Thrive: A Non-Profit Organization’s Attempt to Answer Hunger

Thrive: A Non-Profit Organization’s Attempt to Answer Hunger

Food is one of the most important basic human rights. Even though global food production is more than the demand, the geopolitical and distributional bureaucracy causes 10% of the global population to go hungry each day. Against the backdrop of such a pressing issue, one organization is aiming to challenge the status quo with one child and one meal at a time. Here’s the inspiring story of Thrive.

What is Thrive?

Thrive is a 501c3 and Bangladesh Registered Trust that currently operates in Bangladesh and the Philippines. Thrive was co-founded and started by Priscilla Heffelfinger, Regina Landor, and Gina Gabel. The main goal of the organization is to provide nutritious meals to school-going children every day.

The Story of Thrive

It all started back in 2012. Priscilla Heffelfinger has just moved to Dhaka, accompanying her husband, who was the country director of CDC and had a role with ICDDR, B. Priscilla Heffelfinger, along with Regina Landor and Gina Gabel, saw hungry children and knew they wanted to help.

They asked local schools what they needed most, and the resounding response was food. The children were either not showing up or were too hungry to learn took the first initiative for a definitive answer to student hunger.

Thrive grew, but not overnight. It took the work and dedication of many volunteers willing to give their time to help hungry kids. While Thrive began as an expat start-up, it grew due to the generous support of the Bangladesh community.

Local leaders Amna Rahman, Sadia Moyeen, and Kanwal Bhagat, who joined in 2013, propelled Thrive’s work by engaging local individuals and companies to commit financial support, in-kind donations, and their volunteer talents to expand our work to feed more needy schoolchildren.
But there were a lot of constraints while starting. The idea was to help socially neglected children by means of support. But support how exactly?

The Need for Food

While doing groundwork, Priscilla and her team found that the most pressing need for growing children is the lack of adequate micro and macro nutrients. Social welfare schools set up for economically challenged students pointed out that the immediate need for such institutes isn’t often money. Rather a meal since a fair share of students are unfed or half fed.

Going hungry often challenges these students to reevaluate their priorities. As a result, there are a large number of student dropouts who opt for wage-earning instead of going to school.
Priscilla and her team thought of this as the exact opportunity. Having worked in the development sector for over 20 years, Priscilla understood the imminent need. A mix of two basic human rights is fulfilled through food.

How Does Thrive Work?

Thrive is different from traditional NGOs or INGOs in Bangladesh in the sense that it was initially an expat-led social venture that aimed to work with students from slum areas. The venture has been supported by both local and international well-wishers and has seen rapid growth over the years.

Currently, Thrive serves nutritious meals to over 12000 students each week in Bangladesh and the Philippines. Thrive claims that there is an imminent wait list of another 3000 students waiting to be incorporated into their meal plan.
Now feeding hungry children and school performance may seem unrelated. But from the socio-economic concept of Bangladesh, where 50 million people live in extreme poverty, it’s not surprising that child labor is ever so prevalent. These children turn into breadwinners for themselves and their families while they should have been studying.
With a nutritious meal each day, hunger is addressed. The balanced diet ensures children are getting their essentials which act as brain fuel. The culmination is increased concentration, focus, physical and mental development as well as increased attendance in classes.

Mission and Vision of Thrive

The main mission of Thrive is to provide nutritious, healthy food to school students in the slum area. Currently Thrive is working with 2401 students in Bangladesh through 13 different non-governmental organizations. Eight of them are in Dhaka and five are outside Dhaka. The initiative in the Philippines is still at the nascent stage, with 225 children through two community programs.
The current global production of food is enough to feed all the world’s population. But just because there isn’t any efficient sharing mechanism, 1 in 10 people goes hungry around the globe. Study shows that about 40% of all produced and processed foods are wasted in developed countries like the USA. The story is somewhat similar for other developed nations as well.

