Food Insecurity: Part I Numana

Have you ever been hungry?

At the beginning of the fall semester, my professor asked her Health Communication class this question.

I answered: Well, of course, I have been hungry.

But then I asked myself what kind of hungry have I been? Missing breakfast, skipping lunch, yes, but have I ever come close to starving?

And I answered: No. I have never been hungry.

Unfortunately, more than 900 million people in the world would answer that question differently. – World (2010 statistic)

Over the course of the semester, I plan to blog about my experiences and the experiences of my classmates in accordance with this simple question.

The goal of our class is to determine if a hunger problem exists on Wichita State University’s campus. We will determine if problems exist by bringing hunger awareness to the campus community.


That is where Numana Inc., SWIPE and Volunteer Kansas joins us. (All of which will be explained in turn.)

First, Numana Inc., a non-profit public charity, formed in 2008 as an international hunger relief organization. Created by Rick McNary (Twitter @rickmcnary), Numana’s mission states: “Empowering people to save the starving.”

McNary confessed: “I just want to feed people.”

Numana’s largest, and most unexpected mission, fed the earthquake torn country of Haiti. In just days, volunteers packed and shipped millions of meals that were eventually (and quite quickly) airlifted in to the devastated country.

If you were on campus during the earthquake, you might have heard of “WSU Feeds Haiti.”

Not only do McNary and Numana want to feed people abroad, but they also want to feed people at home – Eldorado, Kansas, where Numana began.

…which is where today’s story begins…

Scratch that. It totally begins at WSU… with donuts. (Thanks, Katie.)

Wichita Kansas Donut Whole Donut HoleOne of the missing ones was some sort of Strawberry Cake…

Wichita Kansas Donut Whole Donut HoleIt’s missing from the larger boxes because I ate it.

Note: If you live in or near Wichita and have not yet eaten a Donut Whole doughnut, you do not really live in Wichita. Might I recommend the Maple Bacon?

The class carpooled to Eldorado – not because it’s a long drive – but because taking more than two just seemed unnecessary. You know? Yeah, you know.

Numana purchased the land and buildings for their headquarters from the city… for one dollar. Small town mentality? No. People helping people. It’s just easier with small towns.

(Note: Their future projects, such as the community and communal gardens, also show how Eldorado, as a city, is gung-ho! about getting involved in this issue – not just for the world, but for their citizens.)

Save the Starving Eldorado Kansas Numan IncTINY office building, but the conference room got the job done. It’s the warehouse that’s a tad larger…

Empowering People to Save the StarvingAnd it is the warehouse, designed to meet food safety standards, that houses Numana.

Food Packaging Event SWIPE Volunteer KansasSalvation Army Numana WSU Feeds Haiti3/4 cup served per day for an adultThe food pictured is a mixture of rice, pinto beans and soy protein, in addition to vital vitamins and minerals that severely malnourished people never get to eat.

One bag contains six, half-cup servings. One bag feeds six people. One bag feeds six people for an entire day.


Numana consists of Rick, his family and several other helpful individuals. However, the non-profit does not employ enough people to package enough food quickly enough to lead to change.

Numana needs volunteers.

Eldorado KansasLe volunteer.

In October, WSU will hold a food packaging event to promote hunger awareness on campus as a part of Hunger Awareness Day. WSU is one of 16 schools in Kansas holding a SWIPE Out Hunger Food Packaging Event.

SWIPE, created by Caleb McNary, stands for State-Wide Packaging Event. Caleb, like his father, is passionate about getting people fed.

SWIPE Out Hunger KansasWe are shooting for 20,000 meals. Numana will provide the supplies, and Volunteer Kansas signed up for 10,000 more meals.

Our class practiced at Numana HQ.

Volunteering Food PackagingFood Packaging Event for WSUfood packaging table set upOf course, had we actually been packaging food for Numana to send out, we would have been in hair nets. However, since it was for practice, we were not.

End result:

Numana Rice and Bean soy protein mixture

It’s all happening in October. Stay tuned. :)



4 thoughts on “Food Insecurity: Part I Numana

Comments are closed.