How the Local Church is Fighting Hunger in the World's Poorest Countries - 96five Family Radio

How the Local Church is Fighting Hunger in the World’s Poorest Countries

This World Hunger Day, Compassion Australia is shining a spotlight on the 238 million people are experiencing acute food insecurity.

By 96five NetworkTuesday 28 May 2024Social JusticeReading Time: 2 minutes

In the fight against global hunger, the local church may not be the first organisation that comes to mind.

However, through Compassion’s extensive network of over 8,500 church partners, they are leading a local response to address the devastating global food crisis.

According to Clare Steele, CEO of Compassion Australia, more than 23 million food packs have been delivered to hungry children and their families through local churches since 2020.

“Our local church partners play a crucial role in combating hunger in the worst-affected countries, such as Ethiopia, Haiti and Kenya, acting as first responders in their communities,” Clare said.

“These churches are uniquely positioned to respond as they are deeply embedded in their communities, so they understand the specific needs faced by local families.”

“They see the children registered in their child development program on a weekly basis, allowing them to monitor their health and proactively look for signs of malnutrition.”

“Beyond the registered children, these churches also serve as a lifeline of hope for the most desperate families in their community,” said Clare.

According to the 2023 Global Report on Food Crises, more than 238 million people are experiencing acute food insecurity, which means they haven’t eaten in a day or more. Ethiopia is currently one of the hardest hit countries, with an estimated 20.1 million people still needing food support this year due to severe drought and conflict.

“We’ve recently heard the confronting story of Samiya, a mother in Ethiopia who had run out of food” CEO Clare Steele said.

“For three days her children had gone hungry, and she wasn’t making any income selling shrubs and leaves on the street. She was so desperate that she thought her only option was to end her life so her children would get her life insurance money for food.

Samiya and family / Source: Supplied by Compassion Australia

“Miraculously, she was rescued just in time. She ended up on the doorstep of the local church where the staff immediately provided Samiya with food and then followed up with more food packages for her family.

“It may seem extreme, but sadly, Samiya’s story is not unique. Millions of people around the world are faced with unthinkable decisions every day due to lack of food,” said Clare.

“The situation is critical, but hope is not lost. The local churches are working as the hands and feet of Jesus to respond to the crisis.” Clare Steele, CEO Compassion Australia

In the short term, they’re providing food, and in the long term they are equipping families with seeds, livestock and agricultural training.”

“Families like Samiya’s know that they are not alone. God sees and cares for them and brings His provision though our local church partners.”

“On this World Hunger Day, we thank God for the local churches that we partner with, and we ask you to pray for them as they answer hunger with hope.”

To learn more, visit or call 1300 22 44 53.