In Bangladesh, there is a dire constraint of micronutrients in the diet of growing children. Almost 75% of the children do not get the balanced diet that they need for proper physical and mental development. Study shows that over 36% of the children in Bangladesh are suffering from growth stunting. That puts Bangladesh at the bottom quarter of the list among high-risk countries.

The root cause of the risk is exactly what Thrive is trying to access. The non-profit estimates that it requires only 50 cents for a meal for children each day. The ultimate vision is a world where no one goes hungry.

Meals Provided by Thrive

Thrive aims at two main indicators – hunger and nutrition. In a growing child, both macros and micros play a huge role in overall growth and development. With that in mind, the meal is prepared, deviating from the traditional meal concept.

It’s an essential mix of fruits, vegetables, nuts, eggs, shingara, and milk. Fruits and vegetables like bananas, oranges, carrots, cucumbers, and mango help to replenish the required vitamin intake of the body. Milk, nuts, and eggs surmise the protein needed. Thrive serves eggs two times per week, and milk is served once a week.

How to Be a Part of Thrive?

There are three ways to be a part of Thrive. You can become a member through their FEED program. This is a monthly donation scheme which is also the main funding source of Thrive. You can also opt to contribute online, bank deposit, or pick up the donation. You can find the details just by contacting Thrive here.
But Thrive also wants you to be a part of their endeavor. Instead of donations, you can be part of the program by organizing fundraisers. You can sponsor a school for a day or a month or the whole year. You can create a virtual fundraiser instead of a birthday party this year. There are many ways to commit and contribute to their great cause.

The Way Ahead

With over 3,142,373 meals served today, Thrive is still getting started. In its decade-long endeavor, the non-profit has made considerable strides in addressing child hunger in certain domains.

But the work isn’t done, and there is a lot to do. Thrive and its local leaders are constantly trying to make the world a little less hungry, whether being one student at a time. It’s a small step in the grand scheme of things, and your help will only help to expedite the process.

SAJIDA Foundation Press Release

SAJIDA Foundation Press Release


– SAJIDA Sponsorship Delivers Food Security During Tumultuous Times –
DHAKA, Bangladesh, 6 November 2022 – SAJIDA Foundation and Thrive, a nonprofit organization dedicated to delivering healthy food to hungry children, announced a partnership to provide meals to all the schoolchildren of Apon Alo School (Rayer Bazar, Dhaka) from 1st of October, 2022, until 30th of June, 2023.

“As the world food supply faces tumultuous times, SAJIDA wants to ensure that students who could be most impacted by this instability will continue receiving healthy meals every day,” said Muhymin Chowdhury, Director, Impact Investments, Partnerships, and Communications, of SAJIDA Foundation. He added – “SAJIDA’s early roots are in education, and we understand the relationship between good nutrition and the ability to learn. By investing in healthy meals, we are investing in the education of these students to help them reach their potential.”

Thrive has been delivering meals to schools since its inception ten years ago. Knowing that SAJIDA has made a long-term commitment to a school in one of the poorest areas of Bangladesh allows Thrive to focus on expanding its reach to additional children in need.

“SAJIDA is truly a model partner. Their understanding of the importance of consistency in delivering meals, and willingness to essentially “adopt” a school for nine months, is exactly the kind of commitment that makes a real difference, both for our organization and the schoolchildren they are feeding,” said Priscila Heffelfinger, Co-founder and Executive Director of Thrive.

This collaboration is the latest in a successful partnership between Thrive and SAJIDA. The organizations previously fed 400 children in three Bangladesh schools (including Apon Alo) from May to August 2022. In March 2021, SAJIDA, Thrive, and the Amal Foundation partnered to bring emergency food relief to Rohingya families displaced by a devastating fire in the Balukhali refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar.

