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Students with Zimconserve in Tanzania.
Natalie Jacobsen

Natalie Jacobsen

Natalie Jacobsen is the senior manager of marketing and communications at the Combined Federal Campaign of the National Capital Area. She works in tandem with a superstar team of passionate marketing professionals to develop inspiring messages and materials encouraging federal employees to donate to charities. An avid advocate, traveler, plant mom, writer and photographer, she has found her dream role at Global Impact, where her interests and ambitions collide in the best possible combination. When she isn’t fervently scratching her head over her keyboard to find the right words, she’s jet-setting to push her own boundaries, learning new perspectives, ideas, and cultures – and finding moments in between to capture on notepad and film.

By
Natalie Jacobsen
Photo Credit
Zimconserve

“For now I ask no more than the justice of eating.” Pablo Neruda, Chilean Poet, Nobel Prize Winner.

Saving the world starts with a seed – a seed of an idea, that grows with enough care, nourishment, attention, patience and determination to feed those who go hungry around the world every day. 

Saving the world starts with a seed – vegetables, fruits, grains, – that grows to fill a child’s outreached, hands, grows to fill plates on a kitchen table and grows into a garden that feeds a village. 
 


Nazarene Compassionate Ministries, Armenia

It’s a new year, a new decade, and it’s time to pave a path toward progressing the United Nation’s 2030 goals – particularly, Number 2: Zero Hunger. Countless causes: poverty, gender equality, education, sanitation and health, sustainability, and climate change are rooted in hunger throughout the world, indiscriminately dispersed throughout first-, second- and third- world nations. And hunger, in turn, spurs these same issues to deepen and worsen the longer a community goes without a steady source of nutrition.

It is estimated that about 815 million people of the 7.6 billion people in the world, suffer from chronic undernourishment

If you or your company is looking for a way to support the worldwide cause of eradicating hunger, Global Impact’s charity partner, Seed Programs International (SPI), has a perfect opportunity that proves to be fun, nearly effortless, team-building and world-saving. Their Seed Packing Program is a simple and economical solution to helping confront the wide scale issue of hunger.

How does it work?

SPI has been using SPI’s 6-step approach, for 20 years, a “time-tested” way of providing high-quality vegetable seeds that help a community grow into a stable, sustainable and healthy environment. They do so through the efforts and care of their partners and supporters. 

Partners donate seeds, and whether they were left over from harvest, unusable for the year, or not in regional demand, the seeds are high quality, and delivered to regions that match need, geographical, and geopolitical climates. All seed is tested regularly to confirm germination rate and vitality of the potential crop. 

Once testing is finished, the seeds are packaged with instructions in multiple languages, complete with proper documentation, and transported to local partners using a secure delivery method to prevent tampering and loss of product. SPI follows up with each partner to ask about the harvest and offer ongoing support to encourage self-sufficiency, ultimately reducing hunger and boosting the local economy with a source of steady income.

How do you get involved? Try a seed packing event with a group from your company, school, conference, church, or neighborhood. Similar to their 6-step approach, a seed packing event results in  high-quality vegetable seeds provided to local communities all over the world via a humanitarian organization partner. As described by a SPI staff member: 

“Vegetables are a catalyst for change — they feed people today and provide security for tomorrow. Your packets will end up in the hands of those who can best use them to improve the lives of their families and communities. We'll connect you with an international partner if you don't already have one in mind.

“We'll provide all the supplies for your event and help you get organized — you bring the volunteers and smiles.”
 

There is no easiest part of the process – it’s all easy! 

  • First, a representative from SPI will be assigned to help oversee your event. They’ll coordinate volunteers, roles and needs, and they’ll be with you throughout the whole project.
  • Then, SPI comes to you! When your community, family, school, church or office is ready to host a seed-packing event, SPI joins arms you with the means to fulfill your charitable goals, no matter where you are.
  • You’ll be given a variety of vegetable seeds, already tested and ready for packaging – along with all of the measurement equipment for accuracy. 
  • If you’re hosting a volunteer project through your work, your company’s logo can be printed on the individual seed packets.
  • Stations and roles will be established for smooth sailing – don’t forget to put on some music! This event should be inspiring, engaging and nothing short of fun while helping those in need.
  • From there, with all materials in hand, it’s up to your team to assign roles and create an assembly line to pack the seeds and get them ready for shipping. Then, slip the seed packets into the provided shipping envelopes, and get them over to a Seed Packing Event Coordinator.
  • Pat yourselves on the back! You’ve just helped a community take a step toward erasing hunger forever.

How successful are these packing events? Results will vary based on the group or event size, seeds available, and region they’re being delivered to. At one packing event in August 2019, SPI teamed up with volunteers at the Million Dollar Round Table during the Global Conference held in Sydney, Australia, where they packed 20,000 seeds!

That’s the equivalent of 50 tons of fresh vegetables. To put this in context, the average healthy American with adequate sources of food everyday consumes about 120 pounds of vegetables a year, that's millions of seeds! This one event generated enough food to feed over 800 people for an entire year!

Now we’ve planted the seed. It’s your turn to take this seed, care for it and turn it into more than an idea: turn it into a garden, turn it into a nutritional source and turn it into hope. 


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Tags
Charity
Seed Program International
end poverty
end world hunger
nutrition and health
rural agriculture
third world aid
employee volunteer opportunity
employee engagement
charitable giving
seed packing program

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