On the Brink of a Hunger Pandemic, A Mom’s Hope and a Child’s Future

Stories of Feeding God's Children Hungry in Body & Spirit

On the Brink of a Hunger Pandemic, A Mom’s Hope and a Child’s Future

On the Brink of a Hunger Pandemic, A Mom’s Hope and a Child’s Future

“And if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.” – Isaiah 58:10

Merlinda didn’t know her daughter was suffering.

She could see, of course, that 4-year-old Jennifer had a bulging stomach, but she didn’t know what it meant.

She didn’t know it meant Jennifer was malnourished. She didn’t know it meant Jennifer was sick.

She didn’t know Jennifer only weighed 18 pounds, less than half what a healthy girl her age should weigh.

You see, Merlinda and Jennifer live in a rural community in the Philippines, far from a clinic and even farther from our food partner International Care Ministries (ICM) – 123 miles to be exact.

To get there, it takes more than six hours first by bus, then a tricycle and finally a 30-minute hike along mountain slopes, muddy trails and through a river.

Simply put, the family of 13 was isolated. But ICM works in rural communities like Jennifer’s. They met her family and offered to help Jennifer get healthy again.

After just 10 weeks of eating MannaPack™ meals, Jennifer began to get her appetite back and with it, more energy. She gained more than five pounds – a big number for a small child.


ICM’s programs also educate families about nutrition. Merlinda was grateful for the food and her new knowledge. Now she knows how to keep Jennifer healthy. Now she knows what a bulging stomach means – and how to prevent it.

“I realized the importance of giving my children nutritious food,” she said.

This family’s story is a beautiful example of the difference you make for children around the world. But now they are facing a new challenge as the effects of COVID-19 are expected to double the number of people on the brink of starvation to 265 million.

As this crisis evolves into a hunger pandemic, we need you more than ever to be able to meet the needs of children around the world.

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