Posts Tagged ‘malnutrition’

World Food Day—October 16

There’s a chill in the air, which means our appetites turn toward cozy comfort food. Soups and stews and long simmering sauces, casseroles and pies, heartier fare in general. Lucky us.

There are so many people who will go to bed hungry tonight. There have never been more hungry people on the planet than there are right now. This is not to make you feel guilty for what I hope will be a bounteous and filling dinner at the end of your Saturday, but it is a call that we all have to be involved to end hunger. Thus the theme of this year’s World Hunger Day (today, Saturday, October 16). This year’s theme is “United Against Hunger.” It is a world issue, and the responsibility of our global community. There are hungry people in your neighborhood and in neighborhoods on the other side of the Earth. In addition, we have to be diligent and careful about how we try to help. “The world’s top food aid donors, including the United States, Canada, Japan, and the European Union, continue to supply and finance nutritionally substandard foods to developing countries, despite conclusive scientific evidence of their ineffectiveness in reducing childhood malnutrition,” said the international medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders. Even with good intention, it turns out that some of the food we export to help starving communities is significantly LESS nutritious than grocery store dog food. The mud cookies served in Haiti to quiet empty stomachs (mud, shortening, and salt, baked in the sun, and eaten when there is nothing else, to at least fill bellies) are as good as what we send in the name of “aid.”

Find out more about malnutrition and how kids are dying of it every moment, at the website Starved for Attention. There you can take action, sign the petition, and spread the word, today, on World Food Day, and tomorrow and tomorrow.

Feed Your Spirit

Yesterday was the 70th anniversary of the release of Gone With the Wind. One of Scarlett O’Hara’s more famous quotes, among many, is “As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again.”

So what the hell is up with us that we can’t manage to make a proclamation like that for the world? How can we be rounding out the first decade of the 21st century, and people are dying every day from hunger and malnutrition? It isn’t because of actual lack of food—there is enough nutritious food on this planet for every mouth. Some of it may not be conveniently located, but for as much as UPS, FedEx, and the postal service are logging road and air miles and shipping knots, we could  get massive amounts of food to the hungry as easily as we get Wii to the nephews and smelly Yankee Candles to Grandma.

Think about showing some generosity to these or any of the many other charities committed to feeding the hungry. Your support is needed year ’round, but this time of year, especially, it is an awfully good fit to reach out and share the generosity of spirit that is filling the air.

Action Against Hunger-USA (http://www.actionagainsthunger.org/)

Bread for the World (http://www.bread.org/)

Child Fund International (http://www.childfund.org/)

Feeding America (formerly America’s Second Harvest. http://feedingamerica.org/default.aspx?show_shov=1/)

Food for the Hungry (http://www.fh.org/)

Freedom from Hunger (http://www.freedomfromhunger.org/)

The Hunger Project (http://www.thp.org/)

The Hunger Site (http://www.thehungersite.com/clickToGive/home.faces?siteId=1)

UNICEF: Fight Hunger (http://www.unicefusa.org/work/nutrition/?gclid=CLLKuNaS254CFaM45Qod5m49Jw)

World Vision End Hunger (http://www.worldvision.org)

This doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of possibilities to give. Find one near or far from your home or wherever you’ll spend the holidays. It’s hard, at this time of year, to think of anyone going to bed hungry, sick, and possibly not making it to morning due to lack of food. It should be hard to think about—it is unacceptable.

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