I listened to a radio show recently about hungry children in New Mexico while I was cleaning out the refrigerator in order to put away groceries. I started to cry because I was throwing out food. I rationalized that at least the food was going to the compost pile where it would be eaten by squirrels, chipmunks, coyotes, deer and beer, but I feel helpless at this inequity. What can I do to help hungry people?
The reality of hunger can be hard to bear and it’s good news that there’s a new muppet on Sesame Street, Lily, a seven-year-old girl, whose family often struggles to get enough to eat. Lily is part of a Sunday special, “Growing Hope Against Hunger.“
Sunday, October 16th is World Food Day USA, a worldwide event designed to raise awareness in order to help alleviate hunger. 36.3 million people in the US, approximately one in ten, live in households that experience hunger or are at risk for hunger. One in four USA children live in these households. One billion worldwide are hungry.
Here are some things you can do:
Host a Sunday Dinner and talk about hunger. Oxfam offers a Sunday Dinner Discussion Guide, which includes questions like, “Where does your food come from?” and “How is the global food system connected?
Get together and talk with others about how to help alleviate hunger in your area. Is it enough to have more food banks or do we need food trucks? People who can’t afford food can’t afford transportation, so how can we get food to the people who need it?
Review your own diet to see if you could eat more local food or more food in season. Learn about the Slow Food Movement. Some people have even committed to eating only food that is grown within 100 miles of them. Others, like Barbara Kingsolver and Bill McKibben, have experimented with eating only what they can grow and store from their own garden or buy close to home.
Check out the San Francisco Food Bank interactive tool, Hunger 101, in which you follow four hungry San Franciscans as they try to make ends meet.
Read Barbara Ehrenreich’s book, Nickled and Dimed. She chronicles her experience of trying to live on minimum wage.
Sign the I’m Mad as Hell petition on EndingHunger.org
Join me in remembering to say thank you every time we sit down to a meal.
Tags: Animal Vegetable Miracle, Barbara Ehrenreich, Barbara Kingsolver, Bill McKibben, Deep Economy, EndingHunger.org, Food, Growing Hope Against Hunger, Hunger, Hunger 101, Lily the Muppet, Nickel and Dimed, Oxfam, San Francisco Food Bank, Sesame Street, Slow Food, Sunday Discussion Guide, The 100-Mile Diet, World Food Day, World Food Day USA