Every week I have a coffee date with Kate. I bring the treats and she brews the coffee. Kate and her friend Jenny write Under the Amani Tree and Jenny is currently in Kenya doing research for a non-profit project she is planning. Jenny’s experiences over the past few weeks has been eyeopening for everyone who has read her posts. What hit Kate the most was the issue of hunger. The children Jenny is meeting are hungry, there just isn’t enough food. Jenny’s recent posting lead to a conversation between Kate and I about life overseas, development and life here at home.
My recent quest to spend as little money on food as possible isn’t just an economical measure, it has to do with my personal experiences. At one time I was immersed in the world of overseas development and my focus was food security. I’ve always thought about how lucky we are, how much we have and how little we appreciate it. With that said, even I’m not the poster child for conservation or moderation. I’m a regular person living a relatively comfortable (if not low-budget) life. I realize this and I do my best not to take it for granted. I also realize that hunger is one of the most horrible things a person can endure; it is an experience many, if not all of us, have been lucky enough not to know firsthand. However, knowing that people are going hungry across the globe and having that impact your daily life are two very different and often unconnected things.
Hunger is not something that only happens in developing countries though, there are children here who go hungry everyday as well. 1 in 8 Americans suffers from hunger and the number is rising. Food banks have seen the number of people requesting assistance increase at an astonishing rate over that past two years and in some cases they have not been able to meet the demand.
Please give to your local food bank. Below are a few links so that you can have a positive impact on someone’s life.
Food Bank Association of New York State: http://www.foodbankassocnys.org
Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York: http://www.rfbneny.com
Feeding America: http://www.feedingamerica.org