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While Stop Hunger Now is headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., we would not be able to package and distribute millions of meals worldwide without the support and efforts of our International Affiliates. Last week, representatives of Stop Hunger Now U.S. traveled to Italy for a summit with our six affiliates: Stop Hunger Now India, Stop Hunger Now Italy, Stop Hunger Now Malaysia, Stop Hunger Now Peru, Stop Hunger Now Philippines and Stop Hunger Now Southern Africa. We sat down with Tom Barbitta, Stop Hunger Now Chief Marketing Officer, and Jordan Lynch, International Affiliate Development Manager, to gather their insights from the summit.

Q: What are the advantages to having partners in countries around the globe?

Barbitta: World hunger is a global issue, so it’s essential that Stop Hunger Now have global partnerships in place. We cannot end world hunger without a committed network of partners. Stop Hunger Now is already a global organization. Our international affiliates are as committed to ending hunger as we are in the U.S., and they are very much part of this organization. Our headquarters are in the U.S., but our reach is far and wide.

Lynch: Collaborating on an international scale is complex and demanding. We have a lot of work ahead of us but we are doing it with a group that is committed and capable.

Q: What did you learn through interactions with our partners?

Barbitta: They each have exceptional character, and the starting point for an organization that is in the business of ending hunger is character. Each affiliate has a razor-sharp focus on our purpose. Our affiliates are eager for us all to make progress and to solve the problem of hunger together.

Lynch: This group of leaders takes the work we do very seriously while still being able to laugh with each other. Building relationships came easy as it quickly felt like I was with old friends.

Q: What was your biggest takeaway from the summit?

Barbitta: The most important thing to know for people who are learning about Stop Hunger Now is that there is a global commitment to the mission, and we have the means to affect it in a tangible, almost immediate fashion. Every one of our affiliates is working toward that mission of ending hunger in our lifetime.

Lynch: We have done so much, but we are just getting started. We are a learning organization so we have and are learning whatever we can as we go. We are applying our learnings to better align ourselves as an international organization and maximize our impact moving forward.