The small plane carrying Matt Moreau and Kori Chilibeck came to a stop on a remote grass airstrip in the Philippines. The two then got into a Land Rover and travelled through the jungle. A day before the two arrived, three aid workers were killed in a grenade attack – the food they had with them was worth its weight in gold to rebels.
Moreau and Chilibeck, the two Edmontonians who founded the Earth Group, make regular trips around the world with directors from the United Nations’ World Food Programme. The Philippines was their latest trip; this month, they will head to Bolivia.
The Earth Group sells water, coffee and tea, with the proceeds going to help feed the world’s hungry. The company is now able to boast that its proceeds have helped to buy more than one million meals globally. And the reason that Moreau and Chilibeck go on these trips is to ensure that the money they raise goes where it’s supposed to go.
“It’s very gratifying when we go and see kids who are smiling, because they’ve eaten a meal and they are going to school, even if the school is a underneath a tarp that’s hanging from a tree,” says Moreau.
When they go to Bolivia, they will be accompanied by a documentary filmmaker; they hope that the images from the trip will help people understand how difficult it is for many people around the world to eat even one meal a day.
“Right now, somewhere in the world, every six seconds a child dies because of a lack of food and water,” says Chilibeck. “We have to do what we can to help improve what is a very depressing statistic.”
Currently, the Earth Group provides a meal to a hungry person every 115 seconds, but its ultimate goal is to pare that down to one meal every five seconds.