SAJIDA Foundation is a value-driven non-profit which embodies the principle of corporate philanthropy, with 51% shareholding of Renata Ltd, one of the fastest-growing pharmaceutical and animal health product company in Bangladesh. The organisation founded in 1993, aims to empower communities, catalyse entrepreneurship, foster equity and establish enterprises for good with an overarching vision of ensuring health, happiness, and dignity for all. SAJIDA’s operation in Bangladesh has touched over 6 million individuals through multi-sectoral development programs with a key focus on poverty alleviation, community healthcare, and climate change, one of the largest financial service operation and specialized healthcare enterprises. For more information,

Founded in 2012, Thrive’s mission is to deliver healthy food to hungry children in the poorest areas of the world. Thrive partners with schools to provide more than 12,000 meals to schoolchildren each week in Bangladesh and the Philippines. These efforts help improve nutrition, boost school attendance, and increase readiness to learn. Just $10 feeds a child a nutritious meal each school day for an entire month, and each meal provides 50% of a child’s daily nutritional needs via seasonal fruits (including Thrive’s signature banana), vegetables, and protein. In the past ten years, Thrive has delivered nearly three million nutritious meals. For more information, visit

Sarah Iqbal
Sr. Coordinator, Impact Investments & Partnerships
[email protected]

Priscilla Heffelfinger
Executive Director, Thrive
[email protected]
WhatsApp +14028530163

Akhi Sharmin
Operation Manager, Thrive-BD
[email protected]

Thrive celebrates 10th founding anniversary

Thrive celebrates 10th founding anniversary

Thrive, a non-profit organisation known for donating nutritious food to underprivileged children in Bangladesh, celebrated its 10th anniversary very recently through a fundraising event in Bashundhara, Dhaka.

The event was sponsored by its partner Direct Fresh, a grocery delivery company which has been offering food at highly discounted prices since 2015. Thrive was founded by three expatriate women in 2012 after they arrived in Dhaka and discovered that the city was full of hungry children.

Dhaka Kitsch: T-shirts inspired by rickshaw art

Dhaka Kitsch: T-shirts inspired by rickshaw art

On Monday, 26 September, 2022 Dhaka Kitsch, a charity event supporting the non-profit organisation, Thrive, was held at the Edge Gallery Gulshan. Funded by Tasneem Sinha and Mahbub Mursalin, the event exhibited a collection of T-shirts, with rickshaw art inspired designs by artist and designer, Kuhu Plamondon. Chandana R Dewan, renowned designer and partner for the initiative, was by her side every step of the way, making the event a success.

Read More

Celebrating In-Person Classes

Celebrating In-Person Classes

Teachers and students are back in school, and they had plenty of reasons to celebrate! They had feasts on February 21 for Mother Language Day and March 26 for Independence Day. They also celebrated the Bengali New Year on April 14.

Piet Van’s classes are from kindergarten to grade five. Last year 20 students passed grade five, and they were admitted to other schools. Piet Van is now taking new students for kindergarten. The School Director reports that everyone enjoys their classes, especially their drawing class.

Each meal cost $0.50 per student. The standard meals, which were delivered five days a week, included a banana, seasonal fruit or vegetable such as guava, dates, cucumber, and eggs. Once a week students received milk and popular local snacks, such as shingara and chana, which contain nutrient-rich vegetables. We added jujube to the menu, a fruit grown locally and packed with Vitamin C.

If you would like to help us continue supporting Piet Van, please do consider donating again or setting up a recurring monthly donation. For just $10 you can help feed a child at Piet Van for an entire month. These children are incredibly bright and look forward to going to school every day. With your support, we can ensure that they receive the brain fuel they need to be focused and ready to learn.

Please donate at <strong></strong>

Thank you for your support!

CNN Philippines featured Thrive!

CNN Philippines featured Thrive!

CNN Philippines highlights Thrive’s exciting partnership with Woolworths, Robinsons Supermarket, The Marketplace, and Shopwise to feed Filipino children together. The partnership celebrated World Hunger Day on May 28, 2022 at the City Gates Academy. Watch the feature here
SAJIDA Foundation partners with Thrive to feed 330 students in 3 schools

SAJIDA Foundation partners with Thrive to feed 330 students in 3 schools

SAJIDA Foundation has entered a partnership with Thrive, a nonprofit organisation dedicated to delivering healthy food to hungry children, to provide food to 330 students in three schools.

