mission that will broaden my skill set, grow the potential for the community of Valle Nuevo and enhance learning back in the U.S.
If you are able to give, checks can be sent to:
World Hunger Relief, Inc
356 Spring Lake Road
Waco, TX 76705
*Please write “Sarah-El Sal” in the memo line
Credit Cards can go through my financial support website: https://whr.ejoinme.org/38983
Food Systems Intern | Garden Club Coordinator
Kaley comes to us from Indiana Wesleyan University, where she graduated in the spring of 2014 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Pre-Medicine. She also received a minor in International Community Development. Passionate about public health, Kaley became an intern with the Uganda Village Project. She was in Iganga, Uganda for 3 months where she worked as a public health educator conducting weekly education sessions on malaria, sexually transmitted infections, intestinal parasite prevention, family planning methods, nutrition, hygiene and sanitation, and safe water. Her “desire to see people take ownership of their health and well being” grew stronger while in Uganda.
Kaley has strong passions for development and agriculture. In Uganda, she realized her desire to address public health issues through the gateway of agriculture. After her time at World Hunger Relief, Kaley will continue to pursue knowledge of development and agriculture to prepare herself to serve in a developing country. She also hopes to apply her training in a community somewhere in the United States to help develop local food systems.
Food Systems Intern | Garden Club Coordinator
Hope is one of our Food Systems Interns here at World Hunger Relief, Inc. A recent graduate from Oklahoma State University, Hope received her degree in Child and Family Studies. She focused her studies on human development and family science, geography, art and entrepreneurship. Shortly after graduating, Hope took 4 months and devoted her time to building relationships and spreading the gospel in Malawi, Tanzania, and Uganda through Adventures in Missions. It was here that she discovered her passion for farming. “[I] realized that a lot of people lack education about ways they can provide for themselves and their family.”
Lacking the knowledge to fulfill her passion to educate others about ways to be self-sufficient, she turned to looking for internships in sustainable agriculture. After her time at World Hunger Relief, Hope would like to take the knowledge she gains to share with others around the world. Specifically, she and her husband, Josh, have a strong desire to return to south/east Africa to learn from locals and to share the knowledge she gains here about rabbits as a sustainable meat for families, rainwater harvesting, medicinal plants, and gardening in general. She would also like to start her own coffee shop and maintain a small scale self-sustaining farm that produces vegetables, milk, and honey so that her family, community, and coffee-shop customers may benefit from it and the healthy life style it provides.
Food Systems Intern | Local Education Coordinator
Sarah is our Service Learning Intern. Instead of going straight to college, she took a year off in 2008 and went to Costa Rica through SCORE International Missions. There, she led groups on service projects, expanded her Spanish skills and studied scripture in Bible classes. Her passion for sustainable agriculture did not start here, however, but rather began with her participation in competitive horseback riding at age 12 and with her veterinary dad. After her year in Costa Rica, Sarah attended Ohio State University in 2009. There, she expanded her passion for sustainable agriculture by taking many classes related to sustainable food practices, sta
rting to garden, and obtaining an internship with Local Matters a group working to transform the food system in Central Ohio. This sparked her interest in seed saving, composting and the relationship the two have on cutting the cost of gardening.
Graduating in 2013 with a degree in International Development and International Developmental Economics, Sarah worked for a short time before deciding to fulfill her call to international missions specializing in sustainable agriculture. She would like to use the knowledge from World Hunger Relief to not only benefit herself, but also benefit the communities she will partner with. “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, show him how to catch a fish and you feed him for a lifetime. I want to work alongside the impoverished to help improve their quality of life…to aid in filling people with both physical and spiritual food.”
Matthew knew he wanted to be a missionary at the ripe age of 11. Following his passion for evangelism, he attended Palm Beach Atlantic University, where he graduated in 2009 with a degree in Cross-Cultural Studies and a minor in Biblical Studies. From there he started a company called Re:treads Sandals that made sandals out of used tires, and whose production was geared to support rebuilding in Haiti after the earthquake of 2010. Matthew was later a part of Willet Missions, where he was the Director of International Ministries. He also illustrated a book on sustainable edible landscaping.
As one of our Produce Interns, Matt wants to use the knowledge and skills he receives to continue on with his missions and work overseas using sustainable agriculture as a means to share the gospel. As a missionary, Matt has been all over the world from Mexico to Brazil, Australia to India, Africa to Romania, and England to China. He hopes to add to his travels and “find my way into an organization preaching the gospel to the poor in the developing world, by revealing God’s love through healing the land and pursing God’s provisions directly through the earth… to offer special insights through farming parables about God and His plan of restoration through Jesus.”
Coming from Lake Zurich, IL, Esther graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2013. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science with a minor in Chemistry. Throughout college, Esther was involved in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and the Pre-Veterinary Club at her school. She was also able to intern at the Champaign County Humane Society, where she monitored the medical and behavioral statuses of the resident animals.
During her participation in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Esther had the privilege to attend a 3-week mission trip to Malawi, Africa, where she served at an orphanage. She was able to teach the children about basic animal biology and directed her teammates in helping her with daily activities.
Esther is using her time at WHRI to learn practical skills in animal agriculture so that she can serve people in a more comprehensive way. She plans to use this knowledge and the knowledge from her studies “to benefit the people of developing nations who don’t have the opportunities to learn about animal biology and health in the depth that I have.”
