9 Best Charities That Fight Child Hunger (Complete 2021 List)

9 Best Charities That Fight Child Hunger (Complete 2021 List)

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Carla Shaik

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Every 10 seconds, a child dies from malnutrition. It is estimated that around half of all deaths in children under 5 are caused by extreme hunger. Something that could easily be prevented. Charities around the world are now fighting to end the extreme poverty that affects so many families around the world. So we had to ask: What are the best charities that fight child hunger?

The best charities that fight child hunger in terms of overall impact are Unicef and Save The Children. Charities such as Share Our Strength and The Lunchbox fund work tirelessly to provide vulnerable school children with daily hot meals and medical aid.

Whether you want to save a child from life-threatening malnourishment, or ensure that every community has access to clean water, or ensure expectant mothers and newborns get the essential nutrients they need to thrive, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities that fight child hunger are all about, how they work, and what your best way would be to make a contribution.

Here’s What All the Best Charities That Fight Child Hunger Have in Common

The charities on this list were chosen based on their mission, impact and transparency ratings, and achievements. They operate all over the world, from North America to South Africa, providing poverty-stricken families with the food and medical assistance they need to survive. 

Many of the charities on this list focus their efforts on providing emergency food and care for families living in conflict zones or those affected by natural disasters. Others focus their attention on providing nutritious school meals for children from poor families. Yet all of them share the same goal – to end child hunger and poverty.

These Are the 9 Best Charities That Fight Child Hunger

Below are our favorite charities that fight child hunger (you can click on their link to directly jump to their section in this article):

(At the end of this article we’ll also share our six-step approach on how you can select the best charity to support.)

Unicef: For Every Child in Danger

Unicef was founded in 1946 by the U.N. Relief Rehabilitation Administration, to provide immediate aid for children affected by World War II. Today, the charity is one of the most widespread social welfare organizations, providing food, clean water, and medical care to children around the globe.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Unicef holds the Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, as well as a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator

“Working to build a better future for every child, every day, everywhere.”

Unicef

What they do: Unicef works with families, organizations, and governments in over 190 countries to provide life-saving food, vaccines, and education to children in the poorest regions. Unicef particularly works with expectant mothers, providing them with essential nutrients and the knowledge to understand the nutritional needs of young children. The charity also leads the global response to provide food and care in emergency situations.

What they’ve achieved: Unicef provides 80% of the world’s life-saving food to under-developed countries. In 2020, they provided therapeutic feeding and care to around 5 million children and raised $30 million to support humanitarian emergencies for children in over 150 countries. In Yemen, considered to be the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis, Unicef helped to screen more than 2.3 million children for malnutrition and treated 160,000 for severe malnutrition. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Unicef through their website. You can also support the charity by purchasing items from their online shop or by volunteering.

Save the Children: Protecting Children Worldwide

Save the Children was founded in 1919 by Eglantyne Jebb after witnessing countless children dying of starvation and disease at the end of World War I. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, based on Eglantyne’s declaration, is now the most universally accepted human rights treaty in history. Today, Save the Children is the world’s leading expert on childhood.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Save the Children holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, as well as a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator.

“Every child deserves a future.”

Save the Children

What they do: Save the Children works in the poorest regions of the US as well as abroad, running health programs to protect vulnerable families from malnutrition and disease. Their children and mother’s nutrition programs support breastfeeding mothers and provide easy access to essential supplements in extreme poverty areas such as Ethiopia. Their food security and livelihood programs help vulnerable families by implementing sustainable farming practices and livestock management.

What they’ve achieved: To date, Save the Children has changed the lives of over 1 billion children in 100 countries around the globe. In 2020, the charity distributed 21 million meals to children living in poverty in America and improved the nutrition of 3 million mothers and 11.7 million newborns around the world. In the same year, they provided meals and healthcare to 18.5 million children in crisis situations. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Save the Children through their website. You can also support the work of the charity by sponsoring a child in need, or by volunteering.

