Meals for Millions
How Freedom from Hunger Began
 
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Clifford Clinton 
Clifford Clinton, Founder
Meals For Millions
 
Meals for Millions, the founding organization of Freedom from Hunger, was established to realize the vision of an extraordinary man. Clifford Clinton was a successful entrepreneur who first took action against hunger in his own neighborhood and then saw the dimensions of that neighborhood expand to encompass the world.

The child of missionaries stationed in China at the turn of the century, Clinton saw people starve to death. They had tried everything to keep their families fed, but with no resources and no options, they slowly perished. For Clifford Clinton, the experience defined his life. During the Depression he became the owner of Clifton's Cafeterias in Southern California. He never turned anyone away because they couldn't pay for a meal. But he wanted to do more.

  Dr. Borsook
  Dr. Henry Borsook,
Cal Tech Biochemist
As World War II raged on in Europe and the Pacific, it became apparent to Clinton and others that the Allied victory would be tempered by the widespread famine that the war would leave in its wake. In 1944, Clinton asked Dr. Henry Borsook, a Cal Tech biochemist, to develop a food supplement that would provide proper nutritional values while costing no more than five cents per meal. Clinton offered $5,000 of his own money to finance the research. In less than one year, Dr. Borsook met the challenge and brought forth Multi-Purpose Food (MPF), a high-protein food supplement that could be made for just three cents per meal. Production started immediately.

MPFchild 
The world first heard about MPF through a Reader's Digest article published in September 1945. Titled "How We Can Feed Europe's Hungry," the article generated numerous contributions from readers eager to help. The money was returned, however, because no agency yet existed to distribute MPF to the world's hungry people.

Although Clinton approached several government agencies and relief and welfare organizations, he was unsuccessful in persuading them to undertake the tremendous task of distributing MPF. As a result, Clinton, along with Dr. Borsook and a few California business associates, decided to incorporate their own non-profit. General Mills agreed to manufacture MPF on a massive scale and on July 5, 1946, the Meals for Millions Foundation was born. Its mission: relief and prevention of starvation. Its tool: Multi-Purpose Food, the "Friendship Food for a Hungry World."

  MPF Delivery
Immediately, MPF was shipped to countries where chronic malnutrition and famine were rampant. During the next ten years, 6.5 million pounds of MPF were distributed to relief agencies in 129 countries, including the United States. This decade was devoted to experimenting, learning and documenting the true merits and acceptability of MPF. Reports were produced as the basis of the Foundation's accounting to contributors, while results were gathered for scientific documentation and evaluation on the merits of MPF.

As famine abated in the mid-1950s, Clifford Clinton began leading his organization away from relief and toward the prevention of chronic hunger--a condition that affects many more millions of people. Clinton was convinced that while food relief was essential as a stop-gap measure to fight starvation, chronic hunger and malnutrition required something more: self-help. As new self-help programs developed, MPF began a slow transition process.

JFK 
President
John F. Kennedy
 
In the 1960s, another organization began to cross the path of Meals for Millions. The American Freedom from Hunger Foundation, founded at the behest of President John F. Kennedy, mobilized Americans to become involved in the Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO's) global Freedom from Hunger campaign. The organization's mission was to educate the American public about hunger issues and to encourage volunteerism.

In 1968, the American Freedom from Hunger Foundation sponsored its first "Walk for Development." It was an enormous success, drawing more than 3,000 participants, 650 of whom walked the entire 33 miles, through the streets of Fargo, North Dakota and Moorhead, Minnesota. Within a year, more than 100 "Walks" raised over $800,000 and involved over a million people in 16 states.

  Bolivian Women
One of the early beneficiaries of the walks was Meals for Millions. It was the beginning of a relationship that would bring the two organizations together. In 1979, Meals for Millions merged with the American Freedom from Hunger Foundation. The newly blended organization dedicated itself to serving the poorest of the poor in rural areas where the need was greatest. The final shipment of MPF was sent. Other organizations providing disaster relief took up the manufacture and distribution of high-protein, vitamin-enriched food supplements patterned after MPF.

In 1987, the Meals for Millions entity was consolidated into the Freedom from Hunger operations to help meet the challenge of creating a world without hunger. Freedom from Hunger continues to provide the Meals for Millions charitable fundraising services. Today, Freedom from Hunger still follows the vision of its founder, using sound nutritional science to guide its programs, being mindful of scarce resources and, most of all, giving people resources to help themselves to a future free from hunger.

Freedom from Hunger Donation Page
The Freedom from Hunger organization solicits donations through the Meals for Millions charitable fundraising service. Freedom from Hunger is a nonprofit, international, nongovernmental, nonsectarian organization classified by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) charity. All donations to Freedom from Hunger are fully tax-deductible. The name on your credit card statement will show up as Freedom from Hunger.
 
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