Are you hungry? And if you are, right now, wherever you are, how difficult is it for you to find something to eat? And if you for some reason don't have anything you want at hand, is it feasible for you to hop in your car, or walk, or take a bus or train to a market where you can buy what you need? Hunger, for most of us, is a minor inconvenience. In first world countries hunger is still a problem, but often only the poor and marginalised people really experience the full impact of going hungry on a regular basis. But around the world, starvation and death are happening every day.
After the past two years of isolated zoom based gatherings to celebrate holidays, I am watching the topic of food become a daily subject on social media, and among conversations with friends. And it bothers me , because although I certainly understand our desire as humans to reestablish traditions and enjoy the connections we treasure, I can't ignore what I'm watching happen around the globe.
Covid, Climate Change, and the violence that is more plentiful than any harvest is wreaking havoc on the food supplies around the world. There are small things we can and should do in our personal lives to contribute to the safety of others, the life of our planet, and the election of leaders who will hold others accountable for acts of aggression against the innocent whether in our own country or across the world. Because you are mostly people I know well, I believe you are each doing those things.
But let me tell you why I'm so worried about hunger.
The #1 driver of hunger on the planet is man made conflict.
Did you know...
690 million people are chronically undernourished
99% of people living in hunger are in low and middle income countries
Women and girls account for 60% of people living in hunger worldwide
BABIES are dying from starvation at an unprecedented rate in the most hard hit countries.
The top countries facing the largest incidence of death by starvation at this moment are
The Congo, Afghanistan, Yemen, Nigeria and Ethiopia.
I believe that most of us have so much more than we need. So I'm focusing my holiday budget on something that will help others get just a little of what might help them survive the brutal famine that is affecting our fellow humans. I'm asking if you'd like to help too, I've pulled together some legitimate and well regarded groups that are engaged in these areas and others to help feed the people.
Remember that even the smallest donation will help. (Think your daily pumpkin spice, or glass of vino?) If you prefer to give locally, find a food bank or shelter in your community and do what you can. Make sure that you ask questions about what is most useful to the people who receive the help so that you can make useful contributions.
Together we can do so much.
Talk to your friends ( feel free to share the link to this blog), your churches and other groups that want to help. Get your kids and other family members involved, maybe an Elf on the shelf game that creates donations? Maybe set up a "Piggy Bank" for the new year to build donations over time. Let me know what you come up with!
Thank you for anything you are able to do. After all, isn't learning to share what we have one of the very first lessons we are taught? And in this case, it's actually a matter of life or death.
World Central Kitchen, Chef Jose' Andreas' is focused on stopping hunger and supporting climate change in America and around the world
United Nations World Food Program addresses global need with unique ways to support their efforts. https://www.wfp.org/get-involved
Also check out their 'Share The Meal' App - https://sharethemeal.org/
You can see where your donations go, choose the country to support and see the progress your support creates!
Action Against Hunger - 40 years, 45 countries and 25 million people fed. 93% of all donations go directly into providing food.
Feeding America - This group works with farmers, retailers and manufacturers to prevent food waste by redirecting surplus to the people who need it most.
The Hunger Project focuses their efforts on women and mobilising local communities to create systems that will help them provide their own food, through education, supplies and collaboration with local governments.
Thanks for reading, and sharing, and giving if you are so inclined. Together we can make a difference .