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Free Food Programs
 
1- Introduction

     Fighting hunger and prevention of malnutrition is one of the major priorities of UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). According to the published statistics every year nearly 30 million people lose their lives due to the hunger which almost half of them are children. This means every 4 second a child dying from hunger. Moreover, current report from UNICEF shows more than one forth of children in developing countries is suffering from severe malnutrition.

 

 Children are eating free hot food at Darvazeghar House of Knowledge

     In order to fight hunger around the world, particularly in Iran, one of the main IAPSRS targets is to provide enough food and sanitation products to more than three thousand families who are urgently in need. By doing that, we estimate we can save more than 1000 children lives from malnutrition and hunger.
     To achieve this goal, in 2002 IAPSRS initiated a hunger prevention program to distribute enough nutrition and sanitation products to poor families and ensure that the desirable results are being achieved.
     It is wise to mention that due to the unequal distribution of wealth in Iran, not only in rural areas but also in big cities huge numbers of people don’t have access to enough nutrition and sanitation products which drive IAPSRS to implement and initiate major programs to fight against hunger issues.

2- Methodology

Making a Food network

     In order to carry out a sustainable and efficient hunger prevention program to provide enough food for urgent-in-need families, our methodology is to make a food supply network in each target region by motivated and trained local volunteers and donators. This means, the provision and distribution of the food parcels will be carried out mainly by local volunteers/donators who are trained and fully aware of culture and preferable local foods in target areas. In other words, IAPSRS role mainly is to organize/facilitate initiation of a local hunger prevention network/campaign, which enables local volunteers /contributors to offer their help to needy families in most the efficient way.

Techniques and strategies used:

     The following techniques and strategies are being used for hunger prevention and nutrition assistance program of IAPSRS:
1- Raising public awareness of severity of hunger issues among many of children in Iran and around the world through media and IAPSRS seminars, campaigns & publications.
2- Conducting fundraising programs in major cultural and religious occasions. In these occasions, the cultural and religious values in helping other people are being highlighted.
3- Motivating and training local volunteers and communities to involve in fundraising activities and provision/distribution of food to most in need families.  
4- Motivating poor families to attend in IAPSRS free basic fundamental educational and health courses by offering food support and free meal after each session.
5- Providing most in-need families with monthly IAPSRS Food Packages, which contain adequate raw food and sanitation products for a month of the families. Content of these food packages varies according to the cultural and nutritional conditions of the families.

 

 

 Children are given free hot meals at Iranian Houses everyday

3- Implementation methodology:

     Hunger prevention and nutrition assistance programs of IAPSRS are as following:
1- Kooche Gardane Ashegh (Wandering Lovers): every year in Ramadan lunatic month, IAPSRS implements a program known as “Koche Gardane Ashegh.” Through this program, Thousands of raw food and basic sanitation product packages, which are adequate for one month of a family, are prepared and distributed to more than 10,000 poor families all around the country.
In this program, donators, students and other volunteers are all invited to help in supplying, packing and distributing of these food packages. By use of public involvement, we are trying to raise the awareness of the society about the severity and condition of poor families in their neighborhoods.
 

 

Food packages are ready to be given to needy families in Ramadan Lunatic month 

 

I. 2- Hamyarie Mah (Monthly food Contribution): This program is the continuous of Kooche Gardane Ashegh, which is happening every month. Through Monthly food distribution program the selected most-in-need families are provided by food and sanitation packages contain enough nutrition for one month of a family. This program is offered to the families who their members particularly kids are in risk of malnutrition.
The sponsored families are being regularly assessed by volunteer medical students to ensure they are receiving enough nutrition and there is no medical issue.

I. 3- Free Food in Iranian Homes: Iranian Homes have been established to help poor families to overcome their educational, financial, nutritional and medical issues. So far, the NGO has established seven Iranian homes around Iran in which member of needy families, particularly their children, can receive two hot meals every day after attending in educational and medical programs which are held by IAPSRS. More than hundreds of volunteer contributors, teachers, consultant and GPs are helping the NGO to hold educational, medical and cultural enhancement programs in these Iranian Homes.