Stop Hunger Now, an international hunger relief agency based in Raleigh, is changing its name, but not its core mission.
The organization that held its first food-packaging event on Dec. 10, 2005 and has since put together more than 300 million meals now will be called Rise Against Hunger. The organization’s goal is to end world hunger by 2030.
Rod W. Brooks, president and CEO of the agency, announced the name change, new logo and the evolving mission to “provide food and life-changing aid” to several rooms full of supporters in Rise Against Hunger’s new offices on National Drive off Glenwood Avenue.
To continue with its international mission, the organization needed to be able to trademark its name, and that wasn’t possible with Stop Hunger Now. That’s when the new brand was born and a logo that features symbols of the education, crop cultivation and clean water distribution that play a key role in its mission of helping the world’s most vulnerable develop sustainable practices that go toward battling global hunger.
“It calls forth this movement we’re trying to create,” Brooks said as he noted the open book, crop leaves and water droplet in the letter “i” in “Rise Against Hunger.”
At the celebration Thursday, two Raleigh chefs – Steve Day, owner of Plates Neighborhood Kitchen on Glenwood South, and Arthur Gordon, owner of Irregardless Cafe – offered hors d’oeuvres made from the agency’s meal packets that are distributed in 37 countries from centers in 20 cities and five international partners.
Over the past decade, volunteers have met in the Triangle and across the nation, scooping rice out of boxes and funneling the grains with soy, dehydrated vegetables and a flavoring mix that includes 23 essential vitamins and minerals into small meal bags that are sealed for shipping throughout the world.
The bags, which have a shelf life of two years, can be easily stored and feed six people each. They are packed into larger boxes that are distributed to school feeding programs, orphanages and places in crisis.
Gordon added sauteed onions, celery, carrots, mashed parsnips, cumin, coriander and curry powder to the meal packages, then grilled Indian-inspired rice-based croquets and topped them with sweet onion jam.
Day offered several Malaysian and Peruvian inspired dishes that pleased Silvia Roscot, who works in Rise Against Hunger’s emergency relief program. Roscot said she had tasted the meals before without any of the chef’s additions.
“This is amazing,” she told Day.
The organization dates back to 1998, but took a giant step toward the global organization it is today in 2005, when Ray Buchanan, the founder of Stop Hunger Now, brought 50 volunteers to a Raleigh warehouse one December day to package 20,000 meals.
The organization plans to focus on education that can lead to smarter growth of crops.
Though ending hunger by 2030 might seem like an ambitious goal, there was much enthusiasm at the agency’s event Thursday among volunteers and workers who think it can be attained and sustained.