MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Richard Proudfit, the founder of Feed My Starving Children, a Minnesota-based nonprofit that has delivered billions of nutritious meals to malnourished children worldwide, has died. He was 88.
Proudfit died Tuesday at a nursing home in Bloomington, Minnesota, said Andy Carr, a spokesman for Coon Rapids-based Feed My Starving Children . Carr did not know the cause of death.
A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, Proudfit went to Honduras in 1982 on a medical relief mission and witnessed that country’s starvation. In 1987, he founded Feed My Starving Children, a Christian-based nonprofit that has sent more than 2 billion meals to children and families in 70 countries since its inception.
An entrepreneur and philanthropist, Proudfit assembled scientists from General Mills, Cargill and other companies to create a food product that met nutritional requirements for the malnourished, the Star Tribune reported . The group settled on a mix of rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and chicken flavoring, plus vitamins and minerals, still used today. Proudfit served as the organization’s chief executive from 1987 to 1998.
Feed My Starving Children’s current CEO, Mark Crea, said Proudfit “left behind a simply amazing legacy.”
“He planted the seeds for thousands upon thousands of children to be fed when he answered God’s call to ‘Feed my starving children.’ We are honored to continue following this call 31 years later,” Crea said in a statement Tuesday.
This year, 1.4 million volunteers at Feed My Starving Children sites across the United States will package 365 million meals, Carr said. In 2017, volunteers packed and shipped the organization’s 2 billionth meal.
Proudfit left Feed My Starving Children in 1998 to create another nonprofit, Kids Against Hunger . In 2012, Proudfit received a Jefferson Award for public service.