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by Larry

July, 2009

World Hunger Relief, Inc.

I first heard about World Hunger Relief after my mom, Julia, began in the spring and fall enhancing the fare available at her place in Waco, TX, with lots of fresh greens and other veggies. She said this was due to her now sharing equally with another Waco resident the $50 monthly fee for loading up with abundant supplies of organic, fresh produce of all kinds as they were in season, beets, Swiss chard, carrots, collard greens, etc. The amounts were such that the $25 a month share to Julia was often more abundant than she and her live-in nephew could consume before the next supply would be distributed, so that she was at times even looking for others to take some of the supply off her hands. She said the extra produce came from World Hunger Farm.

World Hunger Farm is a highly productive 25-acre ranch. Here are raised many vegetables as well as rabbits, chickens, cattle, goats, sheep, bees, and an emu. It turns out the farm is owned and operated by the home grown non-profit organization, World Hunger Relief, Inc., which began in 1976 and is located just outside Waco, in Elm Mott.

Organic vegetable cultivation, Wikipedia
Besides sharing crops with folks in central TX willing to pay $50 a month (or $25 a month each if shared by two) for their prolific harvests, World Hunger Farm and its parent organization, World Hunger Relief, Inc. provide community outreach in the Waco area through gardening projects to address local hunger issues (especially among the elderly and disabled), teaching composting and gardening in schools, providing tours of the farm for schools and churches, and educating the community in sustainable food production with minimal adverse effects on the environment yet maximal effects on decreasing world hunger.

If World Hunger Relief had done nothing else in the past 33 years, it would already have made a very significant and positive difference. But its reach is really consistent with its name, for WHRI has numerous internships of several weeks to a few months' duration in which it allows people to learn by hands-on training in how to blend sustainable food generation with economic development in third world countries. Hundreds of individuals have now completed these internships. Many of them have gone on to assist international agencies in a score or more nations around the world. Along with ongoing, long-term projects to teach young people and adults in the efficient use of their land and water resources, and so enhance food production in particularly needy areas, WHRI has been valuable in showing populations how to manage after natural and war-related disasters, thus augmenting the efforts of other, better known aid organizations with quick, low cost efforts at restoring lost crops, water supplies, etc.

In 1980, Carl Ryther, one of the early members of the WHRI team (who continued to work at the farm until his death in 1999), finished a training manual, "Backyard Food Production Systems." It has been translated into many languages and is influencing local farming techniques on at least four continents.

One lesson here for me is that a few individuals and a seemingly insignificant organization can actually wind up making a very large positive difference. Amother is that, while extremely valuable work is called for in foreign lands, one does not necessarily have to go far away to achieve a major and worthwhile impact. World Hunger Farm and World Hunger Relief, Inc., for instance, are an inspiration both for what they do locally and for their accomplishments in numerous locations overseas.

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