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Cincinnati Art Museum Taking on Global Hunger Crisis

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The Cincinnati Art Museum’s summer long exhibit DRAW: Here, There and Everywhere is to get people thinking about global hunger and to take action.

There are nearly 1 billion people worldwide who are hungry and cannot access basic foods. It is through art that the hungry and suffering have an ally. This alliance transcends time.

During World War II shortages of food and other supplies arose in countries occupied by the Nazis. Relief efforts were started. Funds were collected. Awareness of the plight of the hungry children was raised. 

American Relief for Norway was one charity that turned to artists for help. Some raised relief funds through the sale of their paintings and crafts. Other artists went to work on drawings to depict the suffering. A picture could tell the grim tale facing many thousands.


The work of artists and others helped get school meals to children in occupied Norway.  American Relief for Norway said they “gave the Norwegian children more than 18 million large glasses of good milk. And nothing is better than milk for undernourished children.”

This same fundraising and advocacy also meant food packages for the hungry in the northern region of Finnmark after the Nazi retreat leveled the area in 1944. Incidentally, Howard Kershner of the charity Save the Children visited Cincinnati to help build support for the reconstruction of Finnmark.

The Cincinnati Art Museum is continuing this humanitarian tradition today with its exhibit, and also through new technology. The museum has set up a dedicated terminal so visitors can play the award-winning game Free Rice. This is a computer game where for every correct answer 10 grains of rice are donated to the UN World Food Programme (WFP), paid for by advertisers.WFP uses the donations for its hunger fighting missions around the globe.

The Cincinnati Art Museum has also formed its own Free Rice team. You can view a complete list of exhibit events at the World Food Program USA blog.

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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.