Richard Proudfit’s obsession with feeding the starving children of the world began in 1974 in Honduras after Hurricane Fifi killed thousands and left thousands more homeless. He traveled there as an engineer with a medical relief team to help the survivors of that disaster. At first, Richard was so busy with his engineering and repair work that he was unaware of the misery all around him.
Then something happened that changed his life forever. He recalls, “It wasn’t long until I began to see the children literally dying around us. One mother came to me crying, carrying her nearly dead child. She was pleading for help. That’s when my heart broke, and I went to my knees. I knew I had to come back and do something about it.”
That encounter with starving children in Honduras reshaped Richard’s life as he took on God’s instruction to feed the starving children of the world. Anyone who has ever spoken with Richard knows the intensity of his compassion of those children.
Richard first tried taking surplus food items to the children, but soon found that wasn’t what the truly starving children needed. He never gave up and tackled the problem through a new approach. With the help of several food industry executives, a highly nutritious dehydrated food package was developed. In 1999, Richard founded Kids Against Hunger, a nonprofit organization located in New Hope, MN, with the mission to end starvation worldwide. Since then, the Kids Against Hunger network has grown to include more than 30 satellites across the USA, and many feeding partners worldwide. Kids Against Hunger’s life-saving meals have been shipped to over 40 countries.”
The food is made from four dry ingredients that are easy to package, keeps for long periods and requires boiling water to prepare. It is a nutritionally complex and well-balanced meal.
Richard realized his vision required a vast food packaging capacity to meet the endless demand for food. He utilized thousands of volunteers from churches, schools, businesses and civic groups. Both testimonials and photographic evidence show the life-saving effects of the Kids Against Hunger food for the children who eat it. The starving children not only survive, they begin to thrive.
The unplanned but very real beneficiaries of Kids Against Hunger are the volunteers who package the food. Not only does the program feed many children, it also brings satisfaction and self-worth to the volunteers who package it.
For the volunteers, it is the ultimate hands-on contribution that, because of its simplicity, individuals form age 8 to 80 can perform. After two hours spent packaging, a group can easily have helped to create several thousand servings of food and see the cartons of food stacked and ready to be sent off to countries around the world.
Richard Proudfit is totally dedicated and committed to this program. He has spent millions of dollars of his own money and is an unpaid volunteer. When someone asks him about retirement, his response is, “I can’t. My children are dying.”