Non-government organisation SAJIDA is sponsoring nutritious meals, delivered by Thrive, for all the schoolchildren of Apon Alo School (Rayer Bazar, Dhaka), Jaago School (Habiganj, Sylhet), and Ucchash School (SonPocha Char River Island, Bogura) from May 9 to August 31.

“Thrive’s work really brings us back to our roots as a school started in a garage. Healthy meals give children the fuel they need to learn and succeed in their education,” said Muhymin Chowdhury, director (challenge fund, partnerships and communications) at SAJIDA

READ: Ecnec rejects Tk 17,290-cr primary school meal project

Thrive has been delivering meals to schools since its inception ten years ago and has served these three schools for more than four years.

Having SAJIDA sponsor all of these schoolchildren in some of the poorest areas of Bangladesh allows Thrive to move additional children off its waitlist.

SAJIDA‘s generous donation and willingness to ensure a healthy meal for these children every school day for four months gives us the ability to expand our reach and feed even more hungry kids,” Priscila Heffelfinger, co-founder of Thrive, said.

READ: 3 mn school children to receive food rations

While this programme marks Thrive and SAJIDA‘s largest effort to date, the organisations worked together in the past.

Last March, SAJIDA, Thrive, and the Amal Foundation teamed up to bring emergency food relief to Rohingya families displaced by a devastating fire in the Balukhali refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar.

READ: All govt pry schools to go under midday-meal programme by 2023

SAJIDA supported the cost of 5,000 hot meals.

Feed a school in the Dhaka slums for 200 days

Feed a school in the Dhaka slums for 200 days

Teachers and students rejoiced when schools across Bangladesh reopened back in September after one and a half years of distance learning. However, due to a surge in Omicron cases, schools were once again forced to close at the end of January for two weeks. Unfortunately, the closure was extended recently for an additional two weeks seemingly because of the rise in Covid cases among students. Schools are expected to reopen at the end of February.

While students at Piet Van are disappointed about returning to distance learning, they continue to stay positive and work hard. They visit the school twice a week to receive their lessons and homework from teachers. Twenty-two students have successfully graduated from Piet Van and moved on to Grade 6 at a secondary school. The kindergarten class has recently welcomed new students who are very excited to be attending school.

Thrive greatly appreciates the support from our donors! Please feel free to share our story!

One Hungry Belly at a Time

One Hungry Belly at a Time

| REAL LIFE: Gina Gabel |

One Hungry Belly at a Time


Stepping foot into Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, stung Gina Gabel’s heart so deeply she simply just couldn’t look away.

“When you arrive, your senses are just inundated with sights and sounds and smells. You are immediately shocked by everything around you and then you see these kids that are babies, moms holding babies, begging for food. There’s people everywhere begging for food. I think that was the most shocking thing, I couldn’t sit with it. I had to do something,” she says.

A special and general ed teacher, she intended to volunteer teach while her husband was on diplomatic assignment there. On her first school visit, she asked the director about the school’s biggest need. The not-so-simple answer: hunger. The school had 2 cents a week to spend on food for each child. So Gabel committed to bringing 250 bananas on her next visit. She took to Facebook and soon all of her friends jumped in to help. She was able to fill her BOB stroller with the 250 bananas, plus eggs, carrots and cucumbers. “It’s astounding how inexpensive it is to nourish a child,” says the Grosse Pointe mom of three, Lucy, 14, Alice, 12, and Etta, 8.

The nonprofit that sprang out of that early effort to provide bananas, Thrive, now provides about 3,000 kids 15,000 meals a week in Bangladesh and the Philippines. It’s helped school attendance soar, kids’ health improve and interestingly during the pandemic, reduced child marriage, she says.

Thrive is, literally, helping kids thrive.

Advice to other parents to raise kids who care

Gabel believes parents can help their kids by giving them opportunities to see problems around them and the tools to do something about it. While the need in metro Detroit isn’t thrown in your face as it is in Dhaka, it’s here, she says.

