Yesterday, October 16th, was World Day. It made me think, as I chewed on my leftover turkey-dinner lunch. About how many people in the world don’t have one meal, let alone three.
World hunger is a huge problem – too big for any one individual, group or country to resolve. Yet despite the surplus of food in some parts of the world, hundreds of thousands of people go hungry in other parts of the world. The challenge is one of distribution rather than provision with the added complication of politics.
You shake your head as I shake mine. Perhaps you put together a few items from your pantry to take to the Food Bank. And you vow to be more prudent in your meal planning and grocery shopping. There are wiser, more experienced people and organizations to work on solving this problem. You decide you will donate to them at the end of the year, with some of your Christmas bonus money.
This is fairly typical North American middle-income-or-better thinking. And the truth is, throwing a few coins to a homeless person, giving a few cans to a food bank, even donating $50 to a helps organization won’t effect lasting change.
Have you heard the saying “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”?
While I’m not doing that personally, I do support and help an organization that does. Visit www.bopomavillages.org and find out more.
Imho Vera, we need to do both. Different people have different needs. Some cannot fish and must be given the fish, others need the fish first and the tools to fish second and still others can just be taught to fish, to complete your metaphor. I volunteer at a local Rescue Mission and I assure everyone, there are no slackers or takers, only families with true needs. I also support a variety of food charities that do what you suggest. We need to open our eyes and not apply preconceived notions to the issue. By the way, reducing meat production and consumption will go a long way toward ending hunger. People do not need meat to be healthy. I have not eaten it for over three decades. Thank you for this consciousness-raising post.
Point taken, Beth, and I agree we need to assess and meet needs as they are. Ultimately we should strive to help those who can to become self-sufficient. Of course feed the hungry today, so they can live to be part of the solution. It’s one reason I’m passionate about Bopoma Villages – they provide food and water and care for orphans and are teaching/helping the community to become self-sustaining. I agree about the meat production and am familiar with some of the stats. One person can’t do everything but every person can do something.
Absolutely. We are on the same wavelength. That is why microloans to women in third and fourth world countries have been so successful. In this country, I worry about people who have the mistaken notion that, for example, SNAP recipients are all on the dole, sitting on the couch and laughing at the taxpayers. I hope that impression can someday be eradicated by the facts. Meanwhile, anything each of us can do individually to help is a great boon. Someone sent me this interesting link, just this morning http://www.femmethemovie.com.
Yes! Can’t wait to check out the link. One key to success is reaching, teaching and helping girls and women (check out this link ) I love the idea of microloans and I know they work well. As with anything, there are people who will abuse any type of assistance (like SNAP) but we dare not paint everyone with the same brush.