Approximately 842 million people suffer from hunger worldwide. 98% of those people suffering from hunger live in developing countries.
About 9 million people die of hunger each year around the world.
Malnutrition is the LEADING cause of death in children around the world. Approximately 3.1 million children die of hunger each year.
66 million primary school-age children attend classes hungry across the developing world.
These facts, these statistics, what we know is going on in the world right now and plaguing millions of people, specifically in developing countries, is overwhelming. So overwhelming that it feels like standing against it would be fighting a losing battle no matter what we do. Overwhelming to the point that the easiest thing to do is turn an ignorant, blind eye to the issue and go on living our lives in peace, without being internally tormented by the prevalent hunger that is weighing down so much of the world. Most of it is happening so far away from us. It’s not something that most of us see or deal with on a daily basis. It is so easy to ignore, to overlook, and to assume that other people are dealing with.
All of this is something that has come to my attention recently and has been so, so heavy on my heart as I started researching and learning about this vast issue. I’ve always known hunger is a problem worldwide. It’s a fact that everyone has heard here and there, but I have never payed any real attention to it. I turned a blind eye, I lived comfortably in my cushy life, ignoring the millions of people that are hungry every day – that die every minute from something that I have never even kind of struggled with for one day.
Jesus lived his life with intense and radical compassion for others. His heart broke and still breaks for the suffering people around the world who he loves and cares for with a desperation we can’t even begin to imagine. I want to embody his compassion for others, and I want my heart to break for what his heart breaks for. I can’t imagine the pain he experiences daily as innocent children around the world die from hunger. We aren’t put on this earth to live our lives selfishly and indulgently, turning away from those who desperately need help. We are here to serve others, to bring the light of Christ to others, to live a life where we are helping and caring for those who need it – not to live our lives ignorant and blissfully unaware of the problems that are plaguing our less fortunate brothers and sisters.
The reason that I have never fully accepted this problem in the past is because it seems so vast and overwhelming. How could we possibly even begin to promote change in this area? There is so much…it is so big. But did you know that more than one billion people in the world attempt to survive on less than a dollar a day? Close to two billion others live on less than two dollars a day. What that means is that nearly half the world is struggling to find food, water, and shelter with the same amount of money that you and I would spend on a cheeseburger at McDonald’s.
It doesn’t take much to help. It doesn’t mean sacrificing half your income to feed the children around the world. Every $1 spent on malnutrition prevention delivers $16 dollars in economic returns. It doesn’t have to take much.
Instead of ignoring the issue and turning a blind eye, challenge yourself to face this head on and take action, even if it isn’t drastic. Every little bit helps and directly affects the hungry and suffering around the world.
I think of my son. I think of the 3.1 million little Fords around the world whose stomachs are empty and who die because of hunger each ear. I think of all the babies his age that wake up hungry every day and go to bed hungry. Having a child of my own makes the thought of hungry children around the world cause literal, physical pain to my heart. If you are a parent, think about your sweet children. Imagine not being able to feed them, to give them the nutrition they need to be healthy and strong. Think of how unbearably painful and heartbreaking it would be to hear them cry in hunger and be in pain, or worse, to lose them to starvation. It is an extremely morbid and painful thought – but it is an even more morbid and painful reality that parents deal with daily, every single minute, across our planet. I am not okay with sitting back and letting the days pass by without taking action towards this problem. We have the means to help – we have the means to fix it. There doesn’t have to be hunger in the world…yes it is a huge, vast, overwhelming problem, but it is one that we have the means and ability to fix.
There are so, so many organizations fighting hunger internationally and here in America, but there is one in particular called Rise Against Hunger. They have goal to end world hunger by 2030. The progress that has been made around the world since hunger has become an issue with higher awareness is staggering.
Here are some organizations that are committed to helping/ending world hunger that accept donations and hands on, volunteer help:
Those are just very few of many. Hunger is a problem that needs attention. I challenge you to confront the problem instead of living in ignorant bliss of those dying every minute from this problem you and I can easily help with. We only have one short life to live – I personally don’t want to spend my years of life focusing on myself instead of serving and helping others that are in desperate need. That’s not what Jesus did, and I want to live my life as close to his example as I possibly can.