‘Mormon Land’: What can — or should — the church do about LDS kids who are starving to death?

Leader of a nonprofit is striving to help in a number of countries, but more aid is needed.

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) A mother and child receive nourishment at the Ifo Refugee Camp in Garissa County, Kenya, on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022. The nonprofit Bountiful Children’s Foundation is teaming up with the Utah-based church to feed hungry Latter-day Saint children.

Last week, officials with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced a combined donation of $44 million to a number of nonprofit organizations dealing with global hunger.

“No humanitarian effort is more foundational to Christ’s church than feeding the hungry,” Relief Society President Camille Johnson, head of the faith’s global women’s organization, said in a news release. “We are grateful to have the means to collaborate with wonderful organizations and provide relief to children and young mothers in dire need.”

But what about starving Latter-day Saint children, specifically, in developing countries?

After seeing hungry kids at church during his Latter-day Saint mission to Ecuador, Las Vegas physician Brad Walker returned decades later and launched the Liahona Children’s Foundation to provide a “caloric and vitamin supplement” to those suffering from malnutrition.

It began small but now his nonprofit — which changed its name two years ago to the Bountiful Children’s Foundation — actively serves “nearly 20,000 children and many of their mothers in 16 countries,” according to its website, and is working with the church’s humanitarian services for members. Walker says church brass also asked Johnson, the women’s leader, to tackle the problem worldwide — without giving her a staff, budget or direction on how to do so.

So those needs remain great. Walker says, with emotion, that some six children a day die of starvation somewhere in the world.

On this week’s show, he explains those needs and how this new collaboration with the church is working — and sometimes not working.

Listen here: