Responding to the Ebola crisis and the request of The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Liberia, Iowa-based Outreach, Inc., shipped via sea freight the first 300,000 of over 700,000 meals to Liberia for patients in the Ebola Treatment Centers on Thursday, September 18. According to Binyah C. Kesselly, Commissioner/CEO of the Liberia Maritime Authority and Board Chairman of the Liberia Airport Authority, “These meals will ensure that our citizens who are afflicted with this deadly disease stand a fighting chance at survival.” The Government of Liberia is also currently arranging in partnership with US based partners and international organizations for the air and sea freight shipment of the remaining 400,000 meals from Des Moines, Iowa.
The meals donated through Outreach, Inc., will feed 1000 patients for a period of 6 months and provide the greatly needed relief during one of the world’s most deadly epidemic crises. The request for meals and nutritional assistance was made by Des Moines resident, Walter Gwenigale, Jr. on behalf of the Liberian people and the Ministry of Health. Des Moines based Lutheran Church of Hope and Minneapolis based Global Health Ministries partnered in supporting the cost of shipment of the first consignment of donated meals.
Outreach founder Floyd Hammer says, “This partnership to send these meals to those afflicted with Ebola reflects the motto of Outreach; Together, we make a difference. Truly, these meals will save lives. Our packing partners Food for Kidz and Friends Against Hunger have donated meals to send along with ours.”
Outreach has helped package over 257 million meals over the past ten years, and Co-Founders Floyd Hammer and Kathy Hamilton were quick to respond when the Government of Liberia requested assistance. “Because we’ve taken over twelve-hundred medical personnel to Africa in the last eleven years, we know how desperate patients in hospitals are for food. The hospitals typically do not supply food so it is up to the patient’s family but often they are destitute and with Ebola the family cannot attend to the relative because of the possibility of Ebola transmission. These meals will ensure nutritious food which is often not available, but yet critically needed. We asked our packing partners Food for Kidz, and Friends Against Hunger if they wanted to help with this effort. They immediately said “yes”!
Outreach, Inc., was started by Floyd Hammer and Kathy Hamilton in 2004 with the promise to deliver food, water, medicine, and education to those at home and abroad. Since the inception, Outreach has facilitated the volunteer engaged meal packaging of over 260 million meals for hungry people around the world. The Hammers were recently invited to the White House by President Obama and former President Bush to be honored with the 5,000th Point of Light Award. Outreach, Inc., consistently receives a 4-Star Rating by Charity Navigator and is a trusted member of Guidestar. Outreach Meal Packaging Events are set up across the United States and Canada to engage businesses, religious and civic organizations, schools, and volunteers of all ages to package nutritious meals for the hungry.
Food For Kidz exists to bring awareness to hunger issues in the world by involving others in the participation of packing a nutritional meal supplement for distribution and also involve them in sustainability building to facilitate change; to expand the concept of children’s’ experiences beyond their vision of local to incorporate the world and to service, promote and educate other organizations to encourage their commitment for the purpose of making positive results in the fight against hunger.
Friends Against Hunger is a 501c3 based in Springfield, Missouri , and engages the communities in meal-packaging events for the hungry both internationally and domestically. www.fahunger.org
Outreach, Inc. is encouraging any groups interested in helping to package meals bound for Liberia or making tax-deductible donations to contact [email protected] or visit www.outreachprogram.org, respectively.