How many times in your life have you been truly hungry? I don’t mean normal hunger that comes from skipping a meal or two, I mean the kind of hunger that causes a literal pain and gnawing in your belly. We may get reminded of global hunger by late night info-mercials with children who look like walking skeletons, or if we interact with homeless people at all, we may see hints of it. You might have been scolded as a child to “finish your food because there are kids starving in Africa!” Some of us may even know people who struggle to put food on the table for their families. But chances are, you’ve never had to deal with the kind of hunger and malnutrition that can kill you.
Lent season is coming up and that leads many to think about fasting. That, in turn, can remind us of hunger, and how many people there are in the world who are always hungry. Lent is also a time when people give up vices, and spend that money that they would have spent on their vice on charity, instead. I think helping out someone who is hungry is an excellent substitute.
Some sobering facts for you:
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that nearly 870 million people of the 7.1 billion people in the world, or one in eight, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2010-2012. ~ Source
The world produces enough food to feed all 7 billion people, but those who go hungry either do not have land to grow food or money to purchase it. ~ Source
Nearly 98% of worldwide hunger exists in underdeveloped countries. ~ Source
Almost 1 in every 15 children in developing countries dies from hunger. ~ Source
The good news is that overall, world hunger has actually decreased, thanks in large part to awareness campaigns, global government programs and more people pitching in to help. There is still a long, long way to go.
What can you do to help? I’m glad you asked! 🙂
Here’s a really good video that addresses global hunger, the reasons behind it and what can be done to help: