Posts filed under Food

Follow the Leader

By: Kaitlyn Miller

One of my favorite games to play with the kids in Malawi is follow the leader. It started by accident while in a village one day; I made a funny face and a beautiful little girl laughed then did the same. I stood up, so did she. I hopped on one foot, so did she. We both laughed and laughed. There are things that do not take words and sharing a smile and following an example are certainly those things.

This is a hard time in Malawi, storms and draught have plagued fields and hunger has spread with an estimated 2.8 million people without food this season. Planting will begin soon and relief for those whose food is already gone or running low will not come for months until harvest. What can we do to address this?

Last week, we talked to you about taking a child to lunch.  Having a hard time getting started? Let’s play follow the leader; check out these awesome stories we have been blessed with! It is amazing to see the creative and exciting ways our supporters have taken action in this time of need. We can do this!

 

Thinking about putting up a tree at work or in the community? Mickenzie Brownlow from Sweetwater, Texas did just that and more. Mickenzie has been to Malawi multiple times and to say it has stolen her heart is an understatement. Mickenzie says since her first time in Malawi she’s had a passion for those living in poverty and hunger. She has taken these passions and partnered with FCCLA in the past and DECA this year to bring change. 

Mickenzie has set up a mini Christmas tree at a local craft fair, in her school cafeteria, and at basketball games with our children’s tags as ornaments. She also set out baskets for people to donate to the school lunch program, purchasing desks for the school, or buying a goat for an orphan. To date, she has raised over $900! Way to go!

 

  “I have enjoyed every minute of it…because it just proved how big our God is and what he can do when we just look for opportunities and take a step in obedience,” said Mickenzie.

Want to set up a tree but the opportunity comes quickly and you don’t have tags? Gaye Russell from Abernathy, Texas had that exact situation this week. Gaye felt led to set up a tree and advocate for an additional hot meal for our children every day. She did not have time for us to get her tags but she did have creativity and passion. Mrs. Russell set up her tree at church with gift tags and ornaments with the children’s names on the back so it was still personal just without pictures. She was able to raise over $1,000 in one Sunday not because of elaborate presentation or a huge time investment but because she was faithful to follow God’s leading and gave others the opportunity to do the same!

Order your FREE set of tags today and set up your fundraising tree this Sunday at church, or next week in your school or office.

Interested in taking part but setting up a tree doesn’t seem to be a fit? Follow the lead with these other great ideas we’ve seen put into action:

Order your Advocacy Set of Cards today and use them in one of these ways:

-Use the take a child to lunch tags as gift tags on presents and give them to friends and family

-Buy lunches in honor of those around you for Christmas presents and give them to spread the word and show a beautiful child’s face.

-Use the children’s tag as stocking stuffers

-Put the tags on your own Christmas tree and give them to your holiday visitors

-Mail them out in your Christmas cards to loved ones

Do you feel you have other talents and ways to take a child to lunch and lead the others around you while doing it? We have had great members of our community step up and do just that! Have a small business with a good you can use as a promotion? We have seen great results from just that. We appreciate the sacrifice, creativity, heart, and effort! Use whatever way God has give you today!

Our thermometer is steadily rising towards our goal for #feedmalawi to provide hot lunch for our children and these small steps make a BIG difference. We are almost there and these acts can make it possible! Click here to donate to #feedmalawi and see the thermometer rise even more.

Posted on December 9, 2015 and filed under Food, Give.

Faith From Flooded to Fed

Faith From Flooded to Fed

By: Kaitlyn Miller

Recently, we asked you to describe Malawi in one word. For me, Malawi can be described as faithful. Growing up on a farm myself, I understand how easy it is to feel as if the weather controls your way of life and your joy rises and falls as the weather comes and goes. In Malawi, most families rely on sustenance farming but I was not met with an ebb and flow of attitudes and faith: I found a country full of people with faith in God’s provision despite their situation.

 

This January, devastating floods took out countless fields and homes throughout much of Malawi. Afterwards, farmers replanted only to be hit by an extreme drought. True hunger and starvation are following in the wake of these back-to-back disasters. The United Nations recently warned 2.8 million people will be without food in Malawi due to these devastations to the nation’s crops and food supply. Even now, families in our Grace Center community are cutting back to one meal a day to stretch their resources.

 

When we talked to our staff, in Malawi, about how we should address this extreme need we were excited and humbled by their solution. Daily, we have over 500 children eat breakfast and attend school on our campus. Our Action Plan is to feed the hungry God has brought to us by adding school lunches into our daily schedule.

