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This Christmas Feed a Silent Guest and End World Hunger

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Imagine if every person gave a gift this Christmas to a “silent guest,” one of the world’s hungry. During Christmas 1947, Americans did just that, continuing the successful “silent guest” program started in Thanksgiving of that year by a former aspiring actress named Iris Gabriel.

People imagined a “silent guest” at their holiday meal, and donated the cost of the imaginary food plate to buy a CARE package. These packages fed many thousands in countries overseas rebuilding from World War II.

This Christmas Eve a company called Edesia will be making packages of plumpy’nut to send to the African nation of Chad. Food is out of reach for the many poor in Chad, a country where drought and conflict have taken their toll. The smallest children pay the heaviest price unless the outside world intervenes with foods like plumpy’nut.

Plumpy’nut is a special package of food that saves infants from succumbing to dangerous malnutrition. There is no more important gift these children can receive.


Edesia, located in Providence, RI, makes plumpy’nut to save children from deadly malnutrition. In the above photo boxes of plumpy are being prepared for shipment.

The plumpy produced by Edesia provides small children quick nutrients to spare them from irreversible physical and mental damage caused by malnutrition. (photos courtesy Edesia)


Edesia accepts donations so you can help them fill this plumpy’nut order to Chad. One dollar actually buys several little packages, or sachets, of plumpy. Their plant has also produced this peanut paste for East Africa, Yemen, Guatemala, Haiti and Pakistan. Aid agencies like the World Food Programme, UNICEF and others distribute the plumpy’nut in these countries. You can make “silent guest” donations to these organizations at their respective web sites.

There are also ways you can feed a silent guest simply by playing on your computer. If you play the online game Free Rice, 10 grains of rice are donated to the hungry every time you get a correct answer. The rice is paid for by advertisers on the site.


The award-winning game FreeRice raises funds to help the World Food Programme fight hunger.

There are many ways you can give a holiday gift to a silent guest at your holiday celebration. Happy Holidays!

See also Commentary in the San Francisco Chronicle: What you can do today to help end world hunger.

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About William Lambers

William Lambers is the author of several books including Ending World Hunger: School Lunches for Kids Around the World. This book features over 50 interviews with officials from the UN World Food Programme and other charities discussing school feeding programs that fight child hunger. He is also the author of Nuclear Weapons, The Road to Peace: From the Disarming of the Great Lakes to the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, Open Skies for Peace, The Spirit of the Marshall Plan: Taking Action Against World Hunger, School Lunches for Kids Around the World, The Roadmap to End Global Hunger, From War to Peace and the Battle of Britain. He is also a writer for the History News Service. His articles have been published by newspapers including the Cincinnati Enquirer, Des Moines Register, the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Buffalo News, San Diego Union Tribune, the Providence Journal, Free Lance-Star (VA), the Bakersfield Californian, the Washington Post, Miami Herald (FL), Chicago Sun-Times, the Patriot Ledger (MA), Charleston Sunday Gazette Mail (WV), the Cincinnati Post, Salt Lake Tribune (UT), North Adams Transcript (MA), Wichita Eagle (KS), Monterey Herald (CA), Athens Banner-Herald (GA) and the Duluth News Journal. His articles also appear on History News Network (HNN) and Think Africa Press. Mr. Lambers is a graduate of the College of Mount St. Joseph in Ohio with degrees in Liberal Arts (BA) and Organizational Leadership (MS). He is also a member of the Feeding America Blogger Council.