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Meals Help Haiti

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Several thousand college students in North Carolina got together to set a record—packing a million dried meals in one day to send to developing countries. More than a third of the meals went to Haiti, where they do more than fill stomachs. Those meals also encourage children to come to school. Kim Riemland delivers the story.      

 
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SCRIPT:

(Locator: Cite Soleil, Haiti)

It’s a country where four out of five people live in poverty.

Carol Piton, Cite Soleil Resident: “I believe and trust in God every day and for God to provide. But I never know exactly how he’s going to provide.”

In Haiti, hunger causes more than physical strain.

Schiiller Ganlouis, Cite Soleil Resident: “When I cannot feed my children and take care of my wife, I feel less than a man, and even sometimes less than a human being.”

Here, children eat mud cakes made in the streets, just to have something in their stomachs.

But students at this school in Cite Soleil have healthy lunches thanks to Stop Hunger Now, a U.S. group that sends meals to developing countries.

Whitney Louis, Teacher: “About 90 percent of the children who come here to the school come without food. And the only food that they will eat is what we serve at the school.”

Three-hundred-seventy-five thousand meals packaged during Stop Hunger Now’s record-breaking “Million Meals” event were sent to Haiti. The United Methodist Committee on Relief helped sponsor the event. Still, doctors say the cycle is hard to break.

Dr. Lisette Dimanche, Physician: “In many cases, the child is malnourished because the mother is malnourished.”

These meals do more than satisfy young appetites. They can be a key to success in school.

Whitney Louis, Teacher: “As a teacher, you know exactly the children who have not had anything to eat when they come. It’s very difficult to get through to them.”

Thanks to this effort, more lessons are learned—and lives are definitely changed.

The Rev. Lee Warren, Stop Hunger Now: “If you can save or help one, then it’s worth it. And what we see here with Stop Hunger Now, we are helping so many children.”

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Stop Hunger Now had a record year in 2008, packaging nearly six-million meals sent to a dozen countries. Over the last three years, more than 25,000 volunteers have gotten involved in packaging those meals.

For more information, visit www.stophungernow.org.

Posted: Feb. 4, 2009