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A Modern-Day “Silent Guest” to Fight Global Hunger

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Last Thanksgiving I wrote a story about the 1947 Silent Guest Program to fight world hunger. At the holiday meal people were asked to imagine an extra guest at their table, one of the starving in Italy, France, Austria, Germany or other nations devastated by World War II.

The Silent Guest founder, Iris Gabriel, asked people to donate the cost of feeding this extra guest at Thanksgiving. This money led to a CARE package for a hungry person overseas.

Today, the UN World Food Programme has launched a modern-day version of the Silent Guest program. It’s called We Feedback. Here is an example of how it works. It’s dinner time and let’s say you decided to order a pizza that costs $10.

At the We Feedback site, you can then calculate what it would cost to feed a silent guest a pizza of their own. In the feedback box you would enter pizza, add the cost of 10 dollars in the price box. The We Feedback calculator tells you how many children can be fed with the cost of your dinner.

In the case of the $10 pizza, it’s 40 children, a lot of silent guests or maybe not so silent guests. You click “Feed Them Now” to make a donation to the World Food Programme, which will be used to provide school meals to children.

The World Food Programme (WFP) runs school feeding programs in developing countries to fight hunger and promote education. Many of these programs are facing dramatic funding shortfalls. In some countries like Yemen, Food for Education has been suspended for a year due to lack of funding. Other school feeding programs at risk include Benin, Afghanistan, Mauritania, Tajikistan and more. Many countries lack universal school feeding.

At any meal of your choosing, you can feed some of these school children. You can also build a profile on the site and keep track of your efforts at providing school meals.

Easter is upon us. This is as good a time as any to take in some silent guests and Feedback.

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About William Lambers

William Lambers is the author of several books including Ending World Hunger: School Lunches for Kids Around the World. This book features over 50 interviews with officials from the UN World Food Programme and other charities discussing school feeding programs that fight child hunger. He is also the author of Nuclear Weapons, The Road to Peace: From the Disarming of the Great Lakes to the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, Open Skies for Peace, The Spirit of the Marshall Plan: Taking Action Against World Hunger, School Lunches for Kids Around the World, The Roadmap to End Global Hunger, From War to Peace and the Battle of Britain. He is also a writer for the History News Service. His articles have been published by newspapers including the Cincinnati Enquirer, Des Moines Register, the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Buffalo News, San Diego Union Tribune, the Providence Journal, Free Lance-Star (VA), the Bakersfield Californian, the Washington Post, Miami Herald (FL), Chicago Sun-Times, the Patriot Ledger (MA), Charleston Sunday Gazette Mail (WV), the Cincinnati Post, Salt Lake Tribune (UT), North Adams Transcript (MA), Wichita Eagle (KS), Monterey Herald (CA), Athens Banner-Herald (GA) and the Duluth News Journal. His articles also appear on History News Network (HNN) and Think Africa Press. Mr. Lambers is a graduate of the College of Mount St. Joseph in Ohio with degrees in Liberal Arts (BA) and Organizational Leadership (MS). He is also a member of the Feeding America Blogger Council.