We recently sat down with Pete Sumrall, president and CEO of Feed The Hungry, and asked him to share about how friends like you have impacted lives over the past year. Here’s what he had to say…
Field Report: Pete, can you share your general thoughts about what God has done this year through the generosity of our supporters?
Pete Sumrall: I’m absolutely thrilled at what we’ve seen. It’s been a terrific year, even though it began on a hard note with Typhoon Haiyan hitting the Philippines. But the outpouring of support we saw was incredible… with more than 4.5 million meals given to people impacted by the storm! Not only that, but with the incredible influx of refugees into Uganda from South Sudan, our faithful friends stepped up again and gave generously to help respond to a terrible situation. Overall, it’s been a great year. And it’s a direct result of our partners giving so generously.
Field Report: How does food get into the hands of those who need it most?
Pete Sumrall: Our ministry partners on the ground in the countries where we work make such a big difference. That’s because sending aid overseas can be extremely difficult if you have no one there to support food distribution. That’s why Feed The Hungry has focused on creating a global, on-the-ground infrastructure for food distribution. To do this, we find trustworthy church leaders who want to help and have good connections in their countries and communities. This really makes the distribution of food much more efficient… meaning a higher percentage of every dollar given goes toward getting hungry people the food they need.
Field Report: When you say these ministry partners have connections in their countries and communities, how does that help in the process of getting people the food they need?
Pete Sumrall: Well, one example of this is our ministry partner in Uganda… a man named Pastor Solomon Mwesige. Ps. Solomon has proven himself as a leader in the capital city of Kampala. Not long ago, the Office of Prime Minister actually contacted Ps. Solomon and asked him to expand our feeding programs to a second refugee camp in the north of the country. It goes to show that the work we’re doing in Uganda is being noticed – it’s making a difference. Which means there’s going to be more work to come!
Field Report: Pete, what challenges do you feel Feed The Hungry has overcome this year?
Pete Sumrall: I’ve been so happy about what we’ve done to maximise the impact of every dollar that is given. We’ve made that happen by negotiating contracts with shipping companies that get the food where it’s going, as well as by coordinating with governments to have fees and taxes waived on the aid we send. Things like these ensure we’re being the best stewards we can be with the resources that are given.
Field Report: What will Feed The Hungry be able to accomplish in the coming year if there is an outpouring of support here at the end of 2014?
Pete Sumrall: There’s really so much more I believe God is setting before us for 2015. The door is wide open to help more vulnerable kids in places like Liberia, where we’re going to have to step up operations to address the needs of newly orphaned children because of the Ebola crisis. And in Nicaragua, we could add 6,000 more kids to our daily meal program tomorrow if we only had the resources to do it. I’m so grateful for the outpouring of support this year, yet I believe next year will be our biggest yet. That’s really why I’m praying God would move in the hearts of more friends to partner with us and help give a full life to even more people in 2015!
Field Report Volume 18 Number 3
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