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Published on 13 October, 2008

Food for the Hungry works alongside recording artists

International (MNN) — A food crisis continues to sweep the globe quicker than many organizations can react. Groups like Food for the Hungry (FH) are getting creative to get the word out.

Food for the Hungry has been working for over 30 years to feed malnourished and impoverished people around the world. FH works to build communities mostly through their child sponsorship program.

"The ultimate goal of our child sponsorship program is to transform the communities in which the children live," says Jeff Miller, Director of Artist Relations at FH. "Part of that is building the infrastructure within those communities so that they can become self-sufficient — most importantly spiritually, but also economically and socially."

Child sponsorship is where Food for the Hungry has really begun to get creative. Over the past several years, touring recording artists have worked with FH to help raise awareness and support for the sponsorship program.

Food for the Hungry uses the platforms these artists in order "to educate their concert audiences to the needs around the world so we can give them the opportunity to respond," explains Miller. "Over 60 percent of the child sponsorships that we work with over the course of the year come through our recording artists."

The recording artists involved in this program are picked in a strategic fashion. "Our goal is to come alongside an artist that already has a calling from the Lord and to do what we can to take that calling to the next level," says Miller.

The current artist on board with Food for the Hungry is Sara Groves. On a visit to Rwanda a few years ago, Groves was confronted with extreme poverty, human trafficking and other alarming circumstances. She now wants to give her concert audience a way to respond tangibly to these great needs, believing Food for the Hungry to be a "great gateway to social justice." Groves encourages her audience members to respond through child sponsorship.

Despite the global food crisis, God has provided for Food for the Hungry's ministry. FH has not had the need to raise their monthly cost for child sponsorship, due in part to the program's emphasis on planning ahead.

As World Food Day approaches on October 16, prayers are needed around the world for starving people. "Pray for transformation," adds Miller. "Transformation not only in terms of their physical needs, but also spiritual transformation. That's the most important prayer that I think anyone could pray for our ministry or anywhere around the world."

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