This archived article was written by: Marsha Jensen
The small child cried in the night, his mother having nothing to give him to keep his hunger at bay. She herself was hungry, having not eaten in days.
This scenario is a common reality in second and third world countries. Did you know that hunger and poverty kills 25,000 people every day? That’s more than the population of Price dying every day because of hunger. Everyone has missed a meal at some point in their life, and each one can say that it’s not a pleasant experience. Take that one experience and stretch it on for days. Does anyone truly deserve such a fate when the world is swimming in unused food? The answer is no. The only way to stop world hunger is to become involved.
The College of Eastern Utah SUN Center decided to help college students become aware of the growing epidemic plaguing this world. Students were welcomed for a free meal, with donations of 50 cents or a can of food going to the local Food Bank. The students that came were split into three separate groups, each representing the first, second, and third world countries.
Those that drew the number for first world countries were seated at a table with a dinner salad, menu and most things seen at a nice restaurant. The second world students sat on blankets and third world students sat on newspapers. Each group was given a dinner fitting the social class that they were placed in, all in effort to show the students just how large the contrasts between the classes really are. Higher class received a baked potato, salad and dessert – all others were served tortillas with rice and beans.
Stephen Blackman, spokesman for Utahans Against Hunger, talked to the students about facts and situations, such as death and disease because of malnutrition. He said 854 million people do not have enough to eat – more than the populations of USA, Canada and the European Union combined.
Relief efforts have been put into place to help starving countries, but without more help, people will not eat and they will die. The countries we don’t see on the news daily are the ones suffering the most such as South Asia where 524 million of the world’s hungry live.
Although world hunger is a major issue, there is an issue closer to home. It is estimated that in Utah over 63,000 people eat at a soup kitchen each month. Also one in ten families live in poverty, with 134,000 families living on food stamps – which makes up only half of those that are actually eligible to receive help.
Hunger and death aren’t the only side effects of not eating. Going without breakfast and/or lunch can cause one to become unfocused – you aren’t just starving your stomach, you’re starving your brain too.
How can you as a person help to stop this preventable epidemic that is killing millions? Donate money and food to your local food banks. The more stock the food banks have, the more able they are to serve people in the community as well as send extra food to surrounding areas. By donating to local food banks, you are enabling struggling people to have a warm meal and food on their shelves. As it is so often said, a little goes a long way. It goes for food also, by donating, you could be saving thousands of hungry families with little or no effort on your part. Donating saves lives.
For these facts and more can be found at the FOA & The State of Food Insecurity in the World website and www.upleg.com And for more information on getting involved, go to www.utahfoodbank.org.