John Young, former president of the Cincinnati Freestore Foodbank, has spent a lifetime helping others. It was very early in his humanitarian career that he discovered how you can end hunger and poverty.
As a teenager he volunteered at a hospital one day to feed elderly patients, some very close to death. It was a difficult task and made him a little unsure about going back again. But when he did return for a second day, he saw the joy from the patients because someone cared enough to come back to help them.
Young learned that that is how you make a difference, you get involved and stay connected. If enough people do that hunger and poverty can be eliminated.
The answer to the societal problem of hunger can be found right here in your own backyard. The Freestore Foodbank, for instance, has provided a safety net, and a way out, for people in Cincinnati suffering from hunger. Those solutions are found in the strength of volunteers coming forward like Young did and then going on to become leaders.
There is enough food for everyone in the world, and we can do a much better job preventing food waste. So ending hunger is not something where a miracle cure has to be discovered. It’s a case of stepping up the effort and getting more people involved.
Using the award-winning online game FreeRice, College of Mount St. Joseph (MSJ) students are answering questions in a variety of subjects like vocabulary and science. Every correct answer means 10 grains of rice donated to the UN World Food Programme. The rice is being sent to the school feeding program in Niger, a country that suffered from severe drought and is hosting refugees from the war in Mali. For many children in these impoverished, developing countries, the school meal might be the only one they receive the whole day.
Last fall I did a story on Ithaca College and how they make use of FreeRice as part of their hunger relief program called Food for Thought.
There are many ways now that people, schools, and organizations can get involved to end hunger. There is even a free app people can download onto their smartphones called Charity Miles. When your walk, run, or bike the app keeps track of your distance and for every mile a donation is made to Feeding America or the World Food Programme. You select the charity and the results get posted to your Facebook page. There are lot of athletes and teams so the potential for Charity Miles is amazing.
Charity Miles is partnering with Feeding America for the Together We Can Solve Hunger Campaign. “The campaign provides people with simple, easy ways to engage in the fight against hunger,” said Shannon Traeger, spokesperson for Feeding America. “With more than 50 million Americans living at risk of hunger, including more than one in five children, we’re encouraging everyone to do their part.”
Find a way to get involved and fight hunger. Educate others and get them involved too. This dedication can make a difference in ending hunger here at home and across the globe. The solution to this menace to mankind is right here in front of us.
Article first published as Together We Can End Hunger on Blogcritics.