828 million people worldwide go to bed hungry, according to the United Nations’ Food Security and Nutrition Report. That’s about 10% of the global population.
Dive deeper into the data on hunger, and you’ll find:
- 3.1 million children die each year from hunger-related causes, which include malnutrition and diarrhea.
- When war hits, hunger strikes. Nearly 60% of the world’s hungriest people live in areas devastated by conflict.
- Rural areas experience hunger and poverty at much higher rates, especially in developing countries such as India and Kenya.
This research should alarm you. While the world produces enough food to feed the entire population, too many simply can’t afford or can’t access enough food to survive, be healthy and thrive. When children don’t get proper nutrition growing up, it also limits their ability to succeed in school and life. It creates a cycle of poverty and hunger.
If you’re passionate about addressing the hunger and nutrition challenges facing the world, consider going abroad to volunteer to end hunger. By participating in a food security, nutrition or sustainable agriculture volunteering program, you can do your part to help reduce hunger around the world.
There are many great initiatives to end hunger happening right now. In this article, we’ll explore the best food security, nutrition and food education, and sustainable agriculture volunteer abroad programs.
What Will You Do as a Volunteer to End Hunger?
There are a variety of ways you can help curb the worldwide hunger crisis. For instance, these programs do their part to solve hunger in different ways:
- Volunteer in food rescue in Barcelona, Spain with IVHQ, the world’s #1 rated volunteer organization. Help eliminate food waste and distribute food to vulnerable communities, such as homeless people and the elderly.
- Provide health and nutrition education as a community outreach volunteer in Zambia. This program is hosted through GoEco, a leading ecotourism and volunteer abroad company.
- Volunteer in eco-agriculture in Guatemala with Maximo Nivel, a leading volunteer organization in Latin America. As a volunteer, you’ll assist with the sustainable farming of coffee and macadamia nuts.
As you can see, hunger is a complex issue, and there’s more than one way to address it. From nutrition education and eliminating food waste to sustainable farming and fishing, there are many ways to empower vulnerable people and communities. Even teaching skills to improve the future job prospects of children and women can go a long way in reducing hunger.
Now, it’s time to explore the best volunteer abroad programs to end hunger.
Best Food Security, Nutrition Education & Sustainable Farming Volunteer Programs
Across the world, you can find volunteer abroad programs that focus on addressing hunger. The organizations and programs listed here are high-quality and highly reputable. Read through to see which programs suit you. Join one, and do your part to end hunger.
Founded in 2007, International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) is a responsible volunteer organization that’s placed more than 132,000 people on affordable projects around the world. IVHQ connects thousands of travelers with opportunities overseas each year, enabling volunteers to work alongside local organizations and NGOs in more than 40 countries worldwide. IVHQ designs its programs to deliver sustainable value for communities and the environment. Their programs are also affordable to participate in, starting at $20USD a day, fully hosted. When it comes to addressing hunger, IVHQ has numerous initiatives, including:
- Shelter Support Volunteer Project in Ecuador: Volunteer in Quito, where you’ll help provide food, housing, education and healthcare to those most in need. Duties include preparing and serving meals, helping with laundry and cleaning, and hosting activities and educational workshops.
- Homeless Support in Lisbon, Portugal: Work with people suffering from addiction and help supply them with food, accommodation, basic medical care and other necessities.
- Food Outreach in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam: Work at a kitchen that provides affordable meals to low-income workers and the elderly. As a food outreach volunteer in Vietnam, you’ll make a meaningful difference and see your impact first-hand.
Founded in 2006, GoEco is a leading ecotourism and volunteer company. GoEco has been recommended by major publications such as the USA Today, Guardian, and Boston Globe. They’ve placed more than 20,000 volunteers in projects across 40+ countries. Known for their high standards of safety and quality, GoEco carefully vets every project, ensuring volunteers make a meaningful impact and local communities benefit. GoEco has lots of projects that address the issue of hunger. The two listed below are great opportunities for those hoping to volunteer to end hunger:
- Food Rescue and Community Empowerment in Barcelona, Spain: Head to Barcelona, where you’ll contribute to the fight against hunger by distributing surplus food to those in need. During your free time, the city of Barcelona is at your fingertips!
- Healthcare and Community Outreach in Zambia: Volunteer in Livingstone as a health and community volunteer. Duties include hosting nutrition workshops, assisting with home-based healthcare, helping adults improve English literacy skills and more.
