Posted by: Nancy Day-Achauer | July 6, 2009

No More Hunger

I was watching the local news the other day and learned that the state I live in (Ohio) is the 10th most obese state in the US. On that same newscast there was a report on local food banks running out of food (increase in demand, decrease in donations). Both reports are disturbing – some people are going hungry and some people are overeating. I’ve noticed, however, that our society focuses a lot more on the issue of being overweight than it does on the issue of being hungry. There are tons of newspaper, magazine, Internet, and TV news reports, and even some television shows, all on dieting. There are lots of products and businesses for weight loss, diet, and exercise. There are endless discussions among the general population about the need to lose weight. Everyone has something to say about being overweight. We’re obsessed. Granted, having a healthy weight is important but shouldn’t we be giving equal time and passion to the issue of hunger? A thought to ponder: You can’t make a person lose weight but you can make a person less hungry.

There’s nothing you can say or do that will make an individual lose weight but you personally can directly eliminate one person’s hunger. You can make a difference! There are people in our midst that cannot afford to buy enough food (or in some cases any food) to feed themselves or their families. Some of them are unemployed and many are underemployed. They are young, old, and in between and live in cities, suburbs, and rural areas. Some are homeless and others have places to live (at least for now). And yes, some may be lazy or have substance abuse problems, mental illness, and/or criminal records. The hungry people in American cannot be pigeonholed; the old stereotypes simply do not apply.

I know the excuses we all have and I understand that it’s easy to be so busy with our own lives that we forget about helping others. Additionally, I know that for many people money is tight and they get anxious about spending it on others. But here’s a thought: A can of beans is 79 cents and I bet most of you can spare 79 cents every week. Donating a nutritious food like that every week can keep someone from going hungry. You can probably donate that without even noticing a difference in your grocery bill. For example, if you’re buying four chicken breasts pick up a package that has smaller pieces and use the money you saved for that can of beans. During dinner you won’t even notice that your chicken breast is a little smaller. Or how about buying generic paper towels instead of the name brand next time and use the savings to buy that can of beans. I think you get my drift – you can buy food (and not just beans) for others every week without impacting your budget or quality of life.

I believe many people would like to donate food but they just don’t get around to doing it. They care about people but have trouble putting their concern into action. It would help if we made it easier for people to make donations. We could have food bank donation bins at the doors of all grocery and warehouse stores so we can dump those extras in before they make it to our vehicles. We could have neighborhood food drives where volunteers pick up the donations at people’s doorsteps. Americans are intelligent people; we can come up with lots of options for collecting food and making it easier will make more people willing to participate.

Why should we do this? Why should we care that people are hungry? Because having enough food to eat should not be a privilege, especially in a country that produces enough food to feed all its residents. If you are a person of faith then you know that you are supposed to be feeding the hungry because God has always been emphatic about our obligation to care for those in need. I’m not going to quote the religious texts of other religions, that’s not my place, but if you’re a Christian you need to take a good look at Matthew 25:31-46 where Jesus lays it on the line that we are to feed the hungry. God doesn’t want people to suffer; God wants people to be fed. We need to do that folks, we gotta feed people, we can prevent hunger. Let’s get obsessed about it – let’s put our faith into action and do something about it.

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Responses

  1. Hunger and obesity often go hand in hand. If you can’t afford to buy food, often you buy cheap food. It will come as no surprise to most that the cheapest food is often junk or fast food which, when eaten in excess or as your primary diet, can lead to obesity.

  2. There is an online site about hunger and how you can help. Visit:

    http://www.thehungersite.com

    Pass this on to others. God bless.


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