 

By adding lunch, we are able to increase classroom instruction time by extending our school day and we are able to fight devastating hunger by providing a hot breakfast AND a hot lunch for our children.

 

While in Malawi, I worked with our anemia feeding program and I know first hand the joy and relief that comes from even one extra meal for a child. The parents told me over and over how thankful they were God provided and fed their child. This new lunch program will do so much more than feed a few children; it will feed all our children and develop our community and school in an exciting way!

 

Parents are investing in this Action Plan by paying 500 kwacha each to help purchase the extra food. This does not cover the full cost of the added meal, but these parents are giving a full day’s wage for this program. We are honored to partner with our community to feed our children.

 Let's partner with our students' parents to provide needed food and instruction time for our kids!

Let's partner with our students' parents to provide needed food and instruction time for our kids!

 

We need an additional $0.50 per child per day to feed lunch. That is an additional $15.00 per month for each child. How exciting that such a difference can be made with only $0.50!

 

How do we take this faith and turn it into food? Here are your opportunities to join us in this exciting moment of development and provision:

-Increasing your current sponsorship to 30 dollars a month (That is an increase by $5 per month.)

-Beginning a sponsorship for a child in our school system

-Giving a one-time gift to this project

-Advocating for our children


Posted on October 9, 2015 and filed under Food.

From the Farm to the Table

The theme of World Health day (April 7th) this year is Food Safety. Food Safety is insuring that food is safe from the farm to the table. 

Food is one of the biggest challenges in Africa. Getting food safely from the farm to the table is one part of this challenge, but even more challenging at this time is getting food on the farm! 90% of Malawians are completely dependent on the food they can raise on their own farms.

Inconsistent rains are one of the greatest factors in food shortage. Even though Lake Malawi is one of the largest fresh water lakes in the world, only 3% of farms in Malawi use any type of irrigation. 

This summer our teams will be working with local farmers and through our Primary school to set up greenhouses and increase vegetable production at the Grace Center and on our two irrigated farms. We realize that we cannot feed the whole country, but we can encourage food diversity and food security through our agriculture programs. We will also be extending our goat herds into the village this summer. Three local families will be selected to receive a goat herd from the Grace Center. These families will be trained by our partners from Texas Tech Meat Science. The families will be expected to repay the goats over the next two years so that more families will benefit in the future.

Here is the story of Malawi's staple food

From the Farm to the Table!

 Grace Center fields are prepared immediately after harvest in preparation for the next growing season. The dry stalks from the corn are spread over the ground to prevent the escape of moisture, weed growth and to provide mulch for the next growing season.

Grace Center fields are prepared immediately after harvest in preparation for the next growing season. The dry stalks from the corn are spread over the ground to prevent the escape of moisture, weed growth and to provide mulch for the next growing season.

 Dark green stalks of corn thrive in the hot sunshine with good rains. This corn is tasseling nicely with heavy long ears.

Dark green stalks of corn thrive in the hot sunshine with good rains. This corn is tasseling nicely with heavy long ears.

 Storage bins are built for drying the harvest. This farmer has harvested a bountiful crop of corn and peanuts. This picture was taken a few years ago when the harvest was plentiful. The 2015 harvest has not done so well.

Storage bins are built for drying the harvest. This farmer has harvested a bountiful crop of corn and peanuts. This picture was taken a few years ago when the harvest was plentiful. The 2015 harvest has not done so well.

 A mother pulls the husk off the corn before shelling it.

A mother pulls the husk off the corn before shelling it.

 Shelled corn ready to go to the mill.

Shelled corn ready to go to the mill.

 This mother sifts the dust out of the corn. Every kernel is gathered from the ground and carefully sorted.

This mother sifts the dust out of the corn. Every kernel is gathered from the ground and carefully sorted.

 This grandmother uses a mortar and pestle to grind her corn. No easy task. 

This grandmother uses a mortar and pestle to grind her corn. No easy task. 

 If the family can afford it, they take their corn to the maize mill for grinding. This is the mill at the Grace Center, one of our sustainability projects.

If the family can afford it, they take their corn to the maize mill for grinding. This is the mill at the Grace Center, one of our sustainability projects.

 Ground corn is then cooked into a heavy paste called Nsima. Most Malawians name Nsima as their favorite food.

Ground corn is then cooked into a heavy paste called Nsima. Most Malawians name Nsima as their favorite food.

 A tasty pot of porridge bubbles for the children's breakfast at Grace Preschool.

A tasty pot of porridge bubbles for the children's breakfast at Grace Preschool.

 Plates of porridge cooling for the children.

Plates of porridge cooling for the children.

 Yum!

Yum!


Posted on April 9, 2015 and filed under Food.