Thursday, October 9, 2008
World Hunger Day, pt. 2 - How you can help
Bellini Valli of More Than Burnt Toast and Ivy of Kopiaste had a wonderful idea: put together a blogging event that would honor World Food Day, October 16, 2008.
The basics of the event are the following:
*Create a dish that would serve 6 and have it represent your country.
*Send your creations (virtually, via photo) back to Val and Ivy and see how far our dishes will spread back to back. Maybe we can feed the world, eh?
To get the full details for participation in this worthy event, please go here.
I just finished my breakfast - a bagel and coffee. I'm incredibly blessed because neither I, nor any of my loved ones, have ever experienced a period of real hunger in our lives.
Many of us take this for granted. We take it as a right to get our three squares a day - to be creative with cooking, to choose the best ingredients, to serve the planet and ourselves through food.
The reality, however, is that millions of people are starving every. single. day.
As horrifying as the thought of our being hungry might be, for those of us who are parents or work with children or are those who care for children in some way, the real terror would be to here our children's hungry cries. Knowing they need food and knowing we have no power to get it to them.
This is a time of incredible difficulty globally. Our world financial markets are in a downward spiral. Military actions are taking place on most continents. The effects of global warming are beginning to have a huge impact on our daily lives.
It's hard to think of giving to others. We want to hoard. We want to protect what's ours.
But think... think of those who truly have nothing. Who don't know if they'll wake to another day. And if you can, reach out. Please.
I was originally planning to include links to local hunger projects, and I'm going to do that, but I decided that I want to include global and national links, as well. These links are pretty random. These are organizations I know and that I've worked with/given to. There are many, many other organizations out there just waiting for your help and/or currency. If you can help, choose one that makes your heart sing.
CROP walks take place all over during mid-fall. Support one of my favorite bloggers, Sister Sassy of Sisters of a Different Order, in her efforts to raise money for hunger both in Michigan and Africa, by going here.
Locally, we have a wonderful organization called Food Gatherers. Food Gatherers is a food rescue agency that gathers food from area restaurants, stores, and residents and then redistributes that food to people who need it. If you're local to the Ann Arbor area, clear your shelves of that food you really aren't going to get to and bring it to the Food Gatherers site on Carrot Way, off Pontiac Trail. Directions are on the website.
Feeding America (formerly Second Harvest): Feeding America has been working as Second Harvest for 30 years distributing food to hungry Americans. It works in a similar manner to Food Gatherers. It's recent name change is an effort to promote more awareness of its mission.
Meals on Wheels: Meals on Wheels provides daily meals to those who are housebound. There are local chapters throughout the nation. If you don't have money to give, maybe you can volunteer to deliver meals a couple of times per month.
Angel Food Ministries: No matter your religious orientation, Angel Food Ministries provides good, quality food for all. This is the place to go if you need to stretch your food dollar. They operate on the "what goes around comes around" principle, and if you take advantage of their program, they'd like you to help in some way, although it's not a requirement. Their mission is unique - they provide enough quality food to feed a family of four for a week for around $40 - $45 (not counting breakfasts, and some lunch additions). These packages are ordered monthly and there are add on packs for more meat or for more fruits and vegetables. This is good, basic food and can really help to get healthy food on the table for families or individuals.
Heifer International - this is based on the "if you give a man a fish" principle - communities propose an agricultural or husbandry project, and Heifer International provides the start up materials or animals. Once the new project is properly running, each family is asked to pass on an animal, seeds, knowledge, etc., to help another family in the community. All projects must be ecologically sound, as well.
UNICEF - while the main mission is fighting poverty,
UNICEF has always made hunger a priority. For those who don't know, this project specifically focuses on children and is through the United Nations. Again, if you don't have money, maybe you can "trick or treat for UNICEF" this year.
Save the Children - Again, a children's organization. While this focuses on community projects for the most part, it also runs massive campaigns to help areas in times of crisis and getting food, water, etc. to areas that need it. The "latest news" section on the main web page will generally let you know about current emergency initiatives.
So now I have a question for you: as I said, these are random links and a very small selection - what hunger organizations do YOU support? What should I have included here?