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Hunger – Whose Problem is it?

January 29, 2011

Hunger, feeding the world, international food production; these aren’t statements I thought about until I recently began researching for a presentation I was to give to a Des Moines Civic Organization. Even when those thoughts did cross my mind, images of hungry children in Africa, or Asia were the ones that floated through. Not once did it cross my mind that there were children right here in our own neighborhoods, and communities going to bed with an empty stomach every night.

The people I’ve talked to have said it’s not lack of food, but lack of distribution. In some cases those same people have continued on to say that even if everyone did have enough food, people would reproduce more and we’d be right back to where we started, so what’s the point of trying? It’s a never ending battle…one that we can’t win.

Growing up I was always filled with questions. Questions such as “why do I have to learn geography,” or “how will world history help me in the future?” My teachers would always reply, “ it will make you an informed world citizen.”

I wasn’t just a citizen of small town Iowa anymore, no I was a citizen of the world. How often do we find ourselves saying that hunger is someone else’s problem? They’ll fix it, and it’s to disturbing to think about anyway.

The story about four people named Everybody, Anybody, Somebody, and Nobody comes to mind. “There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it. Everybody was sure Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when actually Nobody asked Anybody.”

I believe hunger is an issue, which not only reaches the reaches the far corners of the world, but can also be seen in our communities, and we can be the ones to help alleviate the issue. I’m not asking for a dollar a day, or for you to uproot your families to become global volunteers. No, the issue of hunger in today’s society is something which can be impacted by volunteering two hours at the soup kitchen, donating a can of soup to the food bank, or organizing an event for Kids Against Hunger.

Tonight one billion people in the world will go to bed hungry. One in six children in the United States has empty stomachs right now, and in Iowa 40% of families will choose between eating or paying the bills. We are the ones who will influence the world in the future. As for solving world hunger, it may be a noble goal, but Anybody can do it, as long as Nobody blames Everybody, and Somebody steps up to the plate.

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From → My Opinions

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