By Kristen Johnson
Today we celebrate World Food Day – a day to take action against hunger. In our world of plenty, no one should live with hunger. However, nearly 5 million children die each year from malnutrition-related causes and 4 in 10 children in poor countries are malnourished. Even in the U.S., 1 in 7 Americans (14.3%!) do not have enough to eat. (World Food Day USA).
What can we do personally to fight hunger? We can reduce our own food waste and buy local when possible. We can serve in food banks. We can work to promote legislation that fights to serve the poor in our country and worldwide. Most importantly, we can serve with love.
When looking to serve, we can always start by looking in our own neighborhoods for ways to serve. Many Churches, my own included, have constant food drives for various local food banks. The Metro Good Neighbor Center in San Diego is an excellent example of a place where donated items will be used. This center provides emergency food, diapers, formula, and outreach services for those in need. (211 San Diego). There are food banks in virtually every city in America in which we can choose to donate items and work hands-on providing food for those in need.
When looking to serve internationally, there are a number of worthy organizations that assist with food security. Some of my personal favorites are:
- Plant with Purpose: They work in 7 developing countries with local farmers to fight world poverty. You can easily donate trees online to assist with their work. (One idea is to think of it as a “carbon offset.” So, if you go on a long road trip, drive an RV, or travel via airplane – donate trees to make up for the carbon you contributed to the environment.) https://www.plantwithpurpose.org.
- Compassion International: They provide child development through sponsorship – spiritual, physical, social and economic. It is a wonderful organization worthy of your dollars. http://www.compassion.com.
- Stop Hunger Now: They work to provide meals to the most needy people in the world. Specifically, these meals are provided to children to keep them in school in the developing world. I participated in a packing event on a service weekend last year and I highly recommend participating in one if you possibly can. Better yet, ask your Church group or other service-organization to sponsor a packing event. You will be glad you did. http://www.stophungernow.org.
Recognizing that hunger exists and that we are responsible for working to solve it is the responsibility of every Christian. Ignoring the problem is sinful.
Matthew 25:37-40 (NRSV): 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40 And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family,[a] you did it to me.’
It’s time to be the change you want to see in the world.
Serve all with love.
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