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Reflections: Feed Minds, Fight Hunger…

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“Our lives are to be used and thus to be lived as fully as possible, and truly it seems that we are never so alive as when we concern ourselves with other people.” Harry Chapin

Reflections: Feed Minds, Fight Hunger… Hunger impacts us all…

I am proud to take part in Blog Action Day Oct 16, 2011

Asia and the Pacific, the world’s most populous region, is home to the largest number of hungry people (578 million).
Sub-Saharan Africa, with 239 million undernourished, has the largest prevalence of undernourishment relative to its population size (30 percent).
The Near East and North Africa has 37 million hungry people.
Latin America and the Caribbean, which in recent years has shown signs of improvement, has 53 million undernourished people.

Have you eaten today? Do you know where your next meal will come from? Around the world, and even in the USA, there are people; children, women and men, who go hungry because of famines, high food prices and insufficient food supplies. While some of us are able to choose our foods and enjoy a satisfying, nutritious meal with our families, many others lack the means to nourish their bodies and minds or fight the persistent hunger they face daily. According to the World Food Programme (WFP) Hunger statistics, 925 million people don’t have enough food and 98 percent of them live in developing countries. On October 16, 2011, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) will address World Food Day by bringing attention to the plight of millions around the world who have little or no food.  The Voice Blogging Project, an online activist group that encourages bloggers to write on one pressing topic each year, is using this event as an opportunity to invite us all to focus on Food as a blog topic for Blog Action Day 2011. We are all invited to contribute our ideas and voice.

The F Word: Famine is the Real Obscenity

“The problem is no longer that with every pair of hands that comes into the world there comes a hungry stomach. Rather it is that, attached to those hands are sharp elbows.” Paul A. Samuelson

Reflections: Feed Minds, Fight Hunger… World Hunger Map 2011

Global Hunger Report 2011

Asia and the Pacific region is home to over half the world’s population and nearly two thirds of the world’s hungry people; (Source: FAO news release, 2010)
Women make up a little over half of the world’s population, but they account for over 60 percent of the world’s hungry. (Source: Strengthening efforts to eradicate hunger…, ECOSOC, 2007)
65 percent of the world’s hungry live in only seven countries: India, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and Ethiopia. (Source: FAO news release, 2010)

This year, FAO’s World Food Day will focus on “what causes swings in food prices, and do what needs to be done to reduce their impact on the weakest members of global society.” When all is said and done, it boils down to hunger; who suffers the most and how can we help them? If globally, 200 million children under the age of five suffer symptoms of malnutrition, how can we help? What can we do to increase distribution of foods at fair prices?  Blog Action Day 2011 in collaboration with FAO is encouraging all bloggers to participate in raising awareness on the subject of food. To participate, go register at Blog Action Day’s website, write a post on Food, and follow the hashtag #BAD11 on Twitter. If each of us gives voice to the topic of hunger on our blogs, our collective effort will bring attention to governments worldwide forcing them to become agents of change on this pressing matter. More below…

“Hunger also changes the world – when eating can’t be a habit, than neither can seeing.” Maxine Hong Kingston

Reflections: Feed Minds, Fight Hunger… Food is nourishment…

Reflections: Feed Minds, Fight Hunger… Feed your neighbor…

Undernutrition contributes to five million deaths of children under five each year in developing countries. (Source: Under five deaths by cause, UNICEF, 2006)
One out of four children – roughly 146 million – in developing countries is underweight. (Source: The State of the World’s Children, UNICEF, 2007)
More than 70 percent of the world’s underweight children (aged five or less) live in just 10 countries, with more than 50 per cent located in South Asia alone; (Source: Progress for Children: A Report Card on Nutrition, UNICEF, 2006)

As I read the statistics on the WFP site, I was saddened and struck by the numbers and impact of hunger worldwide. As the site suggests, the top 4 hunger statistics are: Hunger is the number one health risk; One in seven people go to bed hungry every night; In developing nations, one in four children is undernourished; and the numbers of hungry people globally exceed the populations of the USA, Canada and the European Union. When I think about it, it makes me furious that we see so much food wastage in some countries while others are barely scraping by… Why can’t we share our natural resources and food production better? What can we do to mitigate areas that experience terrible famines?  How can we persuade governments to contain food prices?

“It’s really very simple, Governor. When people are hungry they die. So spare me your politics and tell me what you need and how you’re going to get it to these people.” Bob Geldof

Reflections: Feed Minds, Fight Hunger… A hungry child learns with difficulty…

10.9 million children under five die in developing countries each year. Malnutrition and hunger-related diseases cause 60 percent of the deaths; (Source: The State of the World’s Children, UNICEF, 2007)
Iron deficiency is the most prevalent form of malnutrition worldwide, affecting an estimated 2 billion people. Eradicating iron deficiency can improve national productivity levels by as much as 20 percent. (Source: World Health Organization, WHO Global Database on Anaemia)
Iodine deficiency is the greatest single cause of mental retardation and brain damage, affecting 1.9 billion people worldwide. It can easily be prevented by adding iodine to salt. (Source: World Nutrition Situation 5th report ,UN Standing Committee on Nutrition2005)

A hungry child has difficulty concentrating in a classroom and, subsequently, their learning is affected.  Without adequate global assistance to people/areas in need, many young and growing minds will be impacted; thus limiting the full and equitable contributions we might expect from the next future generation. What are your thoughts? Can you recall ever going hungry? What did you do? Do you contribute to charities that help end hunger? How do you think we can end global hunger? Do share! Thank you. 🙂

For More: Women’s Lives & Issues 

Positive Motivation Tip:  When each man feeds his neighbor as he feeds himself, he marches on the road to end hunger. Follow the road.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos family gathering firewood via Wikipedia. Other photographs on Food via

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

54 Comments leave one →
  1. 15/10/2011 11:32 pm

    Slightly off topic, but slightly relevant …

    We started this day talking to the kids about how nature doesn’t need us but we need nature. Despite the kid’s hunger for technology, we will always need to grow food and that requires people to be in tune with nature.
    Then we found out that a local farm was having a festival. The farm is owned by the state government, is in the centre of an urban area, and is used by the Sisters of Mercy for employment programmes etc. So we spent the day on a farm visit – talking to the kids about growing food and composting and such.

    An amazing and slightly scary fact – bees are in peril, they are getting some kind of disease – if all of the bees die, the world will run out of food within three months.

    We can all do more to reduce food waste – live simply so others may simply live.

    • 16/10/2011 1:52 pm

      I hear you and it does all tie in tot the battle for food and for sharing our natural resources with others… Food is fundamental to survival and when we don’t get any, it impedes our ability to function on all levels… TY!

  2. 16/10/2011 12:54 am

    Real food for thought here.

    • 16/10/2011 1:55 pm

      TY Tilly! World Hunger is not a mirage sadly… Millions of people go without food while we continue to read and hear about those who stockpile food. There is enough to go around if we just learn to share… Our collective govts must learn to share and not use food as a weapon. TY!

  3. 16/10/2011 1:00 am

    It is a sad reality, that here in the United States the number of children living in poverty is so high. It is hard to imagine a child who goes hungry everyday. I hope that one day the politics of our society will become compassionate and join the hearts of so many that give of themselves to help and feed others.

    • 16/10/2011 1:57 pm

      Yes, it is true that children do go hungry in this country too and it is unconscionable to sweep that under the rug. It is equally unconscionable to turn a blind eye to the issues of hunger globally so I am glad about this event. TY!

  4. 16/10/2011 1:45 am

    greetings by the occupy movement: it would be nice, if arguments could change the political systems step by step – not riots …

    • 16/10/2011 2:01 pm

      It would be nice too if we lived in a world where food, water and other basic necessities are not with held from those who need it most… The power struggles that occur globally often put children in the middle and they become the victims of struggles and battles they did not initiate… More Food in the world for all is today’s goal… Food price reduction too. TY!

  5. 16/10/2011 5:43 am

    Thanks for all the wonderful, yet sobering information. This is a terrific resource with compelling stats. Appreciate your mention. God bless…

    • 16/10/2011 2:04 pm

      Thnak you for your feedback. The stats are also sobering… Another thought is that in the USA and other developed nations, we eat well prepared food and our waters are not contaminated; we have a system of checks and balances too. Elsewhere, not only is scarcity a problem but the quality of food is not always assured unless you farm and harvest your own food. TY!

  6. 16/10/2011 6:26 am

    I’m so glad you posted on World Blog Day Elizabeth. I can’t believe I missed the prompt and discovered this morning that it was today. I will still do a post even if it’s late. Philadelphia has the poorest district in the country, we just found out. The number of people, particularly children, going hungry in this great city makes it hard to consider it a great city.
    Great job on this! Awareness is certainly key.

    • 16/10/2011 2:06 pm

      You can still post on the subject… it runs all day. I am grateful for the food I do have and it saddens me that in this millennium there are 925 million people without enough food to eat… A real shame. TY!