“I really believe kids are born with this desire to help and to right a wrong. … As they grow and try to make sense of the world, they realize that’s wrong (that) this child doesn’t have food,” she says.

Thrive also is a movement that families can do together. Gabel’s girls have taken it to heart as well, donating their birthdays every year to raise money for food instead of seeking presents, and so many others are doing school fundraisers and lemonade stands to help.

The hardest lesson for her as a mom

“I think it’s a perspective issue for me. I think moms and parents can get so stuck in the day-to-day small issues that you sometimes lose sight of the present and lose sight of the gratitude you should be feeling and how lucky we are,” she says.

Just the other day, she says she was yelling at the kids because their rooms were messy. Yet she says it seems so wrong to even worry about that.

“There are moms all over the world who are looking for the next morsel of food to give their kid. If you can keep it in mind that there are people who actually have real problems that are life and death, it tempers your reaction to your own problems.”


“Ironically, making school lunches.”


“Watching TV. My husband and I, I think, have watched every single episode of The Bachelor since the beginning of time.”

What do you hope your kids say about you?

“I hope they respect me and I hope they respect how I spend my time. I guess they don’t have to like me, but that’s a bonus if they like me in the process.”

One things that would surprise people 
about you:

“I squeezed a Half-Ironman into a day of being a mom” (hosted a kids’ sleepover, called in a sitter while completing the run portion, returned home to make pancakes for the kids, got another sitter and did the 56-mile bike ride and 2-mile swim.)

How do you 
manage it all?

“I find myself over volunteering myself because if I think something is important, I say yes. It’s hard to find a balance in where I want to place my time. I don’t do it very well and yes it’s hard. I don’t have very many tips.”

How to Help

Donate: $10 a month provides healthy, fresh daily meals for a month to a child.
Spread the word: Get kids’ schools involved or family and friends to set up a fundraiser.

Bangladesh Schools Reopen!

Bangladesh Schools Reopen!

After 18 months of closure due to Covid lockdown, schools across Bangladesh have finally reopened. Students are once again back to in-person learning which to many families is a huge relief considering the challenges they faced with remote learning due to lack of a device or internet connection. Covid-19 protocols set by the Bangladeshi government will be enforced to ensure the health and safety of the students.

The students of Piet Van are so thrilled to be back in school with their fellow classmates and teachers. Many of them expressed how much they missed social interaction and learning in person. Zahid from Grade 3 says, “I am very happy to get back to school after Covid. My favorite subject is Bangla and my favorite Thrive food is apple.” Suraiya, age 10, is also very glad to be back in the classroom. “My favorite subject is English.” She particularly enjoys receiving malta oranges from Thrive. These green fruits are rich in Vitamin C and the kids love them!

Seeing all 120 students return to Piet Van brings a lot of joy but also a sense of relief. During lockdown Bangladesh has witnessed a significant increase in child labor and child marriage. Because of cut wages or unemployment, parents have had to send their children to work forcing them to drop out of school. Girls have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic as many families have married off their daughters in order to ease financial burdens. Often times the girls never return to school. We at Thrive feel fortunate knowing all the boys and girls at Piet Van have been given the opportunity to return to school and pursue their education. The support from all our donors allows us to provide the proper nutrition these children need in order to continue on a path to a brighter future.

If you would like to make a donation for Piet Van or if you would like to share our project with friends, please click on the link below.

foodMATTERS July / August 2021

foodMATTERS July / August 2021

You bring joy-full stop. Your support, whether time or a donation, directly impacts others. Your gift puts food on tables where it is needed. Without you, hunger is a daily reality for many. We thank you for doing good and giving hope.

Thrive is excited to share more ways for you to jump into the community.

We are gearing up for the 2nd annual World Food Run, our virtual fitness challenge for the month of October. Lace up your shoes and get your team ready to beat hunger, one mile at a time — join the fun!

We have launched ThriveCooks with opportunities for virtual cooking classes to add recipes to your repertoire while benefitting Thrive. Want to offer a class or know someone who might? — please share with us!

