Feed the Starving Before and After Shabbat

Estimates suggest that some 36 million people are in danger of starving in Niger and other wide sections of Africa. Below are some ways to do something about it and help out, even if only a little bit.

What a way to frame shabbat, helping the hungry at home and abroad.

American Jewish World Service (www.ajws.org)

In response to a food crisis in Niger, AJWS, with whom we work very
closely, is working to identify local grassroots organizations that can
help feed people facing starvation, and to ensure that those most
vulnerable to life-threatening conditions will have access to medical
care.

Save the Children (www.savethechildren.org)

With more than 40 tons of essential supplies now on the ground, Save the
Children is working to provide nutritional assistance to children under
5 who are facing severe food shortages following the lethal combination
of poor rainfall in 2005 and a locust infestation in the sub-Saharan
African country. Current activities are focused on assisting children in
the Maradi region of Niger, which is facing acute food shortages.
Critical supplies that Save the Children is providing include tents and
other essentials to set up therapeutic feeding centers for starving
children as well as emergency health kits, supplementary feeding kits,
20 tons of ready-to-eat food such as biscuits or porridge and 16 tons of
a new product called plumpy’nut
, a
read-to-eat food that tastes like peanut butter but is fortified with
all the nutrients a moderately malnourished child needs to avoid severe
malnutrition.

Catholic Relief Service (www.catholicrelief.org)

In collaboration with the World Food Programme, CRS is distributing
emergency food and seeds, and running food-for-work programs. CRS is
focusing its initial efforts in Niger on 150,000 critically food
insecure people, though the organization has planned a longer term
response that targets 320,000 extremely vulnerable individuals in
drought- and locust-affected regions. With its local partner, Caritas
Niger, CRS began responding to signs of a food shortage in late 2004
with seed fairs , which
have proven enormously valuable. Farmers who planted seeds from these
programs have been less affected by the crisis than others now
confronting starvation.

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