CARE: The Power to Protect

CARE (Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere) was founded in 1945 by Arthur Cuming Ringland, Wallace Campbell, and Lincoln Clark, to send care packages of basic supplies to people in Europe after World War II. Today, the charity is one of the leading aid organizations in the world.

Their impact and transparency ratings: According to their financial report, CARE spent 94% of its income on charitable activities and 6% on fundraising. The charity also has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator.

“Fighting poverty and injustice in the world’s most vulnerable places.”

CARE

What they do: CARE runs poverty-fighting programs and provides emergency aid in 89 countries around the globe, with a particular focus on women and girls. Their innovative mobile money and electronic vouchers supply poor communities with electronic plastic cards which can be used to purchase groceries and fresh produce from local markets; helping to boost the local economy. 

What they’ve achieved: Since their launch, CARE has provided life-saving assistance to millions of the world’s poorest people in 104 countries. In 2020, CARE directly reached 92.3 million people (73% of which were female) through 1,349 humanitarian projects in 104 countries. In 2018, the charity provided basic care packages (containing food, clothing, and blankets) to 859,000 people living in war-torn Syria and provided agricultural assistance to 18,600 households.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to CARE through their website. You can also support the charity by attending one of their fundraising events or by volunteering.

Concern Worldwide: Ending Poverty Worldwide

Concern Worldwide was founded in 1968 by a group of people who collaborated in order to respond to the devastating famine in Biafra, Nigeria. Today, the charity is a global humanitarian organization dedicated to ending extreme poverty.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Concern Worldwide holds the Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, as well as a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator.

“To help people living in extreme poverty achieve major improvements in their lives that last and spread without ongoing support.”

Concern Worldwide

What they do: Concern Worldwide runs various programs to address the major issues contributing towards extreme poverty in under-developed countries. Their community-based approach focuses on women and children, advocating for equal pay and ensuring women are provided with the tools they need to maintain successful farms. The charity’s revolutionary Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) program provides nutritional care to malnourished children around the globe.

What they’ve achieved: Since its founding, Concern Worldwide has dedicated itself to providing life-saving medical aid, food, clean water, and education to the world’s poorest communities. In 2020, Concern Worldwide reached 9.2 million people in 23 countries with their health and nutrition programs. In addition, the charity reached 614,000 women and children in Kenya, with their maternal and child health activities. Their CMAM program had an 80% cure rate for Rohingya refugee children suffering from malnutrition and is now accepted as the best practice to treat severely malnourished children by the World Health Organization.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Concern Worldwide through their website. You can also fundraise for the charity or join the Concern Action Council to advocate for the rights of the millions of people living in extreme poverty.

Action Against Hunger: Helping Mums and Their Children Beat Hunger

Action Against Hunger was founded in 1979 by a group of French doctors, writers, and scientists to help malnourished children. Today, the charity is a global network dedicated to ending world hunger.  

Their impact and transparency ratings: Action Against Hunger holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar and a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator.

“Fighting for every child’s life until the world is free from hunger.”

Action Against Hunger

What they do: Action Against Hunger is dedicated to tackling the most life-threatening forms of hunger in 46 countries around the world. They do this by assessing the health of children in poor communities. They then put the most severely malnourished children on treatment courses involving a special peanut-based paste called ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF). Their health workers also educate mothers on child nutrition and ensure they follow good hygiene and sanitation practices. 

What they’ve achieved: Since its inception, Action Against Hunger has focused its efforts on saving dangerously malnourished children so they can fulfill their potential and build bright futures for themselves. In 2020, Action Against Hunger reached 7.4 million people with their nutrition programs and helped 5 million with their health programs. In the same year, the charity responded to 66 emergencies and distributed more than $57 million in cash to families in need.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Action Against Hunger through their website. Alternatively, you can support the charity by joining one of their campaigns or joining their Love Food Give Food initiative. 

