So – the other day I thought I read a scholarship question about ending hunger, turns out it was about ending extreme world poverty. So I have to do a rewrite, but I thought I would share these thoughts with you guys, since hey you’re a captive audience. 🙂
She said scholarship? Did she say scholarship? I think she said scholarship?
Well folks, I am starting school again and plan to have finished everything including the masters that will get me my LMFP and LPC degrees in the next 5 years. I think I’d be pretty good at it, plus I am opening an organization down here for the underprivledged. So I need to be able to provide counseling. Charge the rich – give it to everyone else for free. (lol)
Anyway – these are some thoughts on ending hunger.
Teach a man to fish and he will never go hungry. How many times have we heard that? The problem with the logic of this statement is that times have changed. Yes, there are places where fishing and growing your own crops would be the best solution if you are hungry, but this is 2011. In this day and age we are plagued with pollution, and there are some places where it is just not encouraged to eat the food caught or grown. So, what are we to do? How can we have an effect on poverty and hunger? We must stop our excessive consumerism, stop hording groceries, and start giving to those who need it more.
Locally, almost every American can look in their pantry and see food that has been there for weeks, sometimes months and it is still not eaten. We now have television shows dedicated to people who use coupons to buy cheap groceries and then they sit in their homes gathering dust, while they go back out and buy more. These people live near you and you may even think the show is kind of cool, who wouldn’t want to get $500 worth of groceries for under $10. This waste has got to stop. These people need to see the other side of the aisle. They need to understand that some of their own friends and neighbors are unable to provide for themselves and could use some of the items that are gathering dust. As someone from the other side of the aisle who has faced hunger, I have seen that even I wouldn’t eat the kidney beans that I received at the food pantry, so it’s best to give them back. Give them to someone who will eat them. Give them to someone who could use them. Today it really isn’t about fishing, today it is about knowing your resources and providing to those resources. Donate food, money, and time to help those less fortunate than yourself.
When you see someone struggling ask if you can help. They may not have the courage to tell you they do not have enough to eat. We must start helping our neighbors, so many of the citizens of this country are hungry. These are the people that as you walk down the street smile and say that everything is great, but really they are part of this struggle. These are the people the government has determined make too much to need their help. If you don’t know anyone who would fit into that role then provide groceries to the food pantries, for some that is their only source of sustenance. A single mom trying to balance her finances with one job so that she can attend school to make a better life for her children, she would fit here. She is automatically ineligible for assistance as a student, but that doesn’t make the cost of daycare cheaper or an apartment more affordable. She is someone who is just above the bottom and way below the middle. She needs help.
Internationally, America is a nation that pledges $5 or $10 to every international disaster, but fails to see that these people need more than $5. They need our time, they need our patience, and they need our groceries. The US has a severe weight problem, while many parts of the rest of the world don’t have enough to eat. It would not be difficult to utilize a US flag freighter to load containers of supplies for foreign nations to help end their hunger problems. The American companies can use this in their advertising, use the cost to apply it to their bill with the IRS, and we would be able to send nations in need their supplies. The US government has tried something similar to this when delivering supplies to Haiti after their tragic earthquake, but they neglected to have the infrastructure at their destination in place to deliver those supplies to the ones most in need and people perished for this. Having a different approach in Haiti would have saved lives. When disaster strikes the first thing we do is check on our families, make sure then are okay. The second thing we do is try to find a way to help. If the governments and organizations in charge would have gone to the shelters where the citizens were gathering and asked for volunteers they would have received an overwhelming rush of help and would have been able to get the supplies out quicker. Various points of the operation seemed to lack direction, and maybe my outsider’s opinion doesn’t matter. I just know that with a little more effort on getting more hands involved and less heads mountains can be moved.
A close friend of mine has an organization to build bridges for heavily populated but low-income parts of the world. His approach is twofold. First he meets with the thinkers in the nation that needs his help and finds places in each country that have the greatest need. Second he meets with the locals in each village. In these villages he finds local people who show him where they want the bridge and then asks for volunteers to help him build it. He has been doing this for 20 years. The people know what they need, they know what they want, and with a little direction anything can be done. This is the approach that should be used to end hunger. Have a point person for contact that anyone in the world can email. From those emails, meet with the leaders of those countries, from that meeting find the communities most in need, and then – only then – bring in the stores of food to distribute to the communities using the local people as volunteer laborers. We don’t need a mass of red tape; we just need a foot path and maybe a bridge.