Humanitarian daily ration
Humanitarian daily rations (HDRs) are food rations intended for humanitarian crises. Each is intended to serve as a single person's full daily food supply, and contain somewhat over 2,200 calories. They have shelf-lives of about 3 years, and their contents are designed to be acceptable to a variety of religious and ethnic groups.
The meals are designed to be able to survive being air-dropped without a parachute. This is safer for refugees than parachuting large pallets of rations, as well as preventing meal hoarding by those able to seize a single, large delivery.
HDRs are also made available through organizations such as The Salvation Army to aid victims of poverty in the United States, and were distributed during Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita to victims of the disasters by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Packaging and distribution
The HDR packages are delivered in cases of packages, each containing a small selection of food items based on predetermined menus and an accessory pack containing red pepper, pepper, salt, sugar, spoon, matches, an alcohol-free moist towelette, and a napkin.
HDRs produced by the United States are manufactured by the same companies that produce MREs designed for the United States Armed Forces. Like MREs, the food components are designed so they can be consumed without requiring additional preparation, including cooking. They do not include flameless ration heaters, which are found in MREs.
HDRs are typically air-dropped into the disaster area on large pallets. The HDRs initially dropped in Afghanistan were yellow before it was realized that the packages were the same color as the bomblets in American cluster bombs, which were also dropped in Afghanistan. Later packages were covered in salmon colored foil.
- Main entrée, two of:
- Fig bar
- Vegetable crackers
- Peanut butter
- Strawberry jam
- Fruit pastry (much like a Pop-tart)
- Accessory Pack containing:
|Shelf life||36 months at 80 °F (27 °C)|
|Weight||30 ounces (850 g)|
|Kilocalories||at least 2200 per package|
|Protein content||10-13 percent|
|Fat content||27-30 percent|
|Carbohydrate content||60 percent|
|Prohibited contents||The HDR is designed to "provide the widest possible acceptance from the variety of potential consumers with diverse religious and dietary restrictions from around the world". It contains no animal products, except a limited amount of dairy products, below the limit that would cause a problem for a person with lactose intolerance. Any alcohol or alcohol-based ingredients are also banned.|
|Infant component||All rations contain a fruit paste, or pudding, suitable for feeding to infants|
|Utensils||All rations contain a spoon and a paper towel moistened with a non-toxic, non-alcoholic cleanser|
American Humanitarian Daily Ration program in Afghanistan
On October 24, 2001 Rear Admiral John Stufflebeem announced fears that the Taliban planned to poison American food aid. Stufflebeem said that since the program had been started on October 7, 2001 the USA had dropped 785,000 rations.
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- Albin R. Majewski (Winter 2001). "The Alphabet Soup of Combat Rations". United States Army. Archived from the original on 2007-08-18. Retrieved 2007-10-18.
- Bill Dugan. "MICA Flex Studio 4th group". Archived from the original on October 9, 2008. Retrieved 2007-07-26.
- "Operational Rations of the Department of Defense, PAM 30-25" (PDF) (9th ed.). United States Department of Defense Combat Feeding Directorate. October 2012. p. 55. Retrieved 2014-08-08.
- "Humanitarian Aid to the Afghan People: Issued by the Office of International Information Programs October 15, 2001". United States Department of State. October 15, 2001. Archived from the original on July 14, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-26.
- "Defense Dept. Says Taliban May Attempt to Poison Afghan Food Aid". United States Department of State. October 25, 2001. Retrieved 2007-07-26. mirror
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