International (MNN) – Food for the Hungry works in more than twenty countries around the world. They invest time in highly vulnerable communities, establishing programs that work to end all forms of human poverty. But those programs have a unique twist not often found in ministries: an end date.
When Jeremy Reis, Marketing Director for Food for the Hungry, traveled to a partner community in the Dominican Republic, he was reminded of the power of both a beginning and an end to their work in that area.
A large Food for the Hungry sign was posted at the entrance to the community that displayed “2012-2022.” He reflects on the moment, “They had already staked a claim that they were going to be out of poverty in 2022, and I get chills just thinking that. I took a snapshot on my cell phone because I thought, ‘This is real.’”
Jeremy says that, while programs may look different in every community served, Food for the Hungry’s goal remains the same. “We want to move a community from extreme poverty to out of poverty in 10 years. That means all forms of poverty – spiritual and physical.”
Partnering with local churches, leaders, and families is at the heart of this 10-year plan. The community is invited to be part of the process of transformation. Resources like clean water, medical care, agricultural expertise, vocational training, and Christ-centered education are provided as the community learns to be self-sustaining. Food for the Hungry’s website says it best.
We are agents of change. We work, we feed, we teach, we love, but we know when it’s time to leave.
For the community in the Dominican Republic, that ending will be celebrated. Jeremy’s enthusiasm can’t be contained when he shares, “Literally, they’re going to have a party on that day to celebrate that they are out of poverty, that we came in with these goals and the goals have been met. It’s pretty awesome.”