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Radday family
Ellen and Harold Radday's Story
Arlington, VA
We are honored to share Ellen and Harold’s story and are deeply grateful for the legacy of hope they...
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Radday family
Ellen and Harold Radday's Story
Arlington, VA

Ellen and Harold Radday began supporting Feeding America in 1998. After Harold’s passing in 2011, Ellen faithfully continued donating to our organization. Last year, Ellen informed us that she had named Feeding America in her estate plan and we welcomed her into the Feeding America van Hengel Society. The van Hengel Society is named for John van Hengel, the founder of the modern food bank movement, and it honors individuals who make legacy gifts, including bequests and charitable gift annuities, in support of Feeding America.

After Ellen’s recent passing, we connected with Ellen and Harold’s daughters Liz Starr and Jeanne Radday. We are honored to share Ellen and Harold’s story and are deeply grateful for the legacy of hope they provided for people struggling with hunger.

In 1961, when Ellen and Harold Radday wed, they didn’t know that their lives would take them around the world. But Harold’s Foreign Service career did just that, eventually propelling them and their three children to destinations such as Kenya, Belgium, Malta and Germany, among others. Ultimately, the couple would come back to the States, settling in the Washington, D.C. area.

Remembered as philanthropists, social justice advocates and ardent supporters of hunger relief, Ellen and Harold’s worldwide encounters opened their eyes to the devastating effects of poverty and hunger. Ellen was a “very gentle, kind rebel. She made some waves,” said Liz. Her love of people was obvious as she worked in family counseling and adoption services at Catholic Charities, a nonprofit organization, and served as a certified chaplain later in life. With deep faith and a mutual desire to serve, Ellen and Harold’s open hearts brought comfort and relief to many in their local communities, whether in the United States or abroad.

Meals and More — the Value of Social Connection

For the Radday family, meals provided the perfect setting for fellowship with others, both in their own home and the local community. “Our parents were a very hospitable couple,” said Jeanne, “Growing up, we always shared dinner together as a family, sitting down at the table together. Special occasions such as birthdays and graduations were always celebrated with a special dinner. Meals and relationship were an important foundation for a well-nourished life.”

Ellen and Harold consistently reached out within new communities and had an ability to find common ground with a wide range of people, building relationships that thrived. Very often, rapport started out “with a shared need and desire for a good meal; the rest flowed naturally from this foundation.”

Hunger Relief in Action — Life Lessons forTheir Children and Grandchildren

Liz and Jeanne described their parents’ support of hunger relief beyond contributions. They relayed how their parents would “put aside some of our groceries and donate them to the local food pantry.” Their mother was also an active participant in the Soup Kitchen Ministry at their local church. Jeanne remembered fondly that when her own daughter Sophia was in Girl Scouts during elementary school: “My Dad took her on a service project to the local food pantry in Arlington and shared with her the experience of supporting hunger relief both by donating groceries and organizing them on warehouse shelves in preparation for distribution to the community.”

Hunger’s Impact — a Global Perspective

Reflecting on her parents’ experience abroad in relation to the issue of hunger, Jeanne continued, “While living in the developing world with the U.S. diplomatic mission, they saw malnutrition, and as a result, reductions in health, learning, civic engagement and human development more broadly. Our parents strove to understand this dynamic and to play a role in alleviating malnutrition and hunger.

Our parents knew about the important links between nutrition, human development and global progress — that we as living beings need to be well-nourished in order to be healthy, to benefit from education and other resources, to reach our full human potential and to thrive generally as engaged members of society.”

Feeding America is an honored beneficiary of donations from this loving couple. On behalf of the 42 million people struggling with hunger in the United States, we thank the Radday family for their legacy of giving. Their generous gifts translate into hundreds of thousands of meals for families, children and older adults across the country, bringing the people they have touched hope for a brighter tomorrow.

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Dr. Frank Stile
Dr. Frank Stile's Story
Las Vegas, NV
The Frank L. Stile Foundation has donated the financial equivalent of nearly 2 million meals to the...
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Dr. Frank Stile
Dr. Frank Stile's Story
Las Vegas, NV

When it comes to child hunger in the Las Vegas area, Dr. Frank Stile wants to be part of the solution. So far, this has included starting the Frank L. Stile Foundation to serve the special needs of children and families in crisis, and speaking about local hunger wherever he can. He’s even hosted a carnival — complete with jugglers and clowns — to celebrate donation milestones.

There is a lot to celebrate. The Frank L. Stile Foundation has donated the financial equivalent of nearly 2 million meals to the Feeding America network since the foundation’s inception in 2011. Its goal is to donate 750,000 meals in 2017 and, by 2018, donate 1 million meals each year to people facing hunger.

