How do you feel about squash?
I think it’s disgusting. It’s mushy, too orange, and it smells funny. I usually have one lick of it at Thanksgiving, but that’s all.
If you hate squash too, here’s a question for you: if squash were the only thing you ever had in your refrigerator, would you eat it then?
All over the world, more people than you can even imagine didn’t have anything to eat today—not even squash. Some of them didn’t have anything to eat yesterday either. Or the day before that. Or the day before that.
Right now more than 850 million people in our world don’t have enough food to keep their bodies working right. That’s about TWICE the number of all the people in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
If no one helps them, many of those 850 million people will die. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Here are some ways you and your family can help squash hunger.
Rescue That Food!
If you have milk or yogurt in your fridge, get it out and take a close look at the container. You’ll see words like this: “Best if used by 12/15/08.” That means the milk or yogurt should be fresh until at least December 15.
Grocery stores throw away mountains of food every day just because it’s near or past its “use by” date. It’s not rotten, moldy, or stale. It’s still perfectly good to eat. But the stores are afraid the food could go bad before it’s sold. So they toss it out.
One day some people said, “Hey, all that good food is going to waste!” So they started an organization called Second Harvest. Every year Second Harvest rescues more than 2 billion pounds of food and other grocery products in the United States and Canada. All that food goes to feed hungry people. For more information on how you can help, see www.secondharvest.org or www.secondharvest.ca
Pass the Casserole
This little bag of food is saving lives all over the world for just 23 cents a serving.
What’s in it? It’s a dry casserole of rice, soy flour, dried vegetables, milk protein, chicken flavoring, spices, vitamins, and minerals. To make it ready to eat, you just have to cook it in boiling water for about a half-hour!
Scientists from four companies (including the people who make Cheerios) worked together to create the recipe. You can donate money to help send this casserole to kids all over the world who are hungry and sick. Log on to www.feedingchildren.org.
Most hungry people don’t die from starvation. They die because being hungry makes their bodies weak, and then they can’t fight off common diseases like malaria and measles.
More than 16,000 children die every day from hunger-related problems.
There is enough food in the world to feed everyone. The problem is that some countries have way more than they need, and others don’t have nearly enough.
People from the United Nations Development Program say it would take about $13 billion a year to help the world’s poorest people have better health and nutrition. That’s about half of what people in the U.S. spend each year on things to help them lose weight.
In Haiti, some people have been so hungry they’ve eaten mud flavored with oil and sugar to fill their stomachs.
In some parts of Africa, one of every three people is hungry.
“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”
a nun who dedicated her life
to helping poor people
“My piece of bread only belongs to me when I know that everyone else has a share, and that no one starves while I eat.”
—Leo Tolstoy, a famous Russian writer
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
from the book The Lorax
10 Ways Kids Can Help
Next month (September) is Hunger Action Month in the United States, and
the first Sunday in November is World Hunger Sunday. You and your friends and family can help feed hungry people. Here’s how:
- Play a game! Go to www.freerice.com. Guess the meaning of the words you see there. Every time you get one right, Free Rice donates 20 grains of rice to hungry people. So far, people all over the world have played the game and donated more than 30 billion grains of rice! (Parents: You can click on the “Options” button at the top of the page to set the vocabulary level higher or lower to fit your kids.)
- Save your change to make a change in hunger. Log on to www.crwrc.org and order a free Peter Fish coin bank. Get your family to save up as much change as you can, then donate the money to the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, which helps people who are in trouble all over the world.
- Donate food to a food pantry near you, because there are hungry people in your own hometown.
- Volunteer with programs that make meals for hungry kids or deliver meals to people who can’t leave their homes.
- Make something and sell it, then give the money to an organization that works to stop hunger. You could have a bake sale or make special bracelets to remind people to pray for hungry people.
- Do something. Have a car wash in your church parking lot and ask people to donate money to help stop hunger. Organize a food drive and ask people at your church to bring food for a food pantry.
- Walk. Join a hunger walk like the CROP walk. For details, see www.churchworldservice.org/CROP/index.html.
- Write. Send a letter asking your president or prime minister to help stop world hunger. In the United States, you can send a letter to the president at this address:
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
In Canada, send a letter to the prime minister at this address:
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa ON K1A 0A2
- Read! Talk with your teacher or your school librarian about starting a “Read to Feed” program at your school. By reading books, you can raise money to help end hunger. Find out more at www.readtofeed.org.
- Pray. Ask God to help our world’s leaders care more about hungry people. Ask God to show you how you can help. And pray for people everywhere who are sick and dying because they don’t have enough to eat.