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Stories from the Field

Introducing Our New Story Series! It Starts With a Meal: Philippines

By Hannah Payne on February 1, 2024

Committed to ending global hunger, Rise Against Hunger works in remote, last-mile communities around the world. Our organization addresses food insecurity in about 30 countries annually  — and one such country where incredible impact is happening every single day is the Philippines.

The work to end hunger starts with a meal, but it doesn’t end there. It leads to education, empowerment, resilience and more. Through our work with International Care Ministries and Convoy of Hope, our in-country partners, and Rise Against Hunger Philippines, one of our six international offices, we address immediate nutritional needs and empower locally led solutions to food and nutrition security challenges. 

Kicking off today and continuing over the next few months, we’ll be sharing real, first-hand stories of impact from programs operated in the country and how you — our supporters — help make this impact possible. Below, we’ll introduce you to the challenges faced by communities in the Philippines, and share a few snapshots of the areas of work we’ll be delving into throughout this series. Read more and stay tuned for our brand new video at the end of this post! 

The Challenge: Food Insecurity and Climate Disasters in the Philippines

44.7% of the Philippines’ population faces moderate or severe food insecurity, according to the FAO’s State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2023 report. Not only is this a troubling statistic, but the FAO also reports that 29% of children are affected by stunted growth. 

The archipelagic country of 7,641 islands lies within the Pacific Ring of Fire close to the equator. This causes geographical vulnerability to natural disasters, especially earthquakes and typhoons, that exacerbate food insecurity. 

Rise Against Hunger is working to tackle these challenges. Through a variety of programs, we serve more than 1.73 million people in the Philippines each year. The programs meet nutritional needs of children and families, implement sustainable agriculture and livelihood projects that empower women and farmers, and more. 

The Short-Term: Providing Urgent Meals 

With almost half of the Philippines population facing food insecurity, it is critical to address immediate food needs. That is why, in 2023, 40% of meals packaged by volunteers with Rise Against Hunger U.S. were shipped to in-country partners International Care Ministries and Convoy of Hope. The meals are distributed in schools and community settings to support the nutrition of children and families. School feeding programs have been proven to improve attendance and academic performance, so these meals support children’s education, as well as their nutrition. 

Rise Against Hunger Philippines operates multiple initiatives to meet these needs as well, including: 

  • A dietary supplementation program that provides meals at early childhood development centers, schools and community feeding programs. 
  • The Good Food Grocer, the first-ever food bank in the country, at Better World Tondo community center, supplying fresh produce, shelf-stable food and other items. 
  • A mobile kitchen that travels throughout metro Manila to provide cooked meals to at-risk communities.

The Long-Term: Sustainable Agriculture and Livelihood Projects

In the Philippines, the work to end hunger includes providing urgent meals and extending from there. Rise Against Hunger Philippines established the Good Food Farm in 2020 to promote sustainable agriculture practices that foster long-term food security in communities throughout the country.  

An urban community farm in metro Manila and a large farm in Magdalena, Laguna, provide fruits, vegetables, fish, eggs and more to 3,000+ Filipino families each week. The farms have created over 30 jobs, supporting self-sufficiency and empowerment for farmers. With a focus on sustainable agricultural practices, the farms help reduce food and agricultural waste. The Good Food Farm in Laguna doubles as an agri-tourism social enterprise, and Rise Against Hunger Philippines utilizes the proceeds to continue serving food-insecure communities, making this a holistic approach to addressing hunger. 

Rise Against Hunger Philippines also supports multiple livelihood programs. For example, in addition to the food bank at Better World Tondo community center, the mothers who volunteer there are engaged in a mushroom livelihood program, growing and selling mushrooms. In just two months, they earned ₱18,000 pesos that they divided and used to support their families!

Our NEW Impact Video 

These are just some of the programs Rise Against Hunger supports in the Philippines. The programs nourish lives, empower communities and respond to emergencies holistically. Learn more about our work in the video below — and stay tuned for more stories we’ll be sharing through the It Starts With a Meal: Philippines series.

Rise Against Hunger is committed to not only meeting immediate nutrition needs, but also investing in education, agriculture, empowerment, health and livelihoods. This is the impact we’re making in the Philippines and worldwide — and we encourage you to partner with us. It starts with a meal, and it starts with you! Please consider making a monthly donation to help feed families and support solutions to end hunger in the Philippines and around the world.