Now an accomplished cosmetic plastic surgeon, Dr. Stile remembers his early childhood. As the first generation of immigrant parents, his family was of modest means but always had a seat at the table for someone in need. “Neighborhood kids would ask my mother for food, which she gladly shared,” said Dr. Stile. Once he asked his mother why kids came to her for food. To which his mother replied, “Not everyone is as fortunate as us.”

The Value of Volunteering

Decades later during the Great Recession, rising levels of food insecurity in his Las Vegas community spurred Dr. Stile to take action. “I could not ignore the statistics and what I saw,” he said, “The recession affected children. I could not believe the scope of the problem. It just didn’t make sense.” He turned to Three Square, the local Feeding America food bank in Las Vegas, learned more about domestic hunger and got involved.

Dr. Stile and his team volunteer twice a month at the food bank and at other organizations that help families and children. Sometimes they pack lunches for kids, other days are spent packing meals for the elderly or meal boxes for families living in shelters. “We do the deal,” he said. With busy schedules, the team has to make a concerted effort to volunteer. Nonetheless, Dr. Stile said, “we are happy we gave our time to help others.”

Providing Financial Support to the Fight Against Hunger

Inspired by best-selling author, entrepreneur and philanthropist Tony Robbins’ personal story of childhood hunger, and having learned even more about local hunger through his volunteer experiences, Dr. Stile set a goal to raise funds as well.

Commenting on reaching the 2 million meal donation goal, he said, “We’ve done something that is worthwhile. I have performed operations to help transform people but nothing has felt like this. Our team knows at the end of the year we make a difference. It makes you feel different about yourself and the world.”

Addressing Hunger Locally and Nationally

In addressing the importance of both local and national efforts to fight hunger Dr. Stile said, “It is easy to get jaded and feel that donations go into a black hole. But when you go to the food bank, with an army of people and pallets stacked up high, you touch, feel and smell where the funds go. You feel you are directly impacting local hunger.” He continued, “Nationally, when you partner with an organization like Feeding America with food banks around the country, there is large reach.”

As Feeding America works to eradicate child hunger, we asked Dr. Stile’s opinion on what is needed most. “Education, education, education,” he replied. “The problem of domestic hunger cuts across every line. It is so pervasive yet virtually unknown by most people in our country. This is a big deal.”

In the United States, 13 million children — 1 in 6 — face hunger. On their behalf we thank Dr. Stile, his team and the Frank L. Stile Foundation for their ongoing efforts to raise awareness of child hunger and provide meals to children and families in need.

Image credit: Michael Herb

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David Askew
David Askew's Story
California
For David, the days of hunger have been replaced with the hope that he can inspire others.
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David Askew
David Askew's Story
California

David Askew works two jobs, loves painting and helps the men and women who live on skid row in downtown Los Angeles. To understand the wonder of his achievements, David explains, one must look at his past: David spent 11 years homeless, suffering from addiction, living on those very streets on skid row.

Hitting bottom and owning only a lighter, David made his way to the Midnight Mission, an organization that assists people experiencing homelessness and moves them to self-sufficiency by providing services, counseling, education and training. That day was a turning point for David, and the Mission became his home for nearly three years.

Now a Midnight Mission alumni and five years in recovery, David remembers the challenges of the streets — especially the daily battle with hunger. “It was tough out there,” says David, “you do what you have to do.” And for David that meant visiting food programs at local churches, panhandling and at times even stealing food or eating discarded meals.

David Askew outside of the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank

Those memories come to the forefront when he sees the people currently walking where he walked, living where he lived. And they propel him to give back by reaching out a helping hand or providing a word of encouragement, ever striving to do more.

David finds inspiration in the hunger-relief efforts of Feeding America and fellow compassionate supporters who help to end hunger in their own communities.

For David, the days of hunger have been replaced with the hope that he can inspire others. “My personal life has made me what I am today.” His advice? “Never give up on yourself, no matter how hard it may seem. Keep pushing forward.”

David’s story was profiled in a short documentary titled The Unseen by Feeding America supporter and hunger advocate Liv Rosenbloom. His art work is available here.

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Bella Tunno Michelle Buelow
The Buelow Family's Story
North Carolina
Since 2013, Bella Tunno’s Buy One Give One Initiative (B1G Initiative) helps alleviate childhood...
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Bella Tunno Michelle Buelow
The Buelow Family's Story
North Carolina

For the Buelow family, “changing their corner of the world” is more than a phrase. Todd, Michelle and their two daughters each does his or her part to address hunger, poverty and homelessness, among other social issues, in their community.

It only takes a short conversation with her to learn that business savvy and a caring heart find their perfect match in Michelle Buelow. A mom-turned-entrepreneur, Michelle is CEO of Bella Tunno, a baby and parenting accessories line designed to make a difference. Launched in 2005, Bella Tunno has grown from an in-home venture to a thriving commercial business with diaper bags, crawler kneepads, bibs, blankets, pint-size bodysuits and more available at retailers of all sizes, including Nordstrom and Amazon.