Looking forward to seeing you with your apron on and/or your running shoes tied — let the fun for feed begin!

With gratitude,

Thrive CEO, Co-founder

Have you heard? Registration is now open for the World Food Run Fitness Challenge!

Are you a chef, baker or home cook interested in sharing your culinary talents with others? You can create your very own ThriveCooks virtual cooking class with tickets going toward feeding hungry kids. Contact [email protected] for more information today!

Thrive Store: Check out some new Thrive merchandise in our store!

Click here to JOIN the group of change makers in theFEED. We need YOU to help children Thrive!

Executive Committee
Gina Gabel, Co-Founder, President
Amna Rahman, Vice President
Rich Watson, Treasurer
Kanwal Bhagat, Secretary
Shannon Young, Strategic Growth
Arsalan Ali
Rebecca Arnold
Priscilla Heffelfinger
Sadia Moyeen
Bangladesh Trust
Amna Rahman, Chair
Arsalan Ali, Vice-Chair
Senior Advisor: Sadia Moyeen
Advisory Council
Senior Advisor: Mishal Karim
Zulfikar Ali
Rose Blanchard
Cristina Imperial Carl
Louie Gabel
Leni Hester
Shelley King
Joe Labriola
Debbie Pfeifer
Farhan Rahman
Archana Raj
Dana Zarzycki
Priscilla Heffelfinger, Co-Founder, CEO
Adele Millard, Creative Director
Amanda Pierce, COO, PH Operations
Sharmin Akhi, BD Operations Manager
Thrive is a 501(c)3 Nonprofit Organization and a Bangladesh Registered Trust
with an international board and advisory council.
Copyright © 2021 Thrive, All rights reserved.
3 Rose Terrace
Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236

Wakil Tower (#8) – Ta 133,
Middle Badda, Dhaka, Bangladesh 1212

foodMATTERS June 2021

foodMATTERS June 2021

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” –
Winston Churchhill
Summer is typically a quieter time for Thrive — schools are closed, and
many volunteers are away. We usually spend this time making plans for
the school year ahead — looking at nutritional menu ideas, budgeting for
adding schools from our waitlist and taking a much-relished breath before
launching good forward. Not this year.

Hunger didn’t stop. It grew..

The countries we feed: Bangladesh and the Philippines, remain on
lockdown. These lockdowns hit the poor particularly hard. Many have lost
their daily wages and lack technology (smartphones or the internet) to
streamline learning. The need for survival basics — food and water are
at an all-time high, and education has taken a back seat.

So together, we have rallied to keep meals coming to children and their
families in need. Not only does the food keep them alive, but it also serves
as an incentive to pick up and return written homework assignments with
their teachers.

With your help, nutrition and education happen. You offer hope.
Gratitude follows.

With love and light,

Thrive CEO, Co-founder

foodMATTERS May 2021

foodMATTERS May 2021

Mothers are our backbone — full stop.

Mothers fed and keep feeding our mission that no child goes hungry.

Thrive was SPARKED by 3 mothers who saw children begging in the streets and couldn’t
turn away. And, Thrive GREW from mothers (and mother-figures) who continually show
up and jump in to feed EVEN more!

This month, in reflection of mother’s day in May, we are taking a moment to honor all of
the incredible mothers who make up our Thrive community.

The givers — who put heart into action — who pair care with conviction and commit with
compassion. Those who believe every meal makes a difference.

Rose Blanchard, a mother of 3, a core Thrive instigator, and a Advisory Council member –
shared how Thrive and motherhood meld.

Motherhood is a never-ending adventure and the toughest job you will ever do. It can feel
overwhelming and terrifying at times, but it can be just as wondrous and beautiful.
Sometimes you will feel unsure of what you’re doing because you’re afraid of making a
mistake. But the best and most important thing we can do is love them and help
them grow into good human beings.

