My life has been extremely hectic, so I was not able to collect my thoughts, and publish a post last week. However, now that things have begun to settle down a bit (and midterms are over), I shall begin with what I intended to post on October 16th.
This date might not hold as much significance to you all, but it is a special day for us Americans (especially):
Some of you might be thinking, “wow! A day dedicated to food? Does that mean we’ll get some freebies? (I’m kidding, but honestly, America is obese, so I wouldn’t be surprised if someone asked that).
Anyways, no. No freebies here. But, there are a few lessons to be learned.
I love food. Let’s just get that out-of-the-way now. When it comes to eating, I do it constantly. And I have no shame in saying this. Being a New Yorker has its perks. From visiting exotic restaurants, to having exotic friends, the diversity is widespread among us.
Growing up in a Pakistani household, with a mother who can cook fantastic five-star meals, I have been fed well my entire life. Of course, I am grateful for having a mother who can cook spectacularly, but recently, I realized that there was something wrong.
My revelation came about after I witnessed hunger first-hand. Yes, living in the hustle and bustle of The Big Apple does have its benefits, but not everything is as picture-perfect as it may seem. Under the visage of a bright city, lies the brutal reality of homelessness, starvation, and immense poverty. I was not exposed to these realities as a child, and I remained ignorant for most of my life.
Yes, World Food Day might sound like a day to appreciate the abundance of food that exists within our world. But, it actually isn’t about the food itself. It is a day to reflect on what we have, and send aid to those who cannot afford a meal.
While we debate on what to eat for dinner every night, there are children in the world (a hell of a lot of children actually), who sleep with empty stomachs because food is so difficult to find. It’s the truth, and it’s a truth we choose to ignore. We choose to ignore the hardships other human-beings face all over the world, because we cannot bear to hear their heart-rending stories. We are cowards who shy away from real-world issues because they make us feel uncomfortable. I know that what I am saying is a generalization, and that it does not apply to the entire human population (shout out to the people who actually do care), but there is some truth to this statement.
A majority of us overlook global issues because we think we have bigger problems in our lives. Every damn person has their issues, but please. There is no bigger issue than malnourishment–especially if you’re a child.
Isn’t it crazy? The right to food, is a basic human right, yet there are so many hungry people. How is that even possible? How do we have the luxury of fast food and menu choices, when there are people who are literally starving in our world?
If you are still having doubts about how significant this issue is, here are some quick facts provided by The Hunger Project — a global non-profit committed to the sustainable end of world hunger:
- 795 million people – or one in nine people in the world – do not have enough to eat.
- 98% of the world’s undernourished people live in developing countries.
- 60 percent of the world’s hungry are women.
- 50 percent of pregnant women in developing countries lack proper maternal care, resulting in 240,000 maternal deaths annually from childbirth. And 1 out of 6 infants are born with a low birth weight in developing countries.
- A third of all childhood death in sub-Saharan Africa is caused by hunger.
- Every 10 seconds, a child dies from hunger-related diseases. EVERY TEN SECONDS.
- Hunger kills more people each year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.
World Food Day is not about celebrating food, or having wine/cheese-tasting parties. It is about promoting awareness. No one should be begging to be fed. It’s wrong, it’s sad, but it is also something that we can help prevent.
This annual day of action against hunger was established by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in 1979. Its aim is to end hunger in our lifetime, and this goal is one that we can achieve.
Click HERE to learn more about the United Nations’ work to achieve a zero hunger world.
I will be attaching the UNHCR link for Refugees in every one of my blog posts from now on. Just because the Refugee Crisis isn’t being publicized on television anymore, does not mean it’s over.
Please, donate if you can. It’s the humane thing to do. Donate by clicking here: UN
WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD. Thank you for the support.