Other Global Locations
Skip navigation
Stories from the Field

Nutritious Food Supports Sharmaine’s Family in the Wake of a Typhoon

By Hannah Payne on June 28, 2023

In October 2022, the Philippines was hit by Typhoon Paeng, a large tropical cyclone that brought strong winds and heavy rain. The typhoon caused massive flooding, including in the country’s Aklan province. 

29-year-old Sharmaine lives near Kalibo, the capital of the Aklan province, with her family. They live in a congested community next to a river. When Typhoon Paeng hit, the flood waters rose by more than six feet in Sharmaine’s community, causing damage to her home. 

Sharmaine’s husband is a tricycle driver, but his income isn’t stable as the tricycle can break down and he has to split his earnings with the tricycle owner, making it difficult sometimes for him to earn enough to meet the family’s daily needs. When the flooding damaged their home, this further exacerbated the family’s food supply challenges. 

To address her family’s nutritional needs, Sharmaine receives Rise Against Hunger meals, distributed by partner International Care Ministries. This ensures her family has a nutritious food source, especially in the aftermath of the typhoon. Leo, International Care Ministries Pastor Coordinator, said, “With the Rise Against Hunger meals, food becomes accessible to them, especially during the calamity.”

In the Aklan province, many of the families who receive Rise Against Hunger meals, including Sharmaine’s family, have children affected by malnutrition. Leo explained that the meals “not only serve as an incentive for participating, but also supplementary food to cure malnourishment in kids and to aid in recovery from illness.” Since the children began receiving the meals, Leo has witnessed the children gain weight, have improved complexions and become more energetic. He said, “Adults who also consumed the food experienced the same benefits.” Robert, the pastor of the church Sharmaine attends, also noticed Sharmaine is now “livelier when I talk to her than before.”

Sharmaine said, “I consider myself fortunate to have food in times of need, particularly during the flood caused by Typhoon Paeng… It helped my family save money and extend our food supply and consumption.” Sharmaine’s family is very important to her; Robert described her as a “loving and caring mother” to her three children. She wants to do all she can to provide for their future, saying, “I want to take good care of my children so they will grow up strong and healthy.”

During times of crisis, like the aftermath of a typhoon, everyday access to food, wages and market systems are often disrupted, causing families to face food security challenges. This is why Rise Against Hunger’s pathway of Responding to Emergencies is so important; it works to provide food and other assistance to people, like Sharmaine, when it is needed most. This supports the path to recovery — and for Sharmaine, the opportunity to provide for her children’s futures. To support Rise Against Hunger’s emergency response efforts around the world, please donate to our Global Emergency Response Fund.