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Programs > International Social Services > Food Programming

Food Programming

In 2000, the Earth had more than 6 billion people; more than 800 million of them were hungry. A full third of the world's hungry live in East and Southeast Asia, another third in South Asia and a quarter in sub-Saharan Africa. According to the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization statistics, another 38 million of the hungry are in countries in transition and in the industrialized world.

The American Red Cross has been providing food to those in need at home and overseas for more than 110 years.  As far back as the 1890s, Clara Barton sent relief workers overseas to administer large-scale feeding and medical operations to assist famine-stricken Russians and Armenians.  Since 1999 alone, the American Red Cross has assisted more than 4.5 million people in 19 countries through food interventions.

According to its Congressional Charter adopted in 1905, the American Red Cross was specifically mandated "to carry out a system of national and international relief in time of peace, and apply that system in mitigating the suffering caused by pestilence, famine, fire, floods, and other great national calamities, and to devise and carry out measures for preventing those calamities."  Through provision of food assistance to survivors of natural disasters, war and economic collapse, the American Red Cross confirms its commitment to relieving human suffering and developing the capacities of people to help themselves throughout the world.

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