Joshua’s Heart has a vision of a world where no one goes to bed hungry, a world where kids don’t worry about whether they will have enough to eat on the weekend, a world where everyone helps their neighbors. The organization believes that kids and adults, working together, can help end hunger locally, across the country and around the world. If everyone gave a little bit of time or money to help the less fortunate, the combined power of their gifts could stomp out hunger.
Joshua’s Heart has five core values: Community, Awareness, Volunteerism, Education and Resources.
You may think that hunger is a problem that only impacts Americans who are homeless or completely destitute. In reality, someone in your neighborhood, workplace or school is likely to be impacted. According to the most recent government report, one in seven U.S. households are food insecure. Households headed by single parents, those with income near the federal poverty and Latino and African American households are even more likely to be at risk for hunger. Hunger has a huge impact on our educational system. Children make up 24 percent of the U.S. population, but represent 32 percent of the Americans living in poverty. According to the Southern Education Foundation, during the 2012-13 school year, the majority (51 percent) of public school students qualified for federal free and reduced-price lunch programs. That means that they live in households with incomes low enough that they are at risk for food insecurity. Hunger is particularly dangerous for children. Not only can it stunt physical growth, it can make it far more difficult for them to learn. Joshua’s Heart has programs that target children and parents that can help stomp out hunger in your community.
The first step to solving a problem is acknowledging that it exists. That’s why one of the major goals of Joshua’s Heart is to increase awareness of hunger and hunger related issues. People who are aware that hunger is a serious problem in their community and around the world are more likely to volunteer, lobby their elected officials to support initiatives that will fight hunger, and donate money to the cause. Joshua’s Heart utilizes social media to reach out to young people and partners with larger organizations like Unilever that help spread awareness about hunger and other important social issues.
Once people are aware that hunger is an issue, Joshua’s Heart helps mobilize them to action. Joshua’s Heart is run by volunteers of all ages. Whether you want to spend one day a month packing bags of food for our groceries program or you want to join our junior advisory board and lead a project in your community, Joshua’s Heart has an opportunity that will allow you to be of service and help stomp out hunger.
The best way to stomp out hunger is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Studies have shown that education is the most powerful weapon in the fight against food insecurity. Adults with a good education are more likely to have jobs that pay well enough to comfortably feed, clothe and shelter a family. Studies have shown that adults who attended pre-school, Head Start and other early education programs are more likely to graduate from high school and college. Joshua’s Heart wants to break the cycle of poverty so that future generations will not experience hunger. The organization supports local and national early childhood and youth education programs.
Joshua’s Heart is financed entirely by grants and donations. The organization adheres to a strict budget. Donations are used to help needy people, not the charity’s infrastructure. Joshua’s Heart practices transparent accounting. The public is welcome to look at our records which show that we are using our funds efficiently and intelligently, so that we can do as much as possible to stomp out hunger.
Hunger Impacts People Around The World
Joshua’s Heart’s goal is to help people all over the world. Currently, it is active in Jamaica. Hunger is a big problem on the island. 17 percent of the population lives in poverty, due in large part to a high unemployment rate of 11 percent. Poverty is especially pronounced in rural areas, with 23 percent of the population living below the poverty line. While the nation does provide school lunches, many children and their families suffer from food insecurity.
Worldwide, about 805 million people are hungry. Fourteen percent of the residents of developing nations are undernourished. Two thirds of the world’s hungry live in Asia, home to the most populous country on earth, China. The highest prevalence of hunger is in Sub-Saharan Africa, where one in four people are malnourished.
Hunger kills. Worldwide, poor nutrition is responsible for 45 percent of the deaths of children under the age of five. That’s over 3 million children a year. One in six children in developing nations is underweight. The World Food Programme estimates that it would take 3.2 billion U.S. dollars to feed the 66 million hungry school-age children around the world. While that is a lofty goal, Joshua’s Heart is determined to reach as many of them as possible. Developing countries need the whole world to help them stomp out hunger.