THE SPECTACULAR SUCCESS OF HYDRO FOR HUNGER
The Spectacular Success of Hydro for Hunger
By Peggy Bradley and Kari Bayne
Hydro for Hunger is an initiative created to assist the Institute of Simplified Hydroponics (ISH) in its fight against world hunger. The program raises awareness about global food shortages and directs in-kind contributions and financial donations to the ISH. The Institute of Simplified Hydroponics is a 501-C (3) not-for-profit organization that helps communities in developing countries become self-sufficient by teaching small-scale hydroponic food cultivation techniques.
From its start in 2002, Hydro for Hunger has generated more than $80,000 in funds. Reflected in this total are donations from individuals, manufacturers, and independent retailers alike. In addition, select manufacturers have elected items from their own product lines, designated them as “Hydro for Hunger” (for a contract year), and allocated a portion of each sale to benefit the Hydro for Hunger initiative. Through all these contributions, many projects have been initiated and many people trained in starting their own gardens.
From 2002 to 2004, Hydro for Hunger donations helped establish training facilities in Puebla Mexico’s city of Tehuacan, as well as surrounding rural areas. About 3,000 people were trained in the first two years; books were translated and printed; and a computer lab was set up. After the first three years, the facility expenses were picked up by a generous grant from UN FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization).
In 2004, Hydro for Hunger donations facilitated the launch of ISH Afghanistan and went towards training, donations of nutrients and supplies, and covering travel expenses necessary to introduce the director to the hydroponics industry. Also in this year camera equipment and video resources were purchased to produce training videos: the first video helped ISH Mexico obtain a $10,000 grant from Volkswagen to set up training and gardens for homeless children in Puebla state; the second video helped ISH Mexico obtain funds from UN FAO.
In 2005, Hydro for Hunger funds made possible a new Spanish book from Cesar Marulanda on setting up micro-gardens. The book was published online and then a trainer’s technical support CD, Hydroponics and Microfarms, was produced. By the year-end, 5,000 CDs were produced, some sold and many donated to potential projects around the world.
In 2006 and 2007, an ISH resource center was set up in Missouri to receive donated materials and educate future garden owners. Contributions through Hydro for Hunger were spent on the center’s set up, the video production facility, and the warehousing of donated materials. Over 100,000 in donated materials has been shipped to and received by the resource center.
The video production center is now producing a three hour Easy Grow training course on DVD and a first video on microfarming featuring a totally organic farm in Peru with biogas production. The training materials are being sold on the web and donated to start up projects. The full Fresh Start kit is also being donated to start up projects as well.
Hydro for Hunger interest and contributions grow with each passing year. Kari Bayne, current Hydro for Hunger organizer and Project Manager for BWGS, is looking forward to contributing to the successes established by program founder Charles Winslow saying, “I have been advocating the program from a marketing perspective since I joined the company in 2004. Hydro for Hunger has a solid foundation and great potential, and I respect members of our industry coming together to support the much needed hunger relief efforts of the ISH.”
The 2007-2008 program year in particular has gotten off to a phenomenal start with a record-setting $10,830 generated during the first quarter and nearly $5,000 in the second quarter. With everyone’s continued support and generosity, it’s possible Hydro for Hunger will reach a landmark $100,000 in total donations by the end of 2008.
How can you help?
• Manufacturers can select products and pledge a portion of their sales to benefit Hydro for Hunger and the ISH. Annual contracts run July 1 through June 30, with payments made quarterly direct to the ISH. In-kind contributions are also welcome.
• Storeowners can stock the designated Hydro for Hunger products and educate their customers about the program.
• Hobbyists can purchase one or more of the elected Hydro for Hunger products. Hydro for Hunger products through June 30, 2008, are as follows:
o Sunleaves: 4-ft. (120-cm) Pioneer Grow and Bloom Fluorescent Fixtures with tubes;
o Technaflora: Recipe for Success Starter Kit;
o Hydrofarm: Megagarden;
o Fox Farm: Soluble Tri-Pak; Hydroponic & Soil Formula Nutrient Trios;
o Grodan: 1.5-in. (~4-cm) A’Ok Starter Plugs.
o Attendees at the Maximum Yield Indoor Gardening Expos also benefit Hydro for Hunger because all door proceeds are generously donated to the initiative.
Any interested party can make a monetary donation via cheque made payable to the Institute of Simplified Hydroponics and sent to the address below.
For PR purposes, a cheque copy should be faxed to 812-876-6478, attention Hydro for Hunger.
Institute of Simplified Hydroponics
1860 East 166 Road
El Dorado Springs, MO 64744
Please visit www.hydroforhunger.org and www.carbon.org to find out more about Hydro for Hunger and the Institute of Simplified Hydroponics respectively. Inquiries can also be directed to Hydro for Hunger organizer Kari Bayne at 812-876-6450.
To everyone involved with Hydro for Hunger past, present, and future: Thank you!
Article Courtesy Maximum Yield Publications Inc.
Bradley, Peggy & Bayne, Kari, “The Spectacular Success of Hydro for Hunger”, Maximum Yield’s Industry News, May 2008, pgs 28-29.