For me, this extends to all the kids Thrive currently supports. We have watched them
grow over the years, and it is so heartwarming and rewarding to see how much they
enjoy going to school and to also learn their hopes and dreams for the future. Just as if
they were our own kids, we want them to succeed and to be happy.

Even through all the hardships, these kids have endured, they show up to school with a
smile on their face, determined to create a better life for themselves. I would like to think
Thrive has played a small part in this, and that fills my heart with so much love.

We are excited to show you a video (see below) of Thrive mothers sharing the impact of
the monthly food pack you support.

We are grateful to each of you.

With love and light,

Thrive CEO, Co-founder

foodMATTERS April 2021

Last year, the world began to spin out of control. You grounded it by committing to feed those who needed it most—giving others a simple meal — direct relief.

Since then, hunger pains grew exponentially, with up to 25% more families facing daily food scarcity.

In record numbers, you didn’t look away this Ramadan season but took real action to feed more.

You gave. You invited others. You gave more.

Collectively, 1,658 children and their families received special monthly food packs. 39 Ramadan donors made this happen, including our youngest donor, who is just 4 years old!

Big numbers often blur the human impact. Real-life stories of a few Thrive partner school children and their families share a glimpse into the direct relief your gift has on their lives. You put food on the family table of those without each and every day.

With love and light,

Thrive CEO, Co-founder


88% of April funds came from INDIVIDUALS
102 Donors in April, a Total of 369 in 2021, so far!
28 NEW Donors


39 members of theFEED
Contribute to 7% for the month,
average gift is $60 a month!
Join + Share theFEED


Tumpa and her family of five are literally living off of Thrive’s monthly food packs. When it runs out, they look for food from their neighbors.

Tumpa lives with her mother, brother, sister, aunt, and her brother’s son. Her father died of cancer when she was just one year old.

Covid-19 has left her family without work. Her mother had been housekeeper but no one is allowing her into their homes with fear of pandemic and her older brother is intellectually challenged and unable to work.

Tumpa shared she loves the food packs, especially the rice and daal. She wishes we could increase the packs to ensure they have enough to get through the entire month.


Riyadh lives with his 5 family members.
Before Covid-19, his father was a rickshaw
puller and sold Jhalmuri (a Bengali street
snack) but lost all work until recently and is
now back as a rickshaw puller.

Riyadh’s family looks forward to the Thrive
monthly food packs. He’s love it if we added
meat (protein now is daal and eggs).

Amen says that without Thrive’s monthly food
pack, his family wouldn’t have food to eat. He likes
eggs and milk, and he looks forward to a treat of
semai finni (fruit, milk, and sugar)!

Amen lives three family members. He cares a lot
about the youngest member of the family and is
so thankful for Thrive making sure they are fed.

As a side note, we just heard that Amen has just broken his leg. Please send good wishes for
securing affordable treatment and a speedy

Our team of volunteers has been growing in the Philippines! We were able to go to
Smokey Mountain twice a week consistently because of the growing team and the
dedication to feeding the community.

With it being the hot season in Manila, water is more important than ever. We are
bringing refreshing apples or oranges to provide nutrition and much-needed
hydration for the kids.

15,000 HOT MEALS
Over 1.1 million Rohingya people live in the Balukhali refugee camp in Cox’s
Bazar, Bangladesh. The fire killed over a dozen people, injured thousands, and
displaced over 50,000. Many buildings, including school and food storage
facilities, were destroyed.
Rajob is 12. His family dwelling
caught fire while they were asleep. In
less than an hour, their entire
belonging, including their meager
savings, went up in flames.

Rajob lives with his mother and sister
in Balukhali camp. He lost his father
during the influx.

