5 Ways to Help End World Hunger
As I walked into the coffee shop to get my $2 coffee, I glanced out the window and saw him. Easily overlooked, he wasn’t even visible under his thin, tarp-like blanket covering him from head to toe. Next to his sleeping body was a crudely written sign that read simply, “Just hungry.”
The sincerity of his message was unmistakable and my heart slowly broke in two. I thought about the comfort of my vehicle I would head back to as I sipped my coffee, my sweet, loving family inside, the food in my pantry and my large, warm bed. Moments ago I had lamented to myself some lack I perceived in my own life. In this moment, seeing this man’s vast lack of common necessities, I felt like a Queen living with every luxury. I had everything I needed. His basic needs remained unmet.
Tears began to cloud my vision as these realizations flooded my mind. Love overwhelmed me and I thought, “No one should ever be hungry. There’s just no need for it.” Yet so many walked by him without a single thought. He was part of the regular landscape of their surroundings.
That day, we took a few extra minutes and bought him some food. He remained asleep when we left it by his side. Who knows if his sandwich was still warm when he awoke. Where would his next meal come from? Would he sleep there again that night? Only God knows. I wished we could do more.
This past week on October 16th, we observed World Food Day – a day dedicated to increasing awareness about hunger and nutrition. While hunger continues to plague underdeveloped countries, it’s a very real issue right here in the US as well. Many times hunger and obesity coexist due to foods high in starch, fat and sugar being more readily available and affordable than whole, fresh foods.
Most of us have plenty to eat, too much even. We throw good food away or let it go bad. It doesn’t matter. We’ll just buy more. What if we could do more? Take a little from what we weren’t going to use anyway, cook a few more meals at home instead of going out to eat and feed someone in need. We’ve researched some concrete ways to help the hunger issue across the globe.
Nutrilite, an organic vitamin and supplement company created The Power of 5 Campaign in 2014 to fight childhood malnutrition. They developed a micronutrient supplement they call “Nutrilite Little Bits for children ages 6 months to 5 years old. They target children because malnutrition affects them most. If they don’t get the necessary nutrition in those critical first five years of life, their little brains and bodies won’t develop properly.
So far The Power of 5 has been able to help 31,455 children in 15 different countries. You can help them feed these children. Plan an event to help raise awareness and funds or you can donate funds yourself. Just $10 will support one child for an entire month. Pack a lunch to take to work one day out of the week and you can feed 4 children. Do it every day and you can feed 30.
Millions of children in the United States receive two hot meals at school each day. But those meals may be the only ones they get. Feeding America started Backpack programs over 15 years ago to help feed these undernourished children on the weekends. Over 450,000 bags of food are distributed to these hungry children and with our help, they can feed even more.
Contact your local food bank to find out if there is a backpack program in your area. If not, maybe you can help start one. If you’re in the Raleigh, NC Triangle area, look into Backpack Buddies for ways you can help the children in our community.
3. Donate to Food Banks
All of us have brought a can of green beans or ravioli to a food bank drive around the holidays. What is unfortunate is that much of the nonperishable foods donated tend to be void of much nutrition. Junk food and sweets, while tasty, don’t do much to sustain those suffering from hunger and malnutrition.
Here’s a list of good choices of food and other items to donate:
- Beans and grains
- canned vegetables and fruit
- canned protein
- peanut butter
- instant foods that only need boiling water (pastas, rice, oatmeal, instant mac and cheese)
- pickles, olives
- bottled water
- feminine products
- your time. It means a lot to give of your time to volunteer and it’s usually much needed.
Did you know food banks actually accept donations at other times besides the holidays? Check-in with your local food bank throughout the year to find out what they might need most.
For more global hunger issues, this organization is making a huge impact. They’ve fed 21 million people in 47 countries. They are very clear about where their donations are going and make it evident that 93% of their money goes straight to their programs.
This organization not only cares for malnourished children but also their families. They provide aid after natural disasters and help equip people to better care for themselves.
“We enable people to provide for themselves, see their children grow up strong, and for whole communities to prosper.” That’s a worthy cause to get behind. Click here to donate.
Since it’s inception in 1998, the Rise Against Hunger organization has sent out over 500 million meals to hungry people around the world. These meals were packaged and prepared by volunteers like you and me. You can host a meal packing event as a family, a church or any organization. They utilize groups of all sizes.
You’ll assemble bags of rice, soy, and nutrients in assembly-line fashion. It’s a great way to get involved personally and get excited about the impact you can make by giving of your time and energy. It’s just a few hours of your time but makes a world of difference to each individual who receives that nutritious meal.
We hope you’ll find at least one area on this list that you can take action on today. Together we can end world hunger. If each of us does a little, it will add up to more than enough. Do your part, spread the word and we really can achieve zero hunger.