What do you do?
Two months into my assignment with Stop Hunger Now and I am settled into my role with the organization and have seen multiple programs across multiple states and interacted with a lot of the individuals working diligently to achieve the organization’s goal of starting a movement to end hunger in our lifetime. What passion and motivation to take action! When I introduce myself to new folks now and they ask what I do, I mention I am working for Stop Hunger Now and I am noticing that I get multiple responses. Some are the obligatory, “Oh that’s so nice! Good for you!” type of response and then some are more challenging. I recently met a young guy at a workout group I have been attending and his response was to ask why our organization did not do more for the hungry here locally. I responded with a question that my director here asked me not long after I started. “When was the last time you heard of someone dying from lack of access to food here in the United States?” The young guy acknowledged the point and we went on our way but it really got me thinking about the answer to the question of how many people here in the US starve to death. So like any modern man I turned to Google to search for the answer. Interestingly, our government does not even track it. In fact they don’t talk about “starvation” at all but rather note poverty and “food insecurity”. Of course there are people who die due to anorexia or other illnesses that result in them not getting enough nutrition but they don’t die due to lack of access. This of course is the result of thousands of fantastic programs that both governments and NGOs provide distributing food, shelter and other necessities for those in need. Developing regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Asia, Southern Asia, South-Eastern Asia and parts of Latin America are the areas where hunger is having the most devastating impacts. These are the precise areas where Stop Hunger Now sends meals and multiple forms of aid to partners working to provide sustainable development. My intention is not to dismiss the needs of many individuals here in the US and other developed nations but rather to note that we don’t face the same level of needs or devastating impacts within our borders as those in developing areas. I have known this fact for a long time but this opportunity is opening my eyes to the reality of it all and showing me that we can make a real and tangible impact through our involvement and wise use of our resources. I am continually grateful for this chance to work with Stop Hunger Now which is dragging me out of my first world bubble and making me realize the importance of empathy, generosity and most importantly involvement.
Note: The picture attached to this post is a shot of my son Max trying the meals that we package at Stop Hunger Now. It consists of rice, soy, vegetables and vitamins and is really nutritious. His American pallet is less impressed with nutritious as it is salty or sweet! 🙂