State: Minnesota

Kelly Nesvold trains to run 100 miles. Kelly Nesvold trains to run 100 miles.

Running with Purpose

In a world full of adventure races, marathons and 5K events, many exercise enthusiasts find themselves asking, “What’s the point?”

Kelly Nesvold, 39, was one of those people. Nesvold and a group of friends got together and started competing in different events like the Tough Mudder, a half marathon and even a 50 kilometer trail run.

While Nesvold enjoyed spending time with his friends and getting in shape, he found himself asking that very question —”What’s the point?” Other than personal gain, there was really nothing inspiring him to compete.

Early in 2014, Nesvold got the idea to run 100 miles — with a purpose. He decided to raise money for kids all over the world and set a hefty goal of $25,000, which would feed 100,000 children in Convoy of Hope’s Children’s Feeding Initiative for a week.

He trained for months. The event took place on October 11 when he left St. Paul, Minn. around 6:00 a.m. and was prepared to run for the next 24-plus hours.

Sunrise run 3 (1)

Along the route, friends, family members and even strangers joined in on his mission to end world hunger. “It gets pretty emotional when you run for so long,” recalls Nesvold. “It made a huge difference to have that support.”

Nesvold crossed the finish line on Sunday, October 12 in Austin, Minn., —27 hours after he started the race— and was greeted with cheers of support. Nesvold ended up crushing his fundraising goal and brought in over $33,000 to feed kids around the world.

“Raising money for the kids has been phenomenal,” says Nesvold.

He hopes his mission to help others will encourage people everywhere to do the same. He also hopes to set an example for his children that there are no limitations to what you can do when helping others.

While Nesvold will be taking it easy for a while, he reflects on his experience, “It’s made me a  much stronger person. I’m glad I could step up and do my part.”

To learn more about Nesvold’s journey, visit


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Children's Feeding
An older child in our Children's Feeding Initiative dishes out lunch for other children in her school. An older child in our Children's Feeding Initiative dishes out lunch for other children in her school.

What if we fed kids sawdust?

What if Convoy of Hope served children sawdust for lunch? The sawdust could be mixed with water to create a lumpy mush similar to oatmeal. Each child would receive enough sawdust mush to fill their belly, relieving their hunger pains. With this method, Convoy would be able to serve millions of kids every day.

Clearly, what we serve children matters. A full child is not the same as a healthy child.

Convoy of Hope feeds more than 145,000 children in 11 countries. These children show stunning improvements. They gain weight and height, perform better in school, and have more energy. So, what’s in these meals that makes them so effective?

Girls eating lunch

Convoy’s goal isn’t to fill their plates and bellies alone. By partnering with organizations like Feed My Starving Children (FMSC), millions of nutritious meals are served every year through the Children’s Feeding Initiative. Each meal is packed with what a child needs to thrive.

Protein promotes brain development, especially in the first few years of life. Zinc, Iron, Calcium, and Vitamins A, C, D, and E defend against illness, help fight infections, form bones and nerves, improve vision, and aid in digestion. Carbohydrates provide energy to learn, play, and stay physically active.Kids in feeding program El Salvador

Nutrition is important for more than just health. Dr. Peter Orazem, Professor of Economics at Iowa State University, said,

“A kid who starts off nutritionally able can learn in a not-so-great school. But even a kid in the greatest school in the world who’s hungry, who doesn’t have the micronutrients or the proteins that are necessary to develop, is not going to learn.”

Without nutritious meals, Convoy’s programs wouldn’t be effective. Nutrition helps kids learn in school. Nutrition allows medicines to work in the body. Nutrition lets kids become healthy adults who are able to start businesses and grow better crops. Nutrition is a building block required for community transformation.child eating in El Salvador

Feeding a child a bowl of sawdust mush might sound extreme, but unfortunately for many, it’s not far off. When income or access to nutritious meals is lacking, some families living in extreme poverty will resort to feeding their children dirt or tree bark to quiet stomach pains.

Convoy of Hope and Feed My Starving Children exist to bring hope and life. Together, with your help, we can provide children with the nutrition to fuel their bright future.

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Children's Feeding