Each day this week we will take a moment to focus on a specific area of poverty; each are a fact of life for a majority of those living on less than $1.50 a day. Today, we will take a brief look at the area of hunger.
Current statistics show that there are roughly 870 million malnourished people around the globe, which means that 1 in 8 people globally do not get enough food to be healthy and live an active life (World Food Programme, WFP). In the US, 1 in 4 children don’t know where their next meal will come from (A Place at the Table). Hunger does not respect borders, class, race, gender, or any other definition. It is not always spotted on the surface, and is often responsible for disease, lack of physical and mental development, reduced productivity, and increased risk of premature death.
If you did not see it when it came out in March, I would encourage you to rent or purchase “A Place at the Table” (DVD), due to be released on DVD tomorrow. It is a documentary that investigates incidents of hunger experienced by millions of Americans, and proposed solutions to the problem.
World Food Programme defines hunger as the world’s greatest solvable problem. One of the topics discussed in “A Place at the Table” describes how the US government began to actively pay farmers to not produce crops to ensure that they could maintain financial stability, when the previous program of allowing the farmers to grow crops (that eventually set in silos and rotted) became frowned upon. According to WFP, it would take $3.2 billion dollars annually to feed the 66 million school aged children in the world. It is estimated the US spends $2 billion dollars a year to prevent crops.
I could spend an entire week on this single topic alone, but will instead direct you towards several articles or videos that I found that gave me a different perspective on the issue of hunger, both locally and globally. This week I would encourage you to seek out your own opinions and think about how you can help. Do not feel overwhelmed as neither you nor I alone can solve these issues, it will take a planet of people working together and putting feelings and greed aside. One man invented a product called Plumpynut that is helping dramatically save malnourished children around the world.
Brian Day 1:
Breakfast went well this morning with an adequate amount of oatmeal and a cup of coffee. I prepared my lunch the night before by soaking my lentils and split peas. I discovered this morning that rice takes a considerable amount of time to cook. I tried to stretch it as far as I could until lunch today, and made it to 2:00 pm before caving. I tried to drink water today at the times I was hungry, and that seemed to help. With each sip, I couldn’t help but think of the videos of women and children walking miles for water that was filled with dirt and disease. We are so very blessed when it comes to something so simple. It’s very humbling. We finished out the night with a buttered biscuit and Ramen noodles for dinner. I will attempt tomorrow to eat dinner closer to bed time to fight off the late night sweet tooth. Day 1 down and 4 to go, I anticipate tomorrow to be extremely difficult.
Heidi Day 1:
While discussing Live Below the Line this weekend, one of the quotes that Brian shared with was, “We are not walking a mile in their shoes…we are walking their mile in our shoes.” So true. We are making choices this week to limit our food, however, we know that at the end of the week, things will go back to “normal.” I know that even though I am hungry tonight, I will not be hungry this time next week, and I certainly was not hungry this time last night. Perspective is everything. I can’t help but think of the million of people around the world, in my children’s birth country, and right here in my back yard that do not have this perspective. For them, hunger is real…with no end in sight. Today was an active day for me; I went for a 5.5 mile walk with my friend, then ran a mile, then cleaned by house and reorganized our bathrooms this afternoon. As I sit here tonight, I can feel sluggish. I keep thinking about all the moms around the world that work, physically labor, take care of their children, all while hungry- with hungry kids. I just cannot imagine. So, do I feel hungry tonight? Yes. Do I know what it is like to truly be hungry? I never have- and I feel blessed by that. I pray for all the people for whom that feeling is all too familiar.
How can you help?
Please join us again tomorrow at 1:50 PM to lift the residents of Korah and the 1.4 billion people in the world who are struggling to meet their most basic needs. Tomorrow we will focus on the important issue of clean drinking water and sanitation. If you feel called, you can click on the Donate button below, or visit the blog, A Heart for Korah, an organization that provides direct aid to this area—you can find a link on our sidebar. If you donate below or through their site—please include “Live Below the Line” fundraiser in a message to seller. You can also email us for a physical address to mail a donation. Thank you in advance for all of your support.