The Lunchbox Fund: Feed a Child. Nourish a Mind

The Lunchbox Fund was founded in 2005 by Topaz Page-Green to provide nutritious meals for vulnerable school children in South Africa. Today, the charity supports all stages of childhood education in South Africa and provides daily meals to tackle child poverty in the region.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The Lunchbox Fund holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. The charity also has an 88% Encompass rating for Finance and Accountability from Charity Navigator

“Helping vulnerable and food-insecure children in South Africa get the education they desperately need to build a life free of poverty.”

The Lunchbox Fund

What they do: The Lunchbox Fund utilizes their statistic-based ‘Hunger Heat Maps’ to track the places where free school meals will have the most impact in South Africa. They then provide nutritional programs to school children who do not have access to government school feeding programs. These meals encourage poverty-stricken children to attend school and enable them to concentrate on their studies.

What they’ve achieved: Since its founding, The Lunchbox Fund has defended every child’s right to an education by providing African school children with vital hot meals every school day. In 2020, the Lunchbox Fund provided 26 million meals to children across all nine provinces in South Africa. This meant that 25,972 school-age children received a hot meal every school day, 77,100 preschoolers received take-home porridge packs, and 180,227 families received relief food boxes.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to the Lunchbox Fund through their website. Alternatively, you can set up a fundraising event to support the charity.

Food for the Hungry: Creating Resilient Communities

Food for the Hungry was founded in 1971 by Dr. Larry Ward after he was struck by sadness at the knowledge that thousands of children die every year from hunger-related causes. Today, the charity provides life-saving resources, such as food and clean water, to poor communities in over 20 countries around the globe. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: Food for the Hungry holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar and a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator.

“All forms of human poverty ended worldwide.”

Food for the Hungry

What they do: Food for the hungry is a Christian charity that works with individuals living in extreme poverty in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. They offer training support and equipment for sustainable agriculture, as well as providing medical services to malnourished children. They also work with teachers to ensure children get the education they deserve. This long-term approach ensures communities feel empowered to change their own lives.

What they’ve achieved: Food for the Hungry has devoted itself to ridding the world of the injustices that cause people in the poorest communities to lack even the most basic of supplies, such as nutritious food. In 2020, Food for the Hungry assisted 1.8 million people in 2,879 communities around the globe. They also funded $170,113,048 to individuals in need. In the same year, the charity provided humanitarian relief to 2.12 million people in 19 countries affected by natural disasters.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Food for the Hungry through their website. You can also support the charity by sponsoring a child or by purchasing much-needed items from their gift catalog, such as maize seeds and emergency response kits.

Share Our Strength: Ending Hunger and Poverty

Share our Strength (SOS) was founded in 1984 by Billy and Debbie Shore to end child hunger in the US. Through their numerous campaigns, such as No Kid Hungry, the charity works to provide children across the US with free daily nutritious meals.

Their impact and transparency ratings: No Kid Hungry by Share Our Strength holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. The charity also has a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator.

“To end hunger and poverty in the US and abroad.”

Share Our Strength

What they do: Share our Strength runs the No Kid Hungry campaign which offers funding to educators so they can provide free breakfasts to school children in need. The charity also provides free lunches over the summer break to ensure no child goes hungry. They help families find free local meals sites through their Meals Finder Map and offer a free summer meals texting service for families across America.

What they’ve achieved: In 2020, Share our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign sent over $74 million in emergency grants to 1,953 schools and community groups across America. This is the largest private investment ever made in support of school meal programs. In the same year, over 250,000 families used their Meal Finders Map and free meals texting service. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Share our Strength through their website. You can also directly donate towards their No Kid Hungry campaign. Alternatively, you can support the charity by getting involved in their Dine, Shop, & Share program or by fundraising

WaterAid: Providing Clean Water to Poor Communities

WaterAid was founded in 1981 by members of the UK water industry to reach the millions of poor people living without clean water. Today, the charity works with communities and governments to ensure every person has access to clean water around the world, to end extreme poverty.  

