Zimbabwe (MNN) — Hunger. It's a problem we talk about all the time but have no idea how to solve. Global Aid Network (GAiN) is putting a dent in the issue by going back to the basics.
Mission Network News has frequently featured GAiN USA's Seed Program through the years. The basis of the Seed Program is simple: rather than handing out food that is eaten once and disappears forever, GAiN is handing out seeds that will produce a bountiful supply of food for the poor year after year.
The Seed Program goes about this business by using volunteers who package seeds and help send them off to faraway lands. It's a wonderful idea, whatever happens to those seeds when they get to their destination? Is the program working against the hunger problem?
GAiN's Vice President for Mobilization, Steve Hopper, responds with a snapshot into Zimbabwe, a nation that's been receiving seeds for about a year.
"The churches have actually developed garden plots whereby church members can come and actually use the seeds that are distributed and plant them," explains Hopper. For each "Harvester Pack" of seeds–which has about five different types of seeds within it, a family yields about 500 pounds of food.
Seeds are otherwise incredibly expensive in Zimbabwe. They are not easy to come by for poor families. Under the Seed Program's church distribution system, bellies fill up, and the extra fruits and vegetables are sold to provide a source of income.
Even more exciting, recipients are turning to the Maker of the seeds.
"There's been a lot of people who've come to Christ," notes Hopper. "The Seed Program opens up their hearts to at least hear the Gospel more fully, and also it's been an opportunity for them to get involved in the church."
The program is effectively stomping out hunger, poverty, and spiritual drought in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Guatemala. And this is just the beginning. As families harvest their crops, they are able to gather the seeds from inside the fruits and vegetables and plant those as well.
This Saturday, February 18, GAiN is gathering hundreds of volunteers together to pack 60,000 Harvester Kits with about 300,000 seed packs total. This Compassion in Action event is taking place at The Hope Center in Plano, Texas. There's still time for you, your family, or your church to get involved. Click here for information.
If Texas is several plane rides away for you, you can still get involved. It only costs $1 for each Harvester Pack, and $3 for shipping. Provide 500 pounds of food with one pack when you help here.