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Andrea Crowder
Andrea Crowder's Story
Miami, FL
As part of the business plan at Andrea Crowder Fitness, the organization supports charities that...
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Andrea Crowder
Andrea Crowder's Story
Miami, FL

The request arrived with seemingly divine timing. An invitation to a “Farm to Table” event for the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, a member of the Feeding America network, was an answer to a prayer for Andrea Crowder, who wanted to feel more connected to her giving. She marked her calendar and, when the day came, attended the event with her young daughter.

Andrea, a life coach with a message of freedom and flexibility, wants to be a force for good. As part of the business plan at Andrea Crowder Fitness, the organization supports charities that make a difference, including Feeding America.

Already a donor to Feeding America, Andrea chose to “step it up” after hearing Tony Robbins talk about his experience with childhood hunger, his partnership with Feeding America and his support of individuals facing hunger. His story resonated with Andrea’s own early years when the kindness of strangers helped soothe difficult family circumstances. To date, Andrea’s donations to Feeding America have equated to over 100,000 meals for people struggling with hunger.

We asked Andrea how it feels to give back. “If I had to say one word, it would be ‘empowered,’” she said. “I feel empowered when I can help someone. I know how defeating it feels to depend on other people. How humbled and desperate you feel when you get to that point. I know how hard that is.”

Now on the giving end, Andrea reflected on her experience at the food bank event. “I did not realize that the issue of hunger and Feeding America’s work go well beyond a meal. Feeding America helps put people up on their feet,” she said. “I was surprised to hear that you partner with other organizations to help people who fall on hard times.” She continued, “It was so nice to shake hands with the people who work to end hunger and see what is going on in the community. It gave me a bigger vision of hunger relief.”

It is a vision that Andrea wishes to instill in her children as well. With the belief that “even if you only have a little, you can give a little to others,” Andrea added, “You feel more fulfilled when you feel connected, when you know your actions have a bigger impact on others.”

On behalf of the 42 million people in the United States who struggle with hunger, we thank Andrea for her ongoing support of our work and for her vision of a hunger-free America.

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Shady Rays
Shady Rays' Story
Giving back has always been a focus for Shady Rays — a small, independent company specializing in...
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Shady Rays
Shady Rays' Story

Although not every Shady Rays customer will catch air on a wakeboard, land an inverted aerial or conquer an alpine slope, they all have one thing in common: They enable Feeding America to supply much-needed food to people facing hunger. That is because Shady Rays helps provide 11 meals to Feeding America every time a customer places an order.

Giving back has always been a focus for Shady Rays — a small, independent company specializing in polarized sunglasses for active lifestyles. But honing in on domestic hunger was a direct result of customer feedback. Chris, the founder of Shady Rays commented, “Our customers and team were passionate about addressing a core need — specifically here in the United States — which resulted in our partnership with Feeding America. They spoke loud and clear; they wanted donations to stay right here at home. Feeding America is the perfect match for our company’s desire to have local impact and make sure that every order that goes out the door makes a difference.”

“After analyzing several highly rated nonprofit organizations,” said Chris, “we felt our customers’ concerns fit well with Feeding America’s work to help end hunger. And the impact of $1 = 11 meals is not only tangible, but substantial.” He continued, “Our partnership with Feeding America is a big motivator to our team. For us, helping provide meals to people struggling with hunger is always top of mind. It gives purpose to our work.”

Chris and other members of the Shady Rays team have helped alleviate hunger in their local communities as well by working with a local soup kitchen and participating in volunteer events and food drives for Feeding America food banks, including Dare to Care in Louisville, Kentucky.

Shady Rays’ motto of “Live Hard. We Got You.” applies not only to their products and customer service but also to the company’s impact on people struggling with hunger. To date, Shady Rays has donated nearly 670,000 meals to Feeding America. As they look to the future, the company’s goal is to provide the equivalent of 1 million meals annually. Through continued dedication to the cause, even more meals will reach people in need — including families, children and seniors — giving them the nutrition they need to work hard and thrive.

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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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