I just wanted to take a second in between things and tell you about World Food Day, which is actually this Saturday on October 16, 2010. First of all, Megs invited me to this presentation for it today and a couple of people spoke and they had a traditional Langar lunch and it was pretty neat but more importantly, very informational.
Second of all, I thought I'd lay down some facts. Some of these were given in the presentation but then I had to look them up because I couldn't remember them exactly:
~In NWA alone there are about 100,000 hungry people.
~1.3 billion people live on less than 1 USD a day.
~There are about 1 billion people who are hungry in the world right now.
~160 million children under the age of 5 are malnourished.
~1 in every 8 children under 12 in the US will go to bed hungry tonight.
~Every 3.6 seconds someone else will die of hunger.
~4 million people will die of hunger this year.
Yikes, right? $1?! How many movies do you go to in a year? Say 1 every month. That's $48 if you went to a $4 movie, but it's $96 if you went to a regular movie. But this isn't a pitch for you to give anyone money. Why? Because I know it's something that everyone struggles with. It's just a thought.
What I really want to tell you comes from the book I read this summer, Red Letters. I know I talk about it a lot, but I guess that's how you know it's good! At the end was this 5 for 50 plan that the author suggested the reader attempt. There are 5 steps and you add on as you go. At some point I will have given them all to you, but for today, there's just one that's important.
So the book is about HIV/Aids in Africa and the plan is 5 steps to help the 50 million people in the world suffering from the disease. So what does that have to do with the hungry? Well what you may not know is that when parents have Aids and can no longer provide for their families (specifically in African countries), the children are the ones who attempt to. Unfortunately, their skills are limited at 10, 11, and 12 years old so many times people with food take advantage of these children and their situations and the kids don't see another way out. They're responsible for their families at such a young age and their dedication should be admired, but instead it's used. For what? One or maybe two meals, but by then they've already been infected with the disease and soon they won't be able to care for anyone, including themselves.
Hunger is what drives this process. Step 2 of the 5 for 50 plan is to fast for 5 hours just once a week. It can be while you're in class or at work, or maybe you could just try it once. Not anything. No food or drinks (besides water). I remember the first time I tried it, and it had only been about 3 hours since I had had breakfast and I was already hungry! It took me a while to really realize the purpose of it. That small grumble in my stomach from not eating in 3 hours is a large pain to those who haven't eaten in 3 days. From that point, I started saying a quick prayer for those who are hungry all around the world and I thank God for how blessed I am.
So how about this: it doesn't matter if you don't finish you're meal at dinner, the truth is, you can't send it to starving children in Africa. It doesn't matter if you can't send money. What do you have to offer? A prayer. Or even a thought for those less fortunate. Don't even fast if you don't want to. Being hungry at some point in your life is bound to happen, and I hope you remember this, and I hope you remember all of them.
I'm sorry to be such a debbie downer. On another note, if you would like to donate to NWA directly, there's the NWAfoodbank.org, and there's not a doubt in my mind they won't appreciate whatever you have to offer.
I love you! Have a wonderful Thursday and super great weekend :))