THE BLOG

Nepal: How Runners, Walkers Can Help Today

05/11/2015 03:15 pm ET | Updated May 11, 2016

She was gone. Thirteen-year-old Sangmaya was lost under the rubble of Nepal's massive earthquake. Her family frantically searched for her. The first hours of digging revealed nothing. "I lost all hope," her mother recalled.

But the third hour of searching produced a miracle: The young girl was found alive and unharmed.

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13-year-old Sangmaya is receiving food assistance in Nepal from the United Nations World Food Programme. (WFP/Marco Frattini)

Reunited, the family is trying to recover from the shock of April 25th disaster that killed more than 8,000 people and injured an estimated 16,000. Like thousands of survivors across the country, Sangmaya and her family need food to survive and rebuild.

They are getting this aid from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). The rice represents more than lifesaving nutrition. Each spoonful represents hope and strength for a better tomorrow.

2015-05-11-1431366786-9085864-charitywfp.jpgWFP depends on voluntary donations in order to provide this life-saving food. Did you know there is a way you can help them with your smartphone? You can do this with the free app called Charity Miles.

You can use Charity Miles right now to help WFP feed earthquake victims in Nepal and hungry children around the globe. Every mile you run, walk or bike means a donation of a meal to WFP, the largest hunger relief organization. You can become a food ambassador during a time of great need, like right now with the ongoing relief effort in Nepal.

The earthquake and its aftermath has caused a severe hunger emergency. The U.N. say there are 3 million people in Nepal who need food aid.

WFP is leading the hunger relief mission as we speak. They are bringing rice, high energy biscuits and special nutritional foods like Plumpy'Sup to the earthquake victims.

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Villagers run in to help unload rice bags as WFP reaches remote areas of Ghorka with emergency food. (WFP/Zoie Jones)

Many of the families were left homeless and have lost their food supply in the devastation. They have little or no resources to fall back on. They were living in poverty even before the earthquake, so you can imagine how desperately they need the support now.

There is a lot that goes into WFP's mission to get food to the hungry. Transporting food to hard-to-reach areas is difficult and dangerous work involving debris, damaged roads and the risk of landslides. The relief effort in Nepal requires a massive logistics effort to deliver food to survivors in remote regions.

WFP also employs behind-the-scenes heroes as well, like the agency's emergency technical teams that are establishing internet connectivity to help coordinate the relief mission. Improved communication leads to more efficient food aid. The result is hungry people being fed. But to do all this WFP needs the donations.

This is where you come in with Charity Miles.

All you have to do is select World Food Programme from the list of charities on the app. Select your workout (run, walk or bike) and click to start to begin.

2015-05-11-1431363930-8999798-11191249_363423503848117_786534383_n.jpg The app keeps track of your workout and donations raised. These donations are paid for by corporate sponsors. The Charity Miles app is free for you. Your job is to be a good food ambassador using the app.

A former WFP intern, Louise Nielsen of Denmark, just passed the 1,000 Charity Mile mark. That's at least 1,000 meals donated to WFP.

You can tell others what you are doing and why. You can even tweet or Facebook your workout results and impact.

Just the other day I ran 5 miles which means 5 meals donated to WFP. Now imagine if 100 or 1000 people did that every day. Think of all the meals that could be raised.

Colleges are finishing exams now. What if during the summer break teams from each school were formed to raise Charity Miles donations for WFP?

That is another feature of the app, it lets you create teams and keeps track of the totals. The colleges could compete against each other for a good cause. This would be perfect for cross country and track athletes that are starting their offseason workouts now.

Whether you are on a team or you just want to walk, run or bike for exercise you can use Charity miles to feed the hungry.

Lifeway Foods is one of the corporate sponsors of Charity Miles. They are doing matching donations currently to help with the relief of Nepal. Every Charity Mile you do means an extra meal to WFP.

There is more too. It's critical to get the donations to build that essential pipeline of food into the disaster areas. But also as food ambassador you are raising critically need awareness. You are educating and reminding others of the hungry in Nepal and other parts of the globe.

An estimated 805 million people worldwide live in hunger. At this time, there are more hungry refugees than any period since World War II. The more people speak out and take action, the more we can build the political will to end hunger. So it's a positive domino effect.

The most famous food ambassador in U.S. history was Herbert Hoover, who coordinated the feeding of hundreds of millions after World War I and World War II. He built the support system needed to save the war affected countries from famine.

So by using Charity Miles you can play a food ambassador role too. You can speak out for the hungry child in Nepal, Syria, Iraq and others who need aid.

When can you start?