So often when we speak of hunger in the world, and specifically in the United States it occurs from a distance and in an impersonal manner, until it gets personal. Getting personal can occur when someone you know or someone you love finds themselves debating whether food is something which should be purchased today. Think about that for a minute. If you’ve never had such a thought, where will the food come for my or my family’s next meal, count yourself amongst the fortunate, but more than 50 million in the United States have such thoughts daily; more than 900,000,000 persons in this world we share have those thoughts daily. Please ask yourself, is it possible that the United States (the land of plenty) can have 1/20th of the world’s hungry within its population? Then, please ask yourself, what can I do.
There are organizations, groups, communities and individuals who are answering that question. Let me share with you a selection of kind acts which are occurring throughout the United States which are focused on ensuring not one child goes without their required nourishment, that not one family lives with the angst and stress of deciding between medicine or food.
- United Egg Producers donated 50,000,000 eggs to local food banks across the country via Feeding America. Vicki Escarra, President and CEO of Feeding America said, “The need for a high-protein food for families facing food insecurity is greater now than ever. Receiving the gift of eggs is a tremendous help at this time of year and we are happy that United Egg Producers are stepping up again to make a difference.“
- Rutgers University students organization, Rutgers Against Hunger (RAH) are conducting a spring food drive campaign, “Strike out Hunger.” This campaign runs for nine weeks (April 4 – June 3, 2011) and has a stated goal to continue raising awareness of the issues of hunger in New Jersey and encouraging the Rutgers University community to give back by donating food to assist their neighbors in need. The RAH places 150 collection sites throughout the university’s campuses and they encourage the community, not just students, faculty and employees to donate.
- Western Carolina University is hosting a forum to address the problems of hunger in Western North Carolina. Many are unaware that North Carolina has one of the highest rates of food insecurity in the United States and the metro area of Asheville ranks #7 (seventh) in the United States. The forum sponsored by WCU’s Public Policy Institute and MANNA Foodbank to highlight the problems in Western North Carolina and outline possible solutions.
- The United Methodists in Idaho and Oregon addressing the topic of food insecurity during their annual conference through the awards of grants to congregations to enable them to begin or expand hunger ministries. In 2010 more than $18,000 were awarded to nine separate entities. Grant guidelines and applications are available at the Conference web site.
We can all do something, please seek out ways to address the issue of hunger and food insecurity in the United States.