Founded in 2003, Maximo Nivel is a leading provider of volunteer programs in Latin America. What helps set Maximo Nivel apart is that they directly oversee their projects and partners with locally-based institutes, ensuring excellent overall quality and safety. Not only are their programs impactful and immersive, but they’re also affordable.
If you want to volunteer to end hunger in Latin America, Maximo Nivel has a number of amazing projects. For instance, they have Eco-Agriculture programs across the region, including Sustainable Farming in Guatemala, Organic Coffee Farming in Costa Rica, and Collective Farming in Peru. You can learn more and sign up here.
Maximo Nivel also offers Indigenous Community volunteer projects in Peru and Guatemala. Not only are these cultural immersion experiences personally transformative, but you can also help these communities stay resilient and preserve their culture. You’ll assist with a lot of tasks that go towards ensuring food security, such as caring for livestock, helping with farming, and preparing traditional foods. Additional tasks include helping teach children and working on construction projects. You can learn more and sign up here.
Known for trusted programs that make a real impact, Projects Abroad was founded in 1992 and has earned recognition from the likes of BBC, CNBC, and Time. They’re highly respected for their commitment to safety, local communities, and volunteer support. To date, the organization has placed more than 132,000 volunteers in projects overseas, including many in programs dedicated to addressing hunger and sustainable community development. Check out two great opportunities below to volunteer with Projects Abroad to end hunger:
- Migrant and Refugee Support in Mexico: Migrants and refugees fleeing economic decline and violent conflict face uncertainty about where their next meal will come from. As a volunteer in Guadalajara, you’ll help provide clothing, hot meals, and a clean living space to residents of the aid shelter.
- Social Work Internship in Mongolia: Gain social work experience alongside professionals as you work to improve the lives of children in Ulaanbaatar who live in poverty, face bullying at school, and deal with mental health and substance abuse issues. Your help can ensure children and their families have better access to proper nutrition, therapy, medicine and more.
Founded in 2004, African Impact is dedicated to creating real, measurable change across Africa. Projects are developed and grown hand-in-hand with local communities, with dedicated teams working directly on the ground. The organization takes great care to ensure the health and safety of volunteers, as well as providing unforgettable volunteer abroad opportunities. If you want to volunteer to end hunger in the region, African Impact is the top choice. Consider some of their community-focused programs, such as these two:
- Public Health and Community Volunteer Project in Zambia: Head to Livingstone, where you’ll assist at a health clinic as well as provide health and nutrition education to those in rural communities. As a health and community volunteer, you’ll help those facing poverty and a lack of resources gain valuable education and skills to better care for themselves. You’ll also help improve access to medical care for the town.
- Sports Coaching Volunteer Project in South Africa: Make your way to Cape Town, where you’ll provide valuable physical education and coach sports such as soccer and hockey. As an after-school volunteer, you’ll teach these kids about the importance of proper nutrition and exercise, while helping them to learn soft skills such as teamwork, communication, and leadership. It’s a great program that helps set children and teens up for future success (and end the cycle of poverty and hunger).
Founded in 1989, Involvement Volunteers International (IVI) has a mission to educate, fight poverty, improve health and empower change through sustainable volunteer work in developing communities around the world. With 112 projects in 23 countries, IVI has hosted more than 25,000 volunteers to date. IVI has a variety of volunteer projects to fight hunger. If you volunteer with IVI to end hunger, you could join one of the following projects:
- Nutrition and Meal Support in Vietnam: Journey to Ho Chi Minh City. There, you’ll work at a local NGO to help serve affordable, high-quality meals to people living in poverty.
- Street Children Support in the Philippines: Volunteer in Tacloban to provide inspiration and education to some of the city’s most underprivileged children. The shelter where you volunteer relies on volunteer support to help adequately feed, educate and support homeless and impoverished kids in the area.
- Refugee Humanitarian Support in Greece: Help provide intermediate and long-term support for refugees living on Chios Island. Duties include sorting and distributing clothing, food, and other aid. Your work goes a long way in ensuring the migrants have proper nutrition, shelter, and clothing.
Founded in 2007, Volunteering Solutions has helped more than 17,000 volunteers to date. With 150+ projects across 27 countries, Volunteering Solutions has programs in popular destinations such as Ghana, Bali, and Australia. Known for high-quality, affordable, and impactful service projects, the organization does a lot to fight hunger and poverty around the globe.
