Friday, January 6, 2012

Solving World Hunger

The period between Thanksgiving and New Year is filled with good will and charity to all.  During this time of the year, people step out of their way to make life easier for those less fortunate.  National charities mount successful funding appeals.  Businesses donate food and clothing.  Thousands and millions of volunteers buy gifts and pack and deliver food baskets to feed the hungry.  And then, with the coming of the new year, the wave of good-will breaks.  Charity stops and cold and hunger continue unabated until the next Thanksgiving.

This should not be.

Hunger, specifically world hunger, is generally recognized as the perennially unsolvable problem and solving world hunger has come to represent any attempt to do the impossible.  Seemingly insurmountable difficulties are acknowledged with statements like "We can't solve world hunger" or dismissed with the statement "We're not trying to solve world hunger." 

I disagree.  We can solve world hunger.  We solve world hunger the same way we would eat an elephant -- one bite at a time, or one meal at a time for one person or one family at a time. 

Organizations -- local food banks, the national and international feeding organizations are in place to  do this.  All that is left is to regularly support them.

Here's one way to do it:

Count the loose change in your pocket or purse. Change is usually not counted. Change is considered extra.

Use the change or an equivalent amount to buy food on your next trip to the grocery store.  Fifty cents is a can of green beans or a pack of ramen noodles.  A dollar may be a can of tuna fish, a pound of pasta, or a bottle of of sauce.  Two or three dollars may provide a basic meal.

Donate the food that your pocket change has purchased to your local food bank and you have started to solve world hunger.  Do it regularly -- each time you shop for food.  Make a difference.

This year, I plan to solve world hunger -- one can, one purchase, one meal at a time  -- by buying a single additional item each time I visit the grocery and donating that item to my local food bank.

Will you join me?