A food dehydration machine owned and operated in partnership with a Pennsylvania-based Christian charity will allow food.gives to prepare surplus and unused food from the United States for delivery to our hungry brothers and sisters around the world. For the first time Barnabas Aid’s food.gives programme has moved into food production, dramatically boosting our ability to provide for our suffering Christian family.
When God warned the king of Egypt in a dream interpreted by Joseph that seven years of plenty would be followed by seven years of famine, He also granted wisdom to Joseph to know how to respond.
“Collect all the food of these good years that are coming,” said Joseph, “to be used during the seven years of famine that will come upon Egypt, so that the country may not be ruined by the famine” (Genesis 41:35-6).
We are not guaranteed seven years of plenty in which to prepare, but in God’s gracious providence the Western world currently has food to spare for those now suffering hunger and food scarcity in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
The mission of food.gives is to collect this food, and to send it to hungry Christians, so that they will not be “ruined by the famine”. That mission has now received a dramatic boost with the introduction of a dehydration machine.
Dehydration machine a giant stride forward
The dehydration machine – scheduled to go into operation in December 2022, God willing – represents a giant stride forward for food.gives and Barnabas Aid’s fight against hunger and malnutrition.
The machine – owned and operated in partnership with Blessings of Hope, a Christian charity based in Pennsylvania, USA – will allow us to take surplus and unused food from wholesalers and supermarkets in the US and prepare it for delivery to our hungry and suffering brothers and sisters in lands of persecution and poverty.
For the first time, Barnabas is moving into food production, dramatically boosting our ability to meet the needs of our international Christian family.
“This is an exciting opportunity,”said CEO of Barnabas Aid USA, Jeremy Frith. “This partnership and the purchase of the dehydration machine is a significant step up in our food.gives programme and our long-term mission to help impoverished believers wherever they need our support.”
It is estimated that the machine can produce a minimum of 525 tonnes of dried food each year. The food processing will be carried out with the help of more than 1,000 volunteers, all of whom will be devoting hours to food production and serving Christ and His Church.
“The purchase of the dehydration machine is a significant step up in our food.gives programme”
“We are grateful for God’s continued blessing and provision,” said Barnabas Aid International Director Dr Patrick Sookhdeo. “Now we can do even more to give practical help to the suffering brothers and sisters of Christ.”
Providing a lifeline by minimising waste
Our partners will collect unwanted fresh produce from across Pennsylvania and beyond. This includes misshapen fruit and vegetables rejected by supermarkets, unsold items nearing their sell-by date – perfectly edible, nutritious food that would otherwise end up as cattle feed or in the rubbish dump.
The food will then be dehydrated, allowing it to be transported by Barnabas Aid from the US to locations all over the world.
This food will become a lifeline for Christians who would otherwise go hungry. Dried fruit will provide a source of much-needed vitamins. Dried vegetables can be rehydrated or turned into a soup mix that will sustain and nourish.
Because water is needed to rehydrate some of the dried food, such as the vegetable soup mix, Barnabas will also provide water-purifying units to needy Christian communities who lack safe drinking water.
“Sharing the love of Jesus”
The mission of Blessings of Hope is, “Sharing the love of Jesus while accomplishing zero food waste and erasing hunger.” Since 2006 the charity has been working towards achieving this in Pennsylvania, but wanted to expand its reach beyond the United States.
In early 2022, Jeremy Frith emailed Blessings of Hope to see if they would be interested in partnering with our food.gives initiative to send food to help suffering Christians.
Just as Jeremy was finishing writing the email, the Executive Director of the charity was praying that God would provide a way to do just that. When he returned to his desk, he read Jeremy’s email and marvelled at God’s timely answer to his prayer.
"What an amazing God we serve"
“What clear direction. What providential provision,” said Jeremy. “What an amazing God we serve.”
Now we can do more
Through food.gives – and its sister programme, medical.gives – Barnabas Aid has already reached a million households worldwide with more than 1,000 tonnes of direct aid. Now we can do even more.
Food that would go to waste can now save lives. More than 500 tonnes of dried fruit and vegetables annually will be added to the tonnes of food we are already channelling to our hungry brothers and sisters. Even more Christians around the world can be nourished and sustained.
The famine is “severe everywhere” (Genesis 41:57), but the Lord’s provision continues. Give thanks to Him and pray that He will bless our continued efforts to serve His people.
Project reference PR1555 (food.gives)