Hungry for Change

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Stand in solidarity with the global poor.

FAQs for Planning An Event

An in-depth look at program details for groups considering participating.

FAQs for Participants

Answers to participants’ common questions.


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FAQs for Planning An Event

This page spells out the program details of Hungry for Change: everything you need to know to plan and conduct an event.

The Program

Why should someone consider doing Hungry for Change?

Hungry for Change is a 5 day challenge which allows you to experience something like the type and level of consumption of food and drink that half the world’s population, who live on less than $2 per day, experience on a daily basis. This experience is accompanied by an instructional booklet, and by thought-provoking daily emails during the 5 days of the program written by a Malawian theologian. The program is designed for groups (minimum 10, no maximum). It’s a great teaching and awareness-raising program, plus each pack provides seeds via Food for the Hungry which, when planted and harvested, feed one person in the developing world for a year. Participants are also encouraged to donate the savings they make on food (averaging around $75 per person) to a cause that their church or group supports.

The Pack Contents

What does the pack contain, and what does it cost?

The pack itself costs $25 per person and contains all the food (oats, rice, beans) that one person needs for 5 days, plus the $5 donation that Trade as One makes via Food for the Hungry, plus the resources and support of the information and instruction booklet in the pack, and ensuring you get the daily emails timed to arrive in your inbox when you are doing the program. The pack and the program have been thoroughly researched, road-tested and compiled so that the booklet and daily emails guide you through the practicalities of everything from cooking the meals, to advice on how to prepare for doing the experience, pace oneself through it, and think about how this may have implications on the way one consumes after it.

How did you decide on the amount and type of food? What does this amount of food compare with in the developing world?

The point of the exercise is to eat the equivalent caloric intake and simple meals that people on $2 a day eat. Those people do not spend $2 a day on food, they spend less than that since they also have other needs. The food that people living in poverty survive on is often of a low quality, where they survive on what they can get. In this way your Hungry for Change packet is not replicating that- it is a pack of simple, high quality, fair trade, perfectly packaged and fresh food. From a quality perspective it is in no way comparable to what someone surviving on $2 a day would eat- but it gives you the experience of simple food, less of it, no choices, and the same caloric intake that someone living in poverty might experience.

How has Trade as One partnered with Food for the Hungry? What does this involve?

Trade as One has partnered with Food for the Hungry both to spread awareness of this program, and to commit to donating $5 to Food for the Hungry for every pack purchased. This $5 provides beans which when harvested, will feed one person in a developing country for a year.

Where does the rice in the pack come from?

The white jasmine rice is from Alter Eco who are one of Trade as One’s fair trade certified suppliers. Purchasing fair trade rice in decent volumes for the Hungry for Change program provides dignified labor and jobs in rural Thailand and predictable and sorely needed incomes, and good working conditions. Sadly, these very criteria for working conditions that we take for granted are not the norm for rice farmers in many parts of the world, which is why fair trade practices are needed in this sector.

Where do the oat and beans come from?

Oats and beans are crops which are farmed widely in the USA as well as around the world, and are crops that do not have such poor labor practices as rice does, and so there is not generally the need for these crops to be farmed in a fair trade manner- this may mean that they are already farmed according to better practices, and/or that the farmers themselves are not living on the edge of poverty. You will notice that oats and black beans are not available in fair trade versions for this reason. Therefore the rice in the pack is fair trade, but the oats and beans are not. They are, however, very high quality products in their own right.

Why can I buy some food items fair trade in the stores, but not others?

Fair trade consumables are available precisely where the practice of non-fair trade principals is endemic for that item. Where the farming and employment practices are generally of a higher level, you are not able to find fair trade alternatives because the practices are already good, or the crops are harvested by people who are not living on the edge of poverty. Fair Trade specifically targets people who are poor and marginalized – so whenever you see fair trade items you can know that the people involved in growing or harvesting that item are needy and buying their fair trade items helps them and their communities.

The Emails

I understand all participants receive daily emails during the 5 day program. What do they contain?

We are very excited about the devotional (and practical) emails. Each participant gets a daily email throughout their participation in the program and the emails are linked to the experience and designed to support, encourage and guide people along. In this way the whole experience becomes a holistic program that is focused on using the experience to achieve lasting change through a combination of spiritual reflection and physical solidarity with the poor.

Who wrote the emails?

Stella Kasirye wrote the emails on our behalf. Stella lives and ministers in Malawi which is one of the poorest countries in the world, with an average life expectancy of 51 years. Stella brings a unique perspective as she lives in Malawi, but also understands US culture well, having lived here too. Stella wrote the daily reflections as she went through a week of fasting. A brief bio of Stella is here.

Group Participation

I understand this is a group program. How large does a group have to be to participate?

We will supply groups as small as 10 people, but not smaller.

What is the largest size group that can take part?

The sky’s the limit! We will supply very large groups- but need at least 2 weeks lead time to make sure we have enough packs packed and ready to ship out.

