Hunger is a crisis that hits close to home. In the United States there are over 50 million people who are hungry. In your city or town there is a food bank that needs your support.
Worldwide there are about 870 million people who suffer from hunger. They are trapped in conflict and disaster zones or in areas where it is hard to break the cycle of poverty. Given the geographic distance and sometimes lack of media coverage about hunger in foreign countries, it seems much harder for someone to help.
The further you are from a crisis the harder to keep it in mind, especially one of lasting duration. When George Marshall made his famous speech on rebuilding Europe after the Second World War he said, “the people of this country are distant from the troubled areas of the Earth and it is hard for them to comprehend the plight and consequent reactions of the long-suffering peoples.”
The World Food Programme has distributed emergency food rations to more than 81,000 people in and around Goma who’ve fled the latest round of fighting in North Kivu of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. (WFP/Djaounsede Pardon)
But you can take action to feed the hungry whether they are close to home or far away. That is the what the book Elizabeth Paff and I are writing, How to End World Hunger from Your Own Backyard, is all about.
With enough creativity and persistence there are ways you can make a difference. Maybe it’s collecting food for your local pantry through a community event. Or the way, this week, I am sponsoring Elizabeth as she runs to raise money to buy the life-saving food Plumpy’Nut to feed severely malnourished children. Or the ways you can save food from being wasted and making sure it reaches the hungry.
It’s ideas like this that we think can have a big reach. You do not have to hold power in public office or business to necessarily have an impact on the hunger crisis. If there is enough of this activism it can help end global hunger and build peace. It starts, though, at the individual level. You can be a leader.
We’ll be sharing what we learn in writing this book, including actions people are taking every day to fight hunger. Our book will explore many ideas for tackling hunger and how they fared in terms of results. Through these experiences we want to help someone get their own start being a leader in feeding the hungry. We’ll also look back in history for inspiration.
So stay tuned for more about our book. Please also follow along on Twitter to get updates about our Plumpy’Nut running fundraiser.