Real Help for the Hungry: Feeding families around the globe

Published 7:44 am Friday, September 1, 2017

By Daniel Mueller

Imagine growing up in an area which is unstable because of war, and where fields remain empty because of the danger.

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In order to survive, your family needs to eat grass or roots or whatever they can find. Or imagine living in a refugee camp surrounded by countless other starving people. The monthly food allowance rarely lasts more than a week.

This is the reality for millions of children and families throughout Africa, Haiti and other areas of the world. The need is immense, and no one person or organization is able to adequately address it, but if we all do what we can, working together, it is amazing what can happen.

Real Hope for the Hungry is one such organization. Started in 2011 in Austin, it is run by a group of faithful volunteers who organize the packaging of nutrient rich meals of soy, rice, flavoring, and vegetables to be sent to hungry and starving people locally and throughout the world.

“Our area is filled with compassionate people who want to help those in need,” said founder Carol Brown. “What we do allows them to donate toward, and to participate in something tangible – packaging nutritious meals – which will have a very real impact on those who are hungry and starving,”

Within the past couple weeks, four packaging events were held at Bethlehem Church, where over 25,000 meals were packed. These events involved youth and adults from churches, as well as volunteer organizations from as far away as Rochester and Kasson.

Volunteers at Bethlehem Church package nutrient-rich meals of soy, rice, flavoring, and vegetables to be sent to people in need locally and throughout the world. Photo provided

Each event included local refugees and immigrants, many of whom have experienced hunger and need. These events have given them an opportunity to help provide food to others —possibly even their own family members – who are still starving. “In East Africa, many people are still starving and there are many difficulties,” said Chol Opiew, a worker at African Asian Refugee Services Agency and volunteer at this event. “Every day, people contact me asking for money after their food ran out, so it feels good to help make food to help them and others.”

At the final pack held on Saturday, refugees and immigrants from our area worked side by side with neighbors and the Bethlehem Church community to send not just life-giving food but soul-nourishing care to the needy. “Jesus spent his life teaching and serving. He not only taught people the truth, but he healed the sick and fed the hungry. He is the example we seek to follow,” said Pastor Paul Steele, the pastor at Bethlehem Church.

If you or your church or organization are interested in donating money, which is needed to fund the food, or helping to package the meals that will be sent to feed the needy, please feel free to contact Carol Brown at or call 507-433-4489, or Dan Mueller at

Community is built when we work together, giving of our time and resources to help those around us.
Daniel Mueller works with the multicultural community in Austin after many years of teaching, including three years in China. He can be contacted at