Muhib and his family have lived in the
camp since 2019. He shares a small
shelter with six others. The fire took
their home and all they had.
Jafar lost his parents and now lives
with his two uncles and grandmother
in the camp. He loves school! It has
been his place of solace and
belonging, but the fire took his
learning center and home.
For $15/1300BDT a family will receive a month’s worth of healthy food. Click here to JOIN the group of change makers in theFEED
We need you
to help children
Monthly donors are the backbone of our work. Their ongoing support allows us to plan forward. Join the collective and dive into a community of amazing folks. For $15/1300BDT monthly, a family will receive a month’s worth of healthy food each month.
Share Your Birthday or Special Day with
Support Thrive’s mission of delivering healthy food to hungry children automatically with every Amazon purchase you make:)
Bangladesh Trust
Amna Rahman, Chair, Educator, Bangladesh
Arsalan Ali, Vice-Chair, Managing Director & Entrepreneur,
Senior Advisor: Sadia Moyeen, Business Owner, Bangladesh
Executive Committee
Gina Gabel, Co-Founder, President, Educator, US
Amna Rahman, Vice President, Educator, Bangladesh
Rich Watson, Treasurer, COO NGO, US
Kanwal Bhagat, Secretary, Wellness Entrepreneur, Bangladesh/
Shannon Young, Strategic Growth, Foreign Service Officer –
Population Health & Nutrition, US/Tanzania
Arsalan Ali, Managing Director & Entrepreneur, Bangladesh
Rebecca Arnold, Development Manager NGO, US
Priscilla Heffelfinger, Co-Founder, CEO, US/Philippines
Sadia Moyeen, Business Owner, Bangladesh
Advisory Council
Senior Advisor: Mishal Karim, Managing Director & Entrepreneur,
Zulfikar Ali, Managing Director & Entrepreneur, Bangladesh
Rose Blanchard, Public Health Professional, US/Dubai
Cristina Imperial Carl, CEO Business Organization, Philippines
Louie Gabel, Attorney, US
Leni Hester, Photographer, US
Shelley King, Tech Entrepreneur & Marketing Consultant, US
Joe Labriola, Executive Director NGO, US
Debbie Pfeifer, Communications Consultant, US
Farhan Rahman, Tech Entrepreneur, Bangladesh
Archana Raj, Apparel Entrepreneur, Bangladesh/India
Dana Zarzycki, Photographer & Development Director, US
Priscilla Heffelfinger, Co-Founder, CEO, US/Thailand
Adele Millard, Creative Director, US/Croatia
Amanda Pierce, COO, PH Operations US/Philippines
Sharmin Akhi, BD Operations Manager, Bangladesh

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Schools & Organizations

Importance of Thrive’s Healthy Meals

When children at schools in Bangladesh and community programs in the Philippines see a Thrive delivery coming, they know that their bellies will soon be full with delicious fruits, vegetables, eggs, and peanuts. They know they’ll soon have more energy and attention for their schoolwork.
What Thrive kids might not realize is all of the ways the food is nourishing their growing bodies and brains.
In Bangladesh and the Philippines, it is rare for people to suffer from outright starvation. However, malnutrition levels remain perilously high.

The most recent Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) (2017-18) reports that children in Bangladesh:

    • 31% of children under age 5 are stunted (short for their age); 9% are severely stunted
    • Among the poorest families (lowest wealth quintile), 40% of children are stunted
    • 8% of children percent are wasted (thin for their height)
    • 22% of children are underweight

The primary causes of stunting are too few calories, and/or eating foods that lack growth-promoting nutrients.

The primary causes of stunting are too few calories, and/or eating foods that lack growth-promoting nutrients.

A malnourished body has a weakened immune system, and is more susceptible to illness.
At the same time, when a child is ill, their body suffers from poor nutrient intake, absorption, and utilization.

Children who are frequently ill cannot attend school regularly.

Girls who were stunted as children are even at risk of complications later in life during pregnancy due to their small size.
In short: It is difficult for a malnourished child to reach their full potential.

Thrive Bangladesh and Philippines, delivers not just calories, but seasonal fruits and vegetables with vitamins and essential micronutrients. We always include a source of protein, such as eggs or peanuts, because we don’t just feed children, we nourish them, so they can thrive!

This post was written by one of Thrive’s amazing board members, Rebecca Arnold. You can find out more about Rebecca and the rest of the team here.

To learn more about nutrition and the food we serve at Thrive go here.