For example, you could volunteer to end hunger with Volunteering Solutions through their Food Waste Management Project in Porto, Portugal. As a food waste management volunteer, you’ll fight food waste and hunger, helping to feed more than 3,000 people each day. Duties include recovering food from local restaurants and cafes and redistributing it to people in need. Interested? Sign up here.
Through Volunteering Solutions, you could also volunteer for the Public Health Nutrition Project in Tacloban, Philippines. As a volunteer, you’ll help healthcare professionals work to improve the malnourished condition of infants and children in low-income communities. Duties include distributing healthy foods and educating parents and children about the importance of proper diet. Interested? Sign up here.
Surfop was founded in 2015 by Daniel Botha with a mission to build a sustainable future for vulnerable children from township communities around Muizenberg, Cape Town through a powerful formula of surfing, education and life coaching. To date, Surfpop has hosted over 350 international volunteers for their two surf volunteer projects in Cape Town.
Compared to other international volunteer organizations, Surfpop is very unique due to their long-term outlook on supporting the needs of the community. On average, they work with each child beneficiary for 8 years, after which they help them find sustainable employment. This helps end cycles of poverty and create better long-term outcomes.
Surfpop’s Surf Volunteer Program in Muizenberg plays a critical role in helping disadvantaged children escape poverty, crime, and drugs. It’s a comprehensive after-school program that combines surfing and swimming with academic education and life-coaching. Volunteer tasks include teaching proper swimming and surf techniques, teaching various subjects such as Math and English, and educating kids about life skills such as coping skills. The program also provides healthy meals each day, ensuring no child ever goes hungry and has the resources needed to succeed.
To learn more about the Surfpop program, click here!
Founded in 1997 by Richard Walton, Global Vision International (GVI) is an award-winning organization that provides volunteer and internship opportunities in Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, Latin America, and North America. GVI has sent more than 25,000 volunteers overseas on programs ranging from construction, to animal care, to education, and beyond with 95% of past volunteers stating they would want to travel with them again.
GVI’s Community-Based Conservation programs address the issue of hunger by working to conserve, protect and better manage land and water resources. Volunteer duties include collecting data in fishing and hunting areas, working with fishers to better manage resources, raising community awareness about conservation, cleaning up shorelines and beaches, and more. Projects range from Sustainable Fishing Volunteering in Fiji to Coastal Conservation Volunteering in Thailand. Your efforts go a long way in preserving local environments and ensuring resources are efficiently and properly utilized.
Founded in 2013, First Things Foundation (FTF) is a long-term volunteer organization with sites in 4 countries (Guatemala, Sierra Leone, the Republic of Georgia and Mozambique). FTF is currently facilitating 15 projects, all of which are led by locals in the communities they work in. As a Field Worker volunteer with FTF, you’ll commit two years of your life to living in the community you’re serving. But what also sets them apart is that your flight tickets, food, local transport, and accommodation are fully covered, and workers receive a monthly stipend of $375. It’s a much longer commitment than the standard 2- to 4-week volunteer project, but your work can truly make a lasting impact to ending hunger and poverty, and giving communities in need the potential for a sustainable, prosperous future.
Currently, First Things Foundation has a variety of ongoing projects that address hunger, such as:
- Sustainable Chicken Farming in Sierra Leone
- Food Delivery in Guatemala
- Fresh Water Project in Sierra Leone
Becoming a Field Worker with FTF is not for the faint of heart, but it is a way to apply your skills to help communities and people in need. It’s incredibly rewarding for those who persevere. To learn more about becoming a Field Worker, click here and get in touch with FTF.
Volunteer to End Hunger Today!
Hunger is increasing throughout the world, as the COVID-19 pandemic, war and conflict, and economic inflation have created more poverty and instability. If you want to volunteer to end hunger, the best time is now.
The programs listed in this article give you a variety of ways to fight against hunger, from helping distribute food to low-income communities to educating the youth about proper nutrition. You can even help communities learn how to farm, fish, and hunt sustainably.
Now, there’s only one thing left to do: Find the program that matches your budget, interests, and skills, and sign up. Before you know it, you’ll be volunteering abroad to end hunger.
Image Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/sliced-carrots-and-green-bell-pepper-on-brown-wooden-chopping-board-x7-h2yuZVRs