Their impact and transparency ratings: WaterAid holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, as well as a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator

“It all starts with clean water…”

WaterAid

What they do: WaterAid utilizes its technologies in the poorest regions to install running taps and hygienic toilet facilities, which enable communities to break free from poverty and change their lives. They also work with policymakers, governments, and campaigners to advocate for sustainable water sources in every community. This ensures that community members can spend more time working on their farms to provide food for their families, instead of walking for miles to collect water from dirty rivers. 

What they’ve achieved: To date, WaterAid has provided 27 million people with clean, sustainable water sources and 20 million people with good hygiene practices in 28 countries. WaterAid is now a global network, with branches in the UK, America, Australia, Canada, Australia, India, Japan, and Sweden.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to WaterAid through their website. You can also support the charity by fundraising or by volunteering.

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities that fight child hunger. However, you may have a particular charity you want to support. Let’s look at what you can do to ensure your contribution has the most significant impact.

  • Check out the charity website. Charities that are worthy of your donations are transparent in their mission and their figures. Familiarise yourself with their history, mission, and values. Their website usually is the best place to start.
  • Identify the charity’s mission. Without a goal, the charity is likely to fail. If the charity’s mission isn’t clear, it’s probably worth looking for a charity that does have a clear mission. 
  • Check if the charity has measurable goals. An effective charity has clear goals. You want to know your donation will help the charity reach its goals. But if it doesn’t have targets, it’s likely to fail or squander your gift. The charity should be able to account for its spending and supply evidence of the work they do.
  • Assess the successes or goals the charity has achieved. You wouldn’t invest in a business if it kept missing its targets. In the same way, charities are like this too. If no one is assessing a charity’s progress in reaching its targets, the chances are they’re not making a substantial positive change.
  • Check the charity’s financials and stats. Trustworthy organizations will publish financial statements and reports each year. Some might be exempt from having to do so, but they should be able to provide them to public members who are interested in donating.
  • Locate sources who work with or benefit from the charity. Word of mouth and first-hand experience of a charity’s work lets you know the charity’s quality. If you’re able to do so, check out the charity for yourself or speak to someone familiar with it. This way, your donation will go to the right place. 

How Can You Best Support These Charities?

After you’ve made your decision, it’s time for you to decide on how you’d like to help the charities you’ve chosen. Check how you can help – each charity runs specific programs that have unique aims. Find out what the aim of such programs is and whether they are right for you. 

Here are a few ways you can help your chosen charity:

  • Donate money. You can find donation pages on the website of most charities. Your donation can be a one-time payment, or you can set it to be deducted regularly at different intervals. You can mostly pay via credit card, but some charities also take PayPal or Bitcoin payments.
  • Buy their official merchandise. The charities can also raise money by selling merchandise. So, you can support them by buying the mugs, shirts, caps, pens, pencils, and any other such items they may be selling. Ideally, you should buy as much as you can to share and spread the word about the charity’s activities.
  • Donate a percentage of your online purchases. If you bought anything on sites like Amazon lately, you’d find a prompt asking you to donate to your favorite charities through their Amazon Smile program. You can set this up so that your chosen charities will get a fraction of your online purchases.
  • Engage in volunteer work. As you’ve seen from our descriptions above, some charities engage in a lot of local and grassroots programs. You can help by taking on and organizing the program in your local area.
  • Help their fundraising efforts. You can spread the word about the charity in your workplace, school, church, etc., and hold creative fundraising drives on social media or offline within your small circles.
  • Share their stories. Most charities have compelling stories that you can share with your audience to attract more people to the cause.

Final Thoughts

Now it is up to you to select the charity that resonates most with you. And whichever charity you end up choosing and contributing to, we are sure that they will immensely appreciate your support. Hopefully, the information within this article has made this selection process a bit easier for you to support charities dedicated to fighting child hunger – based on the causes that matter most to you.

Stay impactful,

PS: Finally, I want to leave you with a thought-provoking TED talk from Dan Pallotta, a leading philanthropic activist, and fundraiser, about what is wrong with the way we think about charities – and what we can do about it:

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