Give the gift of Food and Hope This Christmas

When much of the world is thinking of family, holiday meals, giving and receiving gifts and celebrating the birth of Jesus at Christmas, it is not the case with our program partners. It will be a very difficult season for children and families who are mainly focused on survival.

On a recent trip to Kenya, I was able to meet with Emily and her family. Emily is a grandmother looking after her seven grandchildren. Emily’s eldest daughter passed away leaving behind four children and her other daughter went overseas to work, in order to raise enough money to help feed the family. She has not been heard from in more than a year. The children, all siblings and cousins, live in a small house with a little plot of land. Their grandpa is in poor health and while he tries his best to grow enough food for the family, with such a small plot of land it is almost impossible.

Emily’s grandchildren go to school hungry most days. Speroway runs community feeding programs and helps support school feeding in this region, trying to ensure that children get at least one good meal a day. But with an increase in the number of children to be fed and the overwhelming increase in food prices, we are having difficulty keeping these vital feeding programs.

With your help we can make sure that families like Emily’s and thousands of others will have food this Christmas. With help from food manufacturers, your gift will be multiplied by 5x, which means:

Every $5000 will provide a truckload of food for school and community feeding programs and home delivery food packages.

This year as I have been travelling to our programs and overseeing the work, I have seen the massive effects of skyrocketing global food prices. We have certainly felt the impact even here in Canada. But in developing countries where Speroway works it has reached the point that many children can go days without a proper meal.

This is a little boy I met earlier this year in Kenya, he and a few friends were having sugarcane they found for lunch. His parents are day laborers who go off through the day to work in local farmers fields for a few dollars a day. Often they have no choice but to leave the children to fend for themselves until evening.

This picture is from the Dominican Republic. Even though they live thousands of miles apart, these children were also eating sugarcane because they could take it from the fields and chew on it to take away hunger pains.

Watching these children eat sugarcane reminds me of the line from the famous Christmas poem Twas the Night Before Christmas, “Visions of sugarplums danced in their heads” – but this wasn’t a candy treat like the one in the poem, these children eat sugarcane because they have no other way to fill their stomachs. IT JUST ISN’T RIGHT THAT CHILDREN ONLY HAVE SUGAR CANE TO EAT.