May I do this program on my own?
The exercise has been carefully designed to be a powerful experience that achieves, or at least starts people off on a journey to achieve, change on many levels. The central principle is that by eating only what they are given in the packs, the money that would otherwise be spent on consumption is freed up to do good to others. Obviously, anyone can choose to eat less for 5 days along the lines of this program, but the pack is designed to be more than just the food itself- it is also the contribution towards Food for the Hungry, the information and instruction booklet, and the participation as an individual within a group in the program, and in the reflections of the daily emails. Participants are encouraged to donate the money they save during the 5 days. So- if you go it alone you could possibly donate a little more, but in doing so the cost to you would be identical, you would not have contributed towards Food for the Hungry in the purchase of the pack, nor would you be part of the program supported by Trade as One through the booklet and emails. You get none of those elements by doing it alone and will be treating it as a one-off exercise done on your own.

How Can My Group Sign Up and Participate?

How does a church or group sign up to participate?

First, read through all the details here on the website. Then contact us and we’d be delighted to help.

We’ll discuss numbers, dates and details with you. You will need to take sign ups, gather emails and have each participant pay you $25. When you are ready you’ll just need to let us know the final number of participants and their email addresses (so that we can email everyone the daily emails). You send us one check for the number of packs needed at $25 each, and for the shipping cost for all the packs to be shipped via UPS ground to a location of your choice. You then distribute the packs to all those who signed up for them- generally by having people collect them from a designated pick-up point on a certain day/s.

Can some leaders or specific individuals in our group go through the program first so they can trial it and know what the experience is like before their whole group participates?

Yes; we definitely encourage that. Let us know who to send packs to and we’ll make it happen. They will get to have the emails and everything so they can know exactly what the program feels like to participate in before they recommend it to others.

How quickly can we place an order and get enough packs for our group?

Please allow at least 2 weeks for us to receive your order and ship. Shipping is from California by UPS ground so delivery time varies by location. However, it is better to allow 4 weeks so that some of the leaders of your group can do the 5 day challenge in advance of the rest of the group- so that they know what it is like, and can wholeheartedly recommend and represent the program to everyone else. This also allows time for you to promote the program within your group effectively and take sign-ups.

How do churches and groups typically run with this program? What ideas can you share?

Churches generally talk about the program and take sign ups for one or two weekends. We then ship the required number of packs to your church. Groups generally have a suggested start date so that all the members of that group who are participating start and finish at the same time. Often groups choose to start with the dinner meal on a Sunday evening which means the last meal is on a Friday lunchtime. Some churches then choose to break their fast together with a special Friday evening gathering when the experience can be shared, reflections given, and donations collected towards a specified project of your choosing aligned with issues of poverty and hunger. The following Sunday can then be used to share experiences and learnings and to recognize the donations received

What do churches and groups encourage participants to do with their ‘savings’ from the 5 days?

Most groups designate a cause to which donations are solicited in the amount that individuals have calculated that they have saved compared to a normal 5 day period. The average saving is around $75 per person, but will obviously vary.

Who Should Not Do This Program?

Is this recommended for everyone?

No, it is not recommended for everyone. You participate in Hungry for Change entirely at your own discretion- it will not be right, or wise, for absolutely everyone. The materials and content contained within Trade as One’s Hungry for Change program should not be substituted for medical advice or any medical professionals. Please consult with the appropriate health care provider as to the specific nature of any health related concerns you may have. In no way can Trade as One know the specifics about any individual’s own health concerns, nor offer specific advice.

What contraindications to participation are there to be aware of?

The following are all contraindications to fasting and therefore participation in Hungry for Change:

  • Children under the age of 12
  • Teenagers
  • Pregnant women
  • Nursing mothers
  • People with eating disorders (anorexia or bulimia etc)
  • Those with severe anaemia
  • Those with porphyria (genetic metabolic defect)
  • Those with a rare genetic fatty acid deficiency that prevents proper ketosis.
  • Anyone who has suffered a heart attack or heart problems.
  • And anyone who has suffered a stroke.
  • Those who suffer from any mental disorders or illnesses.
  • Those who have any sign of having kidney or gall bladder stones.
  • Those who suffer magnesium deficiency.
  • Other specific conditions at the advice of a doctor

Any Further Questions

Please get in touch- we’d love to help! Contact us here.


The small print aka Trade as One’s disclaimer statement:

Trade as One is not responsible for any person or entity of any kind in relations to damage, loss, or injuries caused directly or indirectly by the use of products in the Hungry for Change pack.

Never disregard medical advice from your health care provider, doctor, or physician as a result of content contained within Hungry for Change. The information is not intended to replace medical advice from trained medical professionals. Always seek medical advice for a specific diagnosis.

1. You should always consult a doctor before undertaking any diet or exercise program.

2. Fasting is not for everyone- and, even though this is not a strict fast as such, the program could be dangerous in some specific cases. Therefore, please consult a doctor before undertaking this program.