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H.O.W. to help and Their Ship of Hope - First Arrival at Many Disasters

Updated on January 14, 2013
Ship photo from Oziris on
Ship photo from Oziris on

First Responders in Poverty and Disaster

Feed the Hungry is a large non-profit group (LeSea®) that fights hunger and poverty not only in South Bend, Indiana, the tri-state Michioana region, and the rest of the Midwest, but across the nation and throughout the world. Partnered by commerical companies (donations), other non-profits, and faith-based organizations, Feed the Hungry is able to be one of the first on the scene of disaster with food and clean water, medical help and volunteers. They operate at least one ocean liner/cargo ship and have international offices in Asia, Oceana, and Europe.

The End Time Joseph Program is a ministerial outreach of Feed the Hungry that specifically attacks hunger in third world countries and disaster areas globally as well as in the USA. The global effort was solidified in 1987, the parent organization was begun in 1957, and the work itself was started in 1930. Today, it is joined by many other ministries in an international association of congregations that offers programs such as the Bridge of Hope Ministries in Sudan and Haiti to feed starving people and to secure the freedom of slaves.

International Offices of Feed the Hungry

New Zealand
0-800-806-969 (Toll free)
Hong Kong
United Kingdom 
Czech Republic 

"Why don't you help America first?"

Voices constantly raise in protest of missions to help foreign nations, whether based in US Federal Government projects, non-profit organizations, the faith-based community, or the 8-year-old child up the block that donates his allowance to China. These voices say "You should help your own first."

LeSea has served the hungry and poverty stricken in America since 1930, when its founder was just 17 in The Great Depression.

Lester Sumrall, founder of LeSea, recovered from tuberculosis at the age of 17 and set out to serve in America during the Depression. He continued to do so until his death in 1996 at the age of 83, after a 66-year career.

He went out into rural America and talked to farmers and farming communities, persuading them to open their school houses for church services and aide to those in need. He stayed in the homes of those farmers during the days and weeks of these events and worked on their farms during the Depression, having never done such work before. He saw what it was like to haul slop buckets for hogs and repair fences, milk cows in the middle of the night, and a lot of other hard work. Sometimes, he could only lie down in a field at the end of a work day and wonder why he was doing it. Sometimes the work did not amount to much income for the farming family in those days, either. It was here that Lester Sumrall learned about poverty and hunger and gained the desire and the mission to attack it in America.

Sumrall began in America and he never stopped serving this country. He founded his larger organization in 1957 and began adding missions to foreign nations, but never stopped the mission to America.

For instance, over 1/3 of the children of Columbus, Ohio - a big city - are on "welfare" and a greater number than that are eligible. Bridge of Hope and related outreaches connected with LeSea make an impact on that problem. In one county in Kentucky, almost 57% of the children are at or below the US Federal Guideline for Poverty. When Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, truckloads of food, water, and volunteers were sent to arrive in New Orleans before a day had passed. Busloads of additional volunteers were brought to Louisiana and Mississippi by LeSea and its partner ministries in the Midwest and the South. Feed the Hungry always helps America and maintains its ability to help elsewhere at the same time.

Shelter Rock, Applalachia

Job 24:8 - They are wet with the mountain rains and hug the rock for want of a shelter (New American Standard Bible).

Shelter Rock is the local partner of LeSea that is headquartered in Boone, North Carolina. This partner serves by providing food, dental care, and Christian education to starving children throughout the Appalachian Mountains (North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky). Not only that, but they also serve Native American Natives on several of their reservations. Further, Shelter Rock operate in Montana. Outside of America, they sponsor aide to children in Liberia in Africa.

Shelter Rock, under the leadership of Steven and Catherine Reese, are attacking the acute events as well as the aftermath of malnutrition in the Southeast US and Native America. After feeding children and families, the outreach provides massive free medical and dental clinics to treat the effects of malnutrition on the teeth and body. In addition, they hold a Youth Festival to bring some fun into the lives of these children and families. Longer-term food supplies provided are accompanied with nutrition classes.

This is just one of many organization that joins LeSea, Bridge of Hope at World Harvest Church, and an international fellowship in attacking hunger, sickness, and poverty.

Shelter Rock programs: Shelter Rock Ministries Outreaches

Below is a video record of some of LeSea's partners in Haiti. They have operated an orphanage, school, food distribution point, clinic, and several other services long-term and are now fighting the effects of the January 12, 2010 earthquake. Mercy and Sharing did not suffer damage during this event. They are able to act as a center for earthquake aide in Port-Au-Prince.

LeSea Work in Haiti

Areas Served by LeSea and Partners

Many countries have been aided by LeSea and its partner ministries and most recent projects in the 2000s and 2010s include the following:

  • Burma
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • China
  • Haiti - Diasters in 2009, Earthquake 2010, Floods 2012
  • Honduras
  • India
  • Japan - Multiple disasters
  • Kenya
  • Liberia
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar
  • Nicaragua
  • Niger
  • North Korea
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Sudan
  • Thailand
  • Uganda
  • Swaziland
  • USA


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    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      Great article. I had not heard of Shelter Rock although I am familiar with LeSea.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 7 years ago from North America

      I'd like to know more about the Mommon initiatives in these diastes, becuase they seek no publicity whatsoever, so we never know.

      Dim - This is truly a remarkable organization, built out of one young man's journey in the Depression. I hope more can read about it. Thanks for commenting!

      hello, hello -- Thank you so much for reading this Hub. I think not many people know about this group.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      All I can say a great hub and words are not always enough to describe something. Thank you.

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 7 years ago from Great Britain

      Excellent information as always and very encouraging to read about someone so dedicated to helping the hungry.x

    • dusanotes profile image

      dusanotes 7 years ago from Windermere, FL

      Patty, thank you for the update on the Joseph Project. Whoever will help the poor, especially now in Haiti, must be congratulated. My Church, the Mormons, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is often first on the scene with help as they are in America with Hurricanes. They have sent thousands of tons of food and medical supplies, and perhaps the Joseph Project partners with the Mormons. Thanks for this fine hub. Don White