Thrive 2017 Annual Report

Thrive connects global donors and local volunteers to children living in the poorest areas of the world by providing nutritious food and promoting healthy habits to give them a chance at a better life.


It has been our profound joy to watch Thrive grow and evolve during its first five years. We are inspired every day by our gratitude to our donors, partners and volunteers; by the smiles of schoolchildren living in impoverished neighborhoods; and by the knowledge that there are many more children who need our help.

Thrive’s success so far has been fueled by the passion of the hundreds of donors, partners and volunteers who are committed to our mission, regardless of external challenges including political unrest, floods, and fires. To continue our mission to feed hungry children, we will build on this momentum as Thrive expands to additional schools in new neighborhoods in Dhaka and programs in Manila, and others across the globe. At five years old, Thrive is only getting started.

Thrive on!

Priscilla & Gina
It all started with a simple promise of a banana.
In 2012, three American expats living in Dhaka, Bangladesh set out to feed as many impoverished children as possible, focusing on the places where they could find the most kids in need: makeshift schools in the slums. The women began modestly, offering to make a one-time delivery of bananas to a school in the Korail neighborhood. It quickly became clear that they had discovered an enormous opportunity: providing schoolchildren with nutritious meals so that they can learn, grow and fulfill their potential.
The three women began sharing photos and stories of their experiences on Facebook.
This inspired volunteers in Dhaka to prepare and deliver food, and friends and family around the world to donate money to the cause. Thrive began to take shape.


Thrive delivers over 5,345 meals to children in Bangladesh and the Philippines weekly.

That’s more than 15,000 meals monthly!

That’s more than 64,000 bananas a year!

Nutritious meals include a protein (hard-boiled egg or nuts), a fruit (such as apple, orange, watermelon or fig), vegetables in season (such as carrot or cucumber), and – as always – our signature banana.


Today, Thrive delivers more than 3,750 healthy meals a week to six schools in Dhaka, Bangladesh and a two community programs in Manila, Philippines while teaching proper hygiene habits to prevent illness. The meals – which cost roughly 50 cents per child – include eggs, bananas, peanuts, seasonal fruits and/or vegetables, and a glass of milk.


  • Every school day, Thrive feeds nutritious meals to 749 children in 6 schools varying in size from 24-300 students.
  • In 2017, Thrive began a partnership with the Gulshan Literacy Program in October, which serves 230 children.
  • In November, Thrive developed a partnership with AMAL (Authentic Method of Alternative Learning) to bring hot meals on a monthly basis to Rohingya children and their families living in refugee camps. The first delivery on December 10 included 1,600 meals.


  • Thrive feeds nutritious meals to 150 children in Smokey Mountain schools once or twice a week, and to 75 children once a week via Progressive Assistance Canada (PAC), a play-and-learn initiative.
  • In April, Thrive hosted a health fair attended by more than 250 community members living on Smokey Mountain. The fair included health education, medical support, games, books, clothes and food.

Looking Ahead

We know that the need for Thrive is bigger than our current program. In 2018, we are committed to 1) reaching additional schools in Dhaka and programs in Manila; 2) further strengthening our Board of Directors and Advisory Council; and 3) hiring an Executive Director and additional staff.

Thrive’s founders will return to Dhaka, where Thrive was born in 2012, for a five-year anniversary celebration in early March. Join us!

With continued support from donors and volunteers, Thrive is poised to strengthen its programs, and to take on new and exciting opportunities in in 2018 and beyond. Thrive on!


We received
$78,345 donations
from individual donors and corporate sponsors
  • Food Delivery 90% 90%
  • Development 5% 5%
  • Operations 5% 5%


100% of all donations go toward our mission of providing children healthy meals and hygiene education.

$81,338 in cash reserves as of December 31, 2017.

View our financial statement.

Our Team

Board Members

  • Priscilla Heffelfinger, President
  • Gina Gabel, Vice President
  • Shannon Young, Treasurer
  • Ali Arsalan
  • Kanwal Bhagat
  • Sadia Moyeen

Advisory Council

  • Rebecca Arnold
  • Rose Blanchard
  • Shelley King
  • Adele Millard
  • Dana Zarzyki


  • Gina Gabel
  • Priscilla Heffelfinger
  • Regina Landor


  • Iffat Mallik (Dhaka)
  • Cheryl Brown (US)

Core Volunteers

  • Sadia Moyeen (Dhaka Co-lead)
  • Amna Rahman (Dhaka Co-lead)
  • Kanwal Bhagat (Dhaka, Corporate)
  • Marylu Fryberger (Manila Lead)
  • Ashley Spurlock (Manila)

Salamat, Dhonnobad, Thank You!

Thrive is grateful for the generous support of corporate, organizational, and individual donors.

Corporate Donors

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Thrive brings healthy food to hungry children living in the poorest areas of the world.

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Big thanks to our partners and corporate supporters