(To those of you who've been reading blog after blog about Uniting for Hunger and Hope, blogcatalog.com's effort to unite bloggers from all walks of life to "share your thoughts and be part of the global solution to a global problem," and happened to stumble upon my little essay, I welcome you to my humble little blog. Feel free to read more about what I really write about when you get a chance. Thank you very much. jba)
Growing up in Manila, my family and I were very fortunate. We were not über-rich, but very well-to-do. And because my family worked in the food industry, there was always food on our table. But across the street and behind our neighbors house, there were many people, many families, who did not have the same luxury. Whole families living in rooms and shelters that were smaller than my bedroom. Fathers and mothers who worked so hard, but earned so little. Other than a bowl of rice, there were many nights were they and their children may not have had much to eat. In many instances, even the children went out to beg for money to buy food for their family. You see those late night infomercials where Sally Struthers or some old guy talks to the camera about the plight of these children...guess what...they're not kidding.
All over the world, many people go hungry. The numbers are staggering. It doesn't really matter where you get your information, know that at least one-third of the world's population is underfed, and another third is starving. Of these, some 170 million, MILLION, are children. And if you think the problems are outside of this country, guess again.
In 2006, a study done by the USDA Economic Research Service reported that "35.5 million people—including 12.6 million children—live in households that experience hunger or the risk of hunger. This represents more than one in ten households in the United States (10.9 percent)." With the economy the way it is currently, that number may have increased.
So what can be done?
Well, twenty-five years ago, it was simple. Get a bunch of singers together, from all genres of music, and get them to record a song to sell worldwide. The trend started in Europe, where an all-star super group of English and Irish bands and singers came together to perform what has now become a Christmas staple, Feed the World:
Then the following year, USA for Africa, an all-star lineup of American performers, sang this timeless classic, We are the World:
Not to be outdone, a third group, known as Northern Lights, brought together many of Canada's best voices for their own song, Tears are Not Enough:
Okay, 80's flashback over.
Where am I going with this? Because while all three singles raised millions of dollars in the efforts to fight world hunger, the war still rages...worldwide.
We all want to help right? Of course we do. If you can donate money to the many (legitamate) charities that work with many in need like UNICEF, or WorldVision, do it. If you'd prefer just to donate food or money to your local food pantries or churches, do it. Every little bit helps.
For more information, please click onto the links below. There you will find more information about, and the organizations involved in fighting, world hunger.
- http://www.bread.org/learn/hunger-basics/hunger-facts-domestic.html - Bread for the World
- http://www.worldhunger.org/index.html - World Hunger Notes
- http://www.unicefusa.org/ - UNICEF USA
- http://www.unicef.org/ - UNICEF - United Nations Childrens Fund
- http://www.globalpolicy.org/socecon/hunger/hungerindex.htm - Global Policy Forum
- http://www.who.int/topics/nutrition_disorders/en/ - World Health Organization
- http://www.heifer.org/site/c.slI3IdNVJuE/b.4861851/k.39B8/30_Days_in_April.htm - Heifer Organization