A passion for hunger relief may seem misplaced amid this fast-paced, successful business. But for the Buelow family, helping others — including eradicating hunger — is not an afterthought, but rather part of the company’s very foundation.

One impactful moment solidified the family’s long-term commitment to hunger relief. A volunteer experience at a local elementary school brought the severity of child hunger into focus. While sharing tangerines with first and second-graders during story hour, Michelle discovered that some of the children had never heard of the fruit. And before she could explain that the peel should be discarded, several students bit into them like apples. But then came the biggest surprise. “Some children chose to continue eating the rind because they were so hungry,” said Michelle. “You cannot know that happens and not do something about it.”

Blending the Buelow family’s passion for hunger relief with Bella Tunno’s child-centric mission made perfect sense. Since 2013, Bella Tunno’s Buy One Give One Initiative (B1G Initiative) helps alleviate childhood hunger in the United States. For every product sold, Bella Tunno donates one meal to Feeding America to help children struggling with hunger. “Through the campaign, consumers play a role in ending hunger,” said Michelle. “They have direct impact, connecting one child in America with one meal.”

Now in its fourth year, the B1G Initiative has gone from baby steps to an all-out sprint, having raised funds for more than 685,000 meals to date. “The more we do, the more we want to do,” Michelle said. “It hurts your heart to see children facing hunger.” And so, to address the 1 in 6 children who struggle with hunger across America, Bella Tunno will spread the love even further: From Valentine’s Day through the end of February 2017, every product sold will generate not one, but a six-meal donation, to Feeding America.

We asked Michelle how a heart for hunger relief grew into a national effort with Feeding America. “It was not by chance,” said Michelle emphatically. “It was through research.” Bella Tunno staff compiled a spreadsheet of non-profits associated with key words like “children,” “family” and “meals.” Then they dove further, analyzing and comparing Charity Navigator ratings, fundraising efficiency, charitable commitment ratings, credibility and whether the funds would be used here in the United States. It revealed one conclusion: “Feeding America became the clear choice,” said Michelle. “We love our partnership. When you give to Feeding America, your gifts will have the most impact and the most reach.”

Proud of their commitment to alleviating hunger with Feeding America, Michelle, her family and the Bella Tunno team invite everyone to share the love during this Valentine’s season and all year round. Through the B1G Initiative, “for every action there is a philanthropic reaction” — connecting food-insecure children with much-needed meals. And as a result of their partnership with Feeding America, with its ability to feed more children than any other hunger-relief organization, participants can know “that what you do is exponentially impactful.”

As part of Bella Tunno’s commitment to "do better, live brighter and love bigger," each sale triggers a financial donation to help someone in need. Donations are directed to the Matt Tunno Make a Difference Memorial Fund, created to honor Michelle’s late brother who struggled with drug dependency. From there, funds are disbursed to a myriad of philanthropic causes close to the Buelow family’s heart in their community of Charlotte, North Carolina and across the country, including hunger relief for children.

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Spiritual Gangster is a yoga-inspired clothing brand that reflects an inner state of being. A state of being rooted in gratitude.
Spiritual Gangster's Story
For every item sold, the company donates proceeds to provide a meal to a person in need.
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Spiritual Gangster is a yoga-inspired clothing brand that reflects an inner state of being. A state of being rooted in gratitude.
Spiritual Gangster's Story

With mantras like “Grateful,” “Love is All We Need,” and “Warrior” inscribed in the designs of each collection, Spiritual Gangster is a yoga-inspired clothing brand that reflects an inner state of being. A state of being rooted in gratitude.

For every item sold, the company donates proceeds to provide a meal to a person in need. “We believe that no person should go hungry,” comments Spiritual Gangster CEO Ian Lopatin, “and every person has the right to food and shelter.” With an astounding 48 million people in America struggling with hunger, he adds, “We can do something to end this epidemic by donating meals, educating our community, and empowering one another to make a social impact.”

With Spiritual Gangster’s roots in Phoenix, Lopatin talks about the brand’s early affiliation with St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance. He mentions, “We found that they were the first food bank in Arizona and built a close relationship with them. In addition to monetary donations, our team packed meals alongside organizers and other dedicated volunteers.”

“Beyond good karma, Spiritual Gangster is committed to addressing and eradicating America’s hunger epidemic,” Lopatin explains and further adds, “The brand and the business is a platform to give back and inspire others to be agents of change. In giving to others, we are truly giving to ourselves. In feeding others, we are feeding ourselves.” Another mantra frequently messaged in Spiritual Gangster’s collections is “We Are All One” – echoing his belief in connectedness. Lopatin concludes with, “Spiritual Gangster is truly a movement disguised as a clothing brand.”

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