  7. 16/10/2011 7:21 am

    It is so sad to see the status of hunger world-wide, its a known fact that this is taking place in our world. I totally agree with “frizztext” if arguments could change the political systems step by step – not riots …. If we had the amount of food and helping hands-as the numbers in politicial agendas -there would not be hunger in this world.

    • 16/10/2011 2:07 pm

      I agree with you and Frizztext… we need to share more, love more, appreciate more and bury the hat hatchet. TY! Everyone deserves food to eat and more…

  8. 16/10/2011 10:10 am

    I had no idea there even was a World Blog Day! This is a powerful post, Elizabeth. The sharp contrast between so much of the world going to sleep hungry and not knowing where their next meal will come from is unconscionable. I do contribute to the local food closets and charity but it never will be enough. Those in power, can make those who suffer self-sufficient in a sustainable way, with appropriate water and land to grow the right amount of food locally but unless they hear from all of us in droves, there is no motivation there at all. So many causes, so little time…

    • 16/10/2011 2:10 pm

      Each one, feed one is still a powerful maxim… You are doing your bit and we can all do same… Thank you for bringing that up. Yes, more is needed and that is why this subject is of critical importance to us all. TY!

  9. 16/10/2011 10:16 am

    The least I could do is share it on Twitter – I did. xoxo

    • 16/10/2011 2:11 pm

      TY for the tweet. Do write a post when you can… it would add your voice to the conversation. TY Karen… appreciated!

  10. 16/10/2011 10:59 am

    Here’s an old Scottish prayer:

    Some hae meat, an cannae eat
    Some would eat but want it.
    But we hae meat
    And we can eat
    So praise the lord be thank it.

    • 16/10/2011 2:16 pm

      Yes, we are thankful for the food we do eat… A day like this makes it a powerful reminder to show our gratitude and speak up for those who have none… Better yet, we can share some of our food with others through shelters, soup kitchens and donations to the right organizations. I am glad to partake of this event. World Food Day should be an everyday conversation; people need food daily. TY!

  11. 16/10/2011 12:50 pm

    We sponsor a child in Mozambique.
    I believe we could end world hunger – all we need is a global desire to do so. That is what seems to be lacking.
    Even in developed countries, many children go hungry before school, which is a very sad thing, for often that is preventable. In third world countries not so preventable.

    • 16/10/2011 2:19 pm

      Yes, you are spot on, the global desire must be followed by concrete sustained action. When we truly start to see ourselves in others and feel compassion for our fellow man, we will see the value in sharing our foods and ensuring that no child go hungry anywhere in the world… This is not a Utopian ideal either. TY!

  12. Bree permalink
    16/10/2011 2:26 pm

    Thank you for bringing attention to a critical subject! It is impressive that you and other bloggers are using your blogs as a platform for this topicm
    It still shocks me to read how many people have no food and to think it includes people in developed nations.
    More needs to be done.

    • 16/10/2011 2:29 pm

      Thank you too for your feedback. I think it is a brilliant idea to get bloggers together on this and other topics of global importance… We can add our voices and shed more light on issues that affect us and others adversely… I am grateful to be a participant in today’s event. TY!

  13. 16/10/2011 7:19 pm

    I can not even wrap my mind around those huge numbers of people existing in the world- much less that that many don’t have enough food to eat!

    • 18/10/2011 11:19 pm

      Yes, it’s pretty shocking that we live in a world where so many millions starve because of man’s greed and/or inconsideration towards one another.

  14. 16/10/2011 9:06 pm

    Thank you very much for connecting my blog post for Blog Action Day. Yours is detailed, very informative (great stats) and also visually appealing – beautiful photos. Mine was a little reflection on the developing country of Jamaica (yes we are, we are not just a tourist resort, we are a REAL country!) I love this post, congrats.

    • 18/10/2011 11:21 pm

      Actually, I enjoyed your perspective on the subject… That is what makes blogging such fun. We can take a topic and bring different perspectives to it. TY too for stopping by.

  15. 17/10/2011 12:43 pm

    What a great post! Thank you so much for bringing BAD 2011 to my attention, so I could blog on it as well. It means a lot to me that you liked what I wrote. Love your blog and look forward to reading it every day!

    • 18/10/2011 11:24 pm

      Thank you too! It is an important topic that will ultimately affect us all. I’m glad you joined in and that we connected. I love your blog too.

  16. 17/10/2011 3:09 pm

    I didn’t know of the stats on world hunger. I had lunch duty for the past three years, and I couldn’t believe the food the kids would throw away. So I would take the food and give it to one of the hungrier kids. Kids in the U.S. really need to learn about waste.

