Written by: Kim Bryant
Friday was World Food Day—as if one day of discussing issues related to feeding the hungry throughout the world was all it took to fill empty bellies in places like Haiti, Tijuana, Mexicali or George, South Africa.
Unfortunately, that is not the case. And while taking a day to ponder food deprivation and starvation is a good start, it takes much more than a single day of fancy headlines, photo-ops and fun activities to make lasting changes in meeting the needs of those who never know when, or if, there will be a next meal.
What does it mean to be hungry?
According to Dictionary.com, there are four definitions for the word hunger:
· A compelling need or desire for food
· The painful sensation or state of weakness caused by the need of food
· A shortage of food; famine
· A strong or compelling desire or craving
That is what hungry means. It is how one-in-nine people on this planet feel every day (according the UN World Food Programme). It’s not putting something in your mouth because you are bored. It’s not looking for an activity to do while you socialize with friends. It’s not sitting down with food because the clock says its breakfast, lunch or dinner “time”. It is a compelling, painful desirous need when there is a shortage of food.
At Outside the Bowl, every day is World Food Day. Every day we remember the children, men and women that we, through our ministry partners, feed in places where there is no food security. Many of us have been a part of physically feeding children who likely receive their only healthy, warm meal of the day from Outside the Bowl. We have seen their skinny limbs, their hollow eyes and how grateful they are for a bowl of soup that will hopefully sustain them until their next meal—which might be the next day.
Take a moment and pause the next time you find yourself saying, “I’m hungry” to think about those who really are hungry. Say a prayer for them and for the efforts of Outside the Bowl as we work to make a difference in Mexico, Haiti and South Africa. Maybe challenge yourself to take those few dollars that you might have spent at the vending machine or in the drive through and set them aside to give to Outside the Bowl to help provide sustenance to someone who truly meets the definition of “hungry”.