Stop Hunger Now Rises to Million Meal Challenge to Package Meals Across Globe in Recognition of Mandela Day

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Volunteers Inspired to Take Action on July 18 and “Follow the Sun” to package 10 Million Meals to Fight World Hunger

Stop Hunger Now South Africa Kicks Off the Million Meal Challenge for Mandela Day

There can be no greater joy than acknowledging that each year, our efforts with Stop Hunger Now continue to nurture and feed hungry children whilst ensuring their education.” --Chief Patron Mrs. Graca Machel, Nelson Mandela's wife

On July 18, thousands of volunteers around the world will join a global movement to package millions of meals with Stop Hunger Now in recognition of Mandela Day.

Stop Hunger Now, an international hunger relief organization based in Raleigh, NC, is working with partners worldwide to orchestrate meal packaging events the week of July 13-20 in honor of Nelson Mandela. Starting in the Philippines and moving west to the United States, Stop Hunger Now South Africa is leading a global initiative to “Follow the Sun,” encouraging people to devote 67 minutes to make a positive difference in honor of Mandela Day—one minute for every year of Mandela’s public service. Teams of volunteers will package meals in Malaysia, India, South Africa, Italy and the United States.

Mandela Day, celebrated each year on July 18 to commemorate the late Nelson Mandela’s legacy, is an opportunity to inspire individuals to build a global movement for good. In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly designated "Nelson Mandela International Day" in honor of the former South African President to recognize his contribution to the culture of peace and freedom.

"Stop Hunger Now has a vision of a world without hunger and we are proud to help celebrate the legacy of Nelson Mandela, truly one of the great men of our generation,” said Stop Hunger Now Founder Ray Buchanan. “In honor of his life of caring and compassion we are going to ‘follow the sun,’ packaging millions of meals around the world. It is a privilege to honor Nelson Mandela on a truly global scale by demonstrating that working together we can end hunger in our lifetime."

In the U.S., a total of 2.7 million meals are scheduled to be packaged during the month of July in recognition of Mandela Day. Events will take place in cities across the U.S. including Chicago, Norfolk and New York City.

In South Africa, Stop Hunger Now is committed to packaging two million meals in seven cities across South Africa. Nelson Mandela’s wife, Chief Patron Mrs. Graca Machel, will be in attendance to support the activities. She says, “The Mandela Day Meal Packaging Event gives recognition to the efforts of my late husband and the first democratically elected President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela. There can be no greater joy than acknowledging that each year, our efforts with Stop Hunger Now continue to nurture and feed hungry children whilst ensuring their education.”

In addition, Stop Hunger Now Global Food Security Ambassador Paulina Vega, former Miss Universe, will attend events in South Africa in her role to raise awareness of the issues of global hunger.

In Genoa, Italy, Stop Hunger Now Italia co-hosted a gala event July 11 with Enrico De Barbieri, the Honorary Consul of the Republic of South Africa to Genoa, who was recently appointed Stop Hunger Now Global Food Security Ambassador. Tom Barbitta, Chief Marketing Officer for Stop Hunger Now, attended the gala, held to raise awareness about the issues of global hunger.

Stop Hunger Now Meal Packaging Program
Stop Hunger Now meal packaging is a volunteer-based program that coordinates the streamlined assembly of nutritious, dehydrated meals comprised of rice, soy, vegetables and 23 essential vitamins and minerals.

Around the world, nearly 795 million people lack adequate food. Stop Hunger Now operates meal packaging locations in 20 cities throughout the U.S. and six international locations in South Africa, Malaysia, the Philippines, Italy, India and Peru.

Last year, more than 353,000 volunteers from corporations, churches, schools and civic organizations packaged Stop Hunger Now meals. Founded in 1998, Stop Hunger Now has delivered aid and disaster relief supplies in the form of food, medical supplies, clothing, school supplies and more to thousands of disaster victims and other hungry and vulnerable people in 74 countries.

About Stop Hunger Now
Stop Hunger Now works to end hunger by providing food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable people, and by creating a global commitment to mobilize the necessary resources. Based in Raleigh, N.C., Stop Hunger Now operates meal packaging programs in 20 U.S. cities and in South Africa, Malaysia, India, Italy, Peru and the Philippines. For information, visit

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