Food Systems Intern | Garden Club Coordinator
Gina Anderson graduated in 2014 from Abilene Christian University (ACU) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Business and aminor in Environmental Studies. It was at ACU that Gina was able to co-lead lifegroups on mission trips to Cambodia and Uganda. In Cambodia she worked with sex trafficking victims and built working toilets for families. Through her trips, she was able to discover her desire to provide food for others through community farming. From her passion for Jesus she is “hungry to learn about His earth and how to sustain it for the future as well as teach others how to do the same.”
After World Hunger Relief, Ginawould like to serve the poor. Hunger issues around the world tug on her heart and she would love to provide food for others and to teach people how to do sustainable agriculture so that they can sustain their own food supply and feed their families. She may do this by having her own community garden and/or working through an organization such as Samaritan’s Purse, which goes to remote villages to help families learn sustainable agriculture skills.
We were included in a couple recent news articles:
This one sites our work in Liberia:
Patrick Lillard was interviewed on this radio show recently too:
Rethinking Green Radio Show – http://rethinkinggreen.org/2014/07/30/world-hunger-relief/
WHRI is supported by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; World Hunger Program. , so I follow their blog. This article does a good job covering topics close to our hearts and areas we are trying to make a difference in. I hope you enjoy it. – Matt
From the ELCA: World Hunger Blog:
“‘Tis the Season for Fresh Produce” (8/14/2014)
Summer is now in full swing, and with it comes the flourishing of many farmers’ markets and community gardens all across the country. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the United States currently has over 8,100 farmers’ markets of varying sizes in operation. Their online directory provides people with an easy way to determine where nearby markets are and what produce is typically offered. Community gardens also are in season during the summer months. Because of farmers’ markets and community gardens, many people are able to access fresh and healthy produce.
One may wonder, what’s all the hype about farmers’ markets and buying local? There are actually numerous perks to the markets that attract a variety of different people. One of the most frequently referenced positives is the flavor of fruits and vegetables because they are picked in season and not overly processed. Many people also like that farmers’ markets support local economies and encourage community. Free samples from some vendors attract the hungry and curious, too.
Another appeal of farmers’ markets is that families of different income levels are able to shop there and purchase fresh produce. As of May 2014, 2,696 markets accepted Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) benefits. Utilizing SNAP helps ease food insecurity and is a benefit to multiple parties. It brings more customers to the market, which is good for business, and helps families to eat fresh food without traveling too far. While the price of produce is often lower at supermarkets or grocery stores (at least in the Midwest according to a recent article published by Time), farmers’ market advocates still stand by the importance of the markets for low-income families. Markets can increase the appeal of a variety of fruits and vegetables and provide inspiration to eat a wholesome diet.
Like farmers’ markets, community gardens also increase access to fresh, healthy produce and provide a sense of community. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified many physical and mental health benefits of community gardens. Beyond the obvious increase in availability of fresh produce, gardens also beautify empty lots, encourage physical activity, revitalize neighborhoods and bring people together.
Gifts to ELCA World Hunger have helped provide many churches and organizations with Domestic Hunger Grants to start, continue, and/or enhance community garden projects. Trinity Gardens is one such project in Santa Barbara, CA. The project is run by Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church and has both a communal garden and individual garden plots. Each week, around 150-200 pounds of food from the communal garden is donated to community non-profits and community members who are in need. (Click here for more information about the project.)
Another example of an organization supported by gifts to ELCA World Hunger is the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank in Soldotna, AK. The food bank’s “Hoop House and Garden” produced 1,860 pounds of produce in 2013, and they have already harvested 69 pounds of produce as of June 12, 2014. ELCA World Hunger supports an educational component of the garden that seeks to help individuals living in poverty to plant container gardens and grow their own produce. (Click here to see pictures from the Hoop House and Garden). Trinity Gardens and the Hoop House and Garden are just two examples of the over 20 garden projects supported by grants from ELCA World Hunger.
Farmers’ markets and community gardens both provide communities with fresh produce and assist with neighborhood development. Taking advantage of nearby resources is beneficial to all people and is an important step towards alleviating hunger. Local initiatives like farmers’ markets and community gardens help people think about where their food is coming from. They personalize the food gathering experience through providing fresh and tasty produce to individuals and families all across the country.
Teri Mueller is an intern with ELCA World Hunger.
Would you like to subscribe to the ELCA World Hunger blog? Click here to enter your email address on the homepage.
Valerie Metzler and I (Emily Heidt) are current food systems interns at World Hunger Relief, Inc. Apart from working on the farm, teaching garden clubs, and our other various farm duties, we also volunteer at a local therapeutic riding center. There we exercise therapy horses a couple times a week. Val and I both come from riding backgrounds, and we love everything to do with horses!
About two months ago, we were presented with the opportunity to participate in a 25 mile endurance ride on horseback, and we have been training for it ever since. Our endurance ride is going to take place on the 12th of May, and we are looking for people who would be interested in sponsoring our ride in order to raise support for World Hunger Relief, Inc. We have been blessed by the training we have received this year and have seen firsthand the growth in the students we work with. Before we leave the farm this summer, we hope to raise funds to support the next round of interns and garden club kids.
Our goal is to raise $2,000 for the farm and ride a minimum of 25 miles. If you would be interested in supporting our ride, you can send checks to World Hunger Relief, Inc., or you can donate directly on the WHRI website. Please write Endurance Ride in the memo line.
While the farm will be full of animal sounds, coming from both our livestock and excited children, we’ll also have some groovy tunes from several local artists on Farm Day. We could try describe the great music we’re going to have, but you’d have a better idea by checking out some of their websites!
Farm Day Music Schedule
9:30-10:30 – J.B. Smith and Friends
11-12 – ColorBox
12-1 – Shane Walker
1-2 – Tiffany Ruth
2-3 – Weed’em and Reap