Marking World Refugee Day, “Ration Challenge” Asks Americans To Eat Like a Refugee 

May 21, 2021

New York, NYChurch World Service today announced that its annual Ration Challenge campaign will launch on June 13th and run until World Refugee Day, June 20th. The effort, which asks participants to live off the same rations as a refugee for one week, raises awareness about the plight of the more than 25 million people forced from their homes around the world. 

The Ration Challenge is one way we can show refugees that we really are in this together. The funds we raise, by asking our friends and family to sponsor us, will provide critical support to refugees who are still battling the impacts of the pandemic. The conversations we have about this part of the refugee experience can grow compassion and build more welcoming communities,” says Mary Catherine Hinds, Project Manager for the Ration Challenge USA

Funds raised by Ration Challenge in the United States will provide food rations, health care and life-saving support to refugees; and support the ongoing work of CWS to help the vulnerable rebuild their lives in safety. This year’s challenge comes as the world begins to emerge from the Coronavirus pandemic, which while impacting all communities, hit refugees particularly hard, forcing them to seek lives of peace while experiencing devastating hunger.

Americans can sign up to take the Challenge—which takes place from June 13-20 in the week leading up to World Refugee Day–by visiting Participants who receive their first donations by May 27th will be sent a box of rations for the week, along with resources for fundraising and raising awareness in the weeks leading up to the Challenge. Participants can also request a shopping list in lieu of the Ration Pack

While eating rations is only one small glimpse of the incredible hardship many refugees face around the world, the Challenge has proven to be an effective way to raise critical support for displaced people around the world. More than 99,000 people in Australia , New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States have taken the challenge so far, raising more than $14 million to support refugees. The Ration Challenge was begun by Australian aid workers, who began the effort in 2014 following a visit to a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border, where they met with refugees and saw first-hand the rations refugees had to survive on. They were convinced that a small glimpse of the refugee experience would inspire others to do more to support refugees.

Church World Service is a faith-based organization supporting refugees, immigrants and displaced persons since 1946. For more information or to participate in the Ration Challenge, go to