Rise Against Hunger is growing a global movement to end hunger by empowering communities, nourishing lives and responding to emergencies.
While serving as a U.S. Marine during the Vietnam War, Ray Buchanan quickly recognized that accomplishing a mission required “commitment to something larger than yourself.” Later as a United Methodist minister, Ray embraced the vision of a world without hunger and co-founded Stop Hunger Now in 1998 alongside and with generous donor support from entrepreneur John Hewitt. Stop Hunger Now rebranded to become Rise Against Hunger in 2017.
Driving Rise Against Hunger’s work is the recognition that ending hunger is more than just feeding people, which led Rise Against Hunger to focus its feeding programs in areas where we can have a real impact and expand its hunger-fighting programs beyond meal packaging and distribution.
Our organization’s approach to ending hunger centers on mobilizing a global network of hunger champions. Rise Against Hunger meal packaging volunteers produce millions of nutritious meals annually that are then distributed to partners in countries around the world. Those partners are best able to address the causes and effects of hunger based on their local presence and expertise. Through our thorough monitoring and evaluation process, we ensure the meals distributed by those partners are used as a tool to change lives by promoting education, improving students’ health and nutrition, addressing gender inequalities, stimulating economic growth and fighting child labor.
Another core focus of Rise Against Hunger is responding to crises–both natural and man-made. From droughts to floods, in conflict zones and transitioning political situations, food is often the most immediate need. When everyday access to food, wages, and market systems are destroyed in the wake of emergencies, Rise Against Hunger works through a network of in-country partners to address these needs. We strive to ensure aid is efficiently and effectively deployed to and received by communities when it is needed most.
Our third approach to eradicating hunger centers around grassroots community empowerment. Rise Against Hunger bolsters agricultural production and incomes through programs promoting improved agricultural methods, business skills, and market access. With training and access to quality seeds and fertilizers, farmers can increase production and harvest a variety of nutritious crops. By supporting the establishment of fish and livestock production, we also provide pathways to diversifying diets and improving nutritional outcomes.
Rise Against Hunger FAQs
Our Organization & Movement to End Hunger
We’re excited that you want to be part of our movement to end hunger. There are many ways to take action without leaving your town or city — and even without leaving your home. Please visit our Get Involved page to find out more.
The world has enough production potential and distribution capability to feed everyone. The need is for both the moral and political will to end hunger. We have the resources, we know where to go, we strive with the hunger community to end apathy towards hunger and create a movement to end hunger in our lifetime. Rise Against Hunger meals are used to target under-resourced schools and health centers. The two most important factors in economic growth and poverty reduction, education and health are addressed through this approach. Rise Against Hunger is growing the movement by creating educated advocates and volunteers who are mobilizing even more resources toward these proven poverty solutions.
Addressing hunger is a key strategy to increasing education rates and providing a way out of poverty in developing countries. Providing meals in schools increases enrollment. As education levels rise, birth rates and disease rates fall and communities begin to sustain themselves. The food resources needed to eradicate life-threatening malnutrition are sustainable and hunger experts agree that school feeding programs are the most effective tool for increasing access to education and improving the nutritional status of children.
Rise Against Hunger is committed to working with our partners around the world to address hunger and malnutrition in the most strategic way possible through the distribution of food and in-kind aid. Since the inception of the meal packaging program, Rise Against Hunger has received frequent inquiries about the domestic distribution of meals.
Rise Against Hunger accepts food requests from NGOs all over the world, including within the U.S. We evaluate each request, domestic and international, using consistent criteria. In addition to our routine vetting process, we consider the need (severity of hunger issues) and whether we can have a sustainable impact. Our distribution in the U.S. primarily has been in the form of crisis response.
Although founded by a clergyman, Rise Against Hunger is first and foremost dedicated to creating a world without hunger. We believe that this imperative is in keeping with the traditions of the great faiths of the world, and Rise Against Hunger actively seeks to engage people of all faiths in our mission to end world hunger in our lifetime.
Rise Against Hunger does not evangelize or seek to promote any particular faith or religion. We adhere to guiding principles that are consistent with the Code of Conduct for Humanitarian Agencies, which include: humanitarian imperative comes first; aid is given regardless of the race, creed or nationality of the recipients and without adverse distinction of any kind; and aid will not be used to further a particular political or religious standpoint.
Rise Against Hunger may provide meals and other aid to faith-based organizations that have evangelical purposes. Our agreement with these organizations, however, is that meals will not be used subversively, coercively or to promote any religious or political objectives.
Meal Packaging Events & Food Distribution
Rise Against Hunger involves volunteers because we want to engage as many people as possible in the movement to eradicate hunger. We do so by providing an immensely fulfilling, impactful and fun experience for volunteers.
Our events also serve as a platform to educate people about hunger, what they can do about it, and to inspire them to take further action. Creating such a movement through educating people about the issue is essential to creating the will to mobilize the necessary resources to end hunger in our lifetime.
Children age 5 and up can participate in Rise Against Hunger’s meal packaging program. There are a variety of jobs throughout the assembly line process that can accommodate young children and people with special needs.
Rise Against Hunger requires that our in-country partners complete an aid request application. Once this form is complete, our Global Impact team determines if the requesting organization meets the requirements to receive a shipment of meals or donated aid. These requirements include: accountability, importation (the ability to cover shipping costs), storage and distribution.
Yes. Once meals are packaged and collected in our warehouse to total 285,120 for a full container, the local Community Engagement Manager will notify the meal packaging host organization by email with details of the shipment: where they are being shipped, who will be receiving them and, when available, photos of the meals arriving at their destination.
We invite and encourage groups that are interested in packaging meals to recommend worthy in-country partners to distribute the meals that they package. Rise Against Hunger will evaluate prospective meal recipients to validate their accountability and in order to ensure that the meals will be received, stored, secured and distributed effectively as explained above.
It is important to note that the application and approval process can take several months, meaning that the application process needs to begin at least nine months before the packaging event.
Rise Against Hunger’s priority is to meet our existing commitments before we add new partners. Lastly, we require that the group package a full 20-foot (142,560 meals) or 40-foot container (285,120 meals) to support the designated in-country recipient shipment.
Any organization can apply for Rise Against Hunger meals regardless of whether a volunteer group intends on packaging meals specifically for them.
Groups interested in partnership can start the process by visiting our Partner With Us page. Before completing an application, we recommend taking some time to read through the page. You will see information about how to apply under each partnership section. They will be reviewed separately, utilizing different approval metrics. Please take your time reviewing and completing the application.
Rise Against Hunger meals pack a big punch. Every dehydrated rice/soy meal is fortified with 20 essential vitamins and nutrients. Research has shown that one in three people in developing countries are adversely affected by vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Addressing the problem of hunger is the single point where we can leverage relief for all humanitarian issues. With your support, relief organizations such as Rise Against Hunger have the means to deliver to ongoing school feeding programs that sustain lifelong change. Providing a hot meal during school gives parents an incentive to send their children to school. Through receiving a primary school education, the cycle of poverty can begin to be broken by leveraging change in many other issues including education, maternal health, childhood mortality, gender equality and combating HIV/AIDS.
We currently require that our in-country partners report on the impact of the Rise Against Hunger shipments they received. Our strategic plan recognizes the challenges of getting impact reports from our in-country partners, and we are working to improve that process.
Imported aid does have the potential to undermine local food producers, and there are those who would use this as a reason not to provide any aid at all while thousands die of starvation, which we believe is unconscionable in a world where we produce enough food to feed every single person.
The effort to end hunger must involve short-term strategies to end immediate suffering as well as long-term strategies to decrease poverty and increase food production capacity. The food we provide is best utilized when it leverages other sustainable development initiatives such as school feeding programs, food for work programs, and HIV/AIDS treatment programs because addressing hunger in a developing country can provide huge benefits in addressing other major issues.
By supporting school feeding programs we are also helping the local farmer/food provider. Economically, these school programs have a limited amount of money to buy food, whether locally or elsewhere. When the school program does not have to spend its food money on this basic nutrition, it can spend what money it has to buy additional food from local farmers. This will further increase the nutritional intake of the students, as well as provide additional income to the local farmer.
Rise Against Hunger is growing the movement by creating educated advocates and volunteers for the poor that are mobilizing even more resources toward these proven poverty solutions. This is accomplished while also building up local, in-country meal packaging to help local farmers and improve food security and disaster preparedness.
Rise Against Hunger asks meal packaging participants to donate the cost per meal they package. These funds are used to acquire the ingredients as well as pay staffing and support costs to make it possible for us to bring this event to you. Supplies are purchased on the general commodities markets, and we get reduced rates on most of our ingredients.
We continually strive to be good stewards of the contributions we receive. We carefully manage administrative and fundraising costs, allowing us to invest 85.5 percent of expenses in our programs.
On the back of each meal bag is an easy-to-understand graphic illustration demonstrating the cooking process. Preparing the meals is simple. See packaging here.
Water is needed to prepare Rise Against Hunger meals, so an organization that receives our meals must be able to demonstrate they have access to water. In some cases, Rise Against Hunger has provided limited funding to help a community develop access to water, but this is not our focus and our resources are limited for this purpose. However, we do encourage partnerships with organizations that focus on providing clean water. The meals are cooked to 150 degrees, which ensures any parasites are killed during preparation.
Rise Against Hunger uses soy protein because it’s vegetarian. Rise Against Hunger meals are appropriate for most diets because they are rice-based, vegetarian and can be augmented with locally available food and spices.
While there are nutritional benefits to whole grain and brown rices, white rice takes less time to prepare and is less expensive, which allows us to feed more people.
Rise Against Hunger facilitates events all over the world and, as much as possible, uses locally available ingredients and materials in every country where we package meals to help sustain the local economy.