    • 18/10/2011 11:35 pm

      The comment below is for you… I accidentally clicked on the wrong button. I agree that we need to teach our children more about nutrition and appreciation for what we have…. Sharing and caring needed too.

  17. 17/10/2011 3:24 pm

    I had no idea about the Blog Action Day until today when I read this! Thanks for making us aware of all these statistics! It’s definitely horrifying 🙁

    • 18/10/2011 11:33 pm

      I agree that our kids are indulged and need to show more respect for food here in the USA. I will take a huge collective effort to change… Children in many other nations and even some here go to bed hungry everyday… Change is imperative.

  18. 18/10/2011 10:12 pm

    This is such an important issue that doesn’t receive enough attention. I know how lucky I am to not have experienced hunger.
    It’s completely solveable – it happens because of political and other issues. Frustrating to know of the suffering.

    • 19/10/2011 12:13 am

      TY Carlaat and it is true that politics plays a huge role in famine/hunger worldwide. There should be more attention on the subject too.

  19. 26/10/2011 2:16 pm

    An issue of critical importance, Elizabeth. Thanks for sharing.

  20. Robin (Masshole Mommy) permalink
    24/10/2014 11:55 am

    It really saddens me that there are children going hungry. This day in age, it should not be happening.

    • 24/10/2014 12:02 pm

      First off Robin, your speed to respond impresses me. Yes, it is sad that even though this was written in 2011, hunger remains a global issue.

  21. Close To Home (@StayCloseToHome) permalink
    24/10/2014 1:44 pm

    I always tell my kids that they should not waste food I do think there is an issue also in our own country of kids going hungry.

  22. Simply At Home Mom (@SimplyAtHomeMom) permalink
    24/10/2014 2:56 pm

    I am shocked and horrified at the numbers of people worldwide going hungry. This shouldn’t be happening anywhere, at all. No human being deserves to live that way, and especially not children.

  23. 24/10/2014 3:09 pm

    So sad! Even here in the US I see people standing on the corners with signs that they are hungry.

  24. 24/10/2014 4:48 pm

    It is really sad that there is so much hunger in the world. So much more needs to be done to end hunger. Good Post

  25. 24/10/2014 6:22 pm

    I love the positive tip that you wrote at the end of your post.Too often we get so caught up in the me mentality that we fail to see that our fellow man is suffering. Thank you for opening eyes about this important issue.

  26. Becca Wilson (@xxbeccabaybeex3) permalink
    24/10/2014 11:15 pm

    I think hunger will always be an issue wherever it may be in the world. I don’t think anyone should go hungry, and even though I don’t have much myself I have donated to the local food bank here because you never know just who you might be helping. That might be their first meal all day, all week, I would hope not all month, but reality is there are lots of people hungry out there. We need to help them out no matter how little some of us can spare.

  27. 25/10/2014 3:32 am

    In the world we live in today, with all the technology and advancements its really sad and disturbing to see people still go hungry. 🙁 Food is the one thing that everybody should have a right to. Always

  28. 25/10/2014 4:18 am

    As a Rotarian we are actively involved in the world wide fight against hunger. I feel as we need to make a push in the US for kids to become more involved in this fight so they can see and understand first hand the future they are inheriting from us. Recently I have been researching trips to take my son on so that he can learn and see about the service of giving onto others and helping. I hope this will encourage him to take the fight to the next generation and maybe they will be the ones to end hunger. Every night we pray for all the children in the world to be filled with food in their belly and love in their hearts. This is such a near and dear topic to me thank you so much for sharing!

    • 25/10/2014 5:01 am

      Thank you for taking a moment to share your effort and insights on the subject. It is heartening to know that people across the socio-economic divide do contribute. We live in a digital world that is flashy and fast paced, it is easy to miss or even dismiss these humane stories.

  29. 25/10/2014 10:03 am

    Famine and hunger are real issues and it is good to do things to help solve the problem and to help people learn ways to bring healthy, good tasting food to their communities. We must do both pieces.

  30. 25/10/2014 8:40 pm

    All the world CAN be fed. Some major changes would need to be made, and getting people awake and on board with it are essential.

  31. 27/10/2014 6:11 pm

    I can’t even imagine the hunger – just can’t fathom. It’s so awful to hear just how bad it is. Thanks so much for enlightening us all.

  32. Diane Nassy (@philZENdia) permalink
    27/10/2014 6:51 pm

    It’s mind boggling to me to know that people right here in the USA go hungry. That shouldn’t happen.


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