Hunger is no stranger to many of us. We have felt our stomachs rumble and our mouths water, longing for something to satisfy our desire for our bellies to be full and contented. In our most desperate of moments, we may have claimed that we were “starving to death,” that our need was so ravenous that we were “hungry as a bear,” so desperate by our famishment that we could “eat a horse” or even “a house.”
Yet the reality about hunger that no one may have told you about—the truth that makes us quickly loose our appetites—is that at this very moment there are some so desperately hungry that they are indeed starving to death. Some are so hungry in fact that out of pure desperation they would consume, not a house, but mud, sand, or stones. Many tonight go to sleep wondering when their next meal will come.
While statistics on starvation (not having enough calories to sustain life) are harder to come by, the only debate is to how many millions fall victim to malnutrition (not having enough of certain healthy nutrients like proteins). Yet, really does the exact number matter? I will spare you the statistics, because it seems that even just one would be troubling enough.
As I reflect on Jesus’ life, I cannot help but think that his reaction to the hunger situation of our world, even if it was just in fact one hungry, starving, or malnourished body, would be that “not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight.”
With that in mind, as we stare hunger in the face, we too must remember the one. While we may not be able to single handedly end world hunger, we can make a difference in the life of one person.
Here are a few places to start….
Let your learning motivate action- Learn about hunger in your community, your region, your country, and the world. As you learn, your eyes will be opened to the tragedy both on the other side of the globe and in the neighborhood just down the road. Don’t forget to include your little one’s in the learning. Find an age appropriate children’s book to help you explore the topic as a family.
Find your local food pantry or soup kitchen- It is likely that there is one not that far from your home. Discover where it is located. Contact them to see if there are any items in short supply and pick them up on your next shopping trip. Perhaps that means that you edit your menu to be more cost effective so that you can afford the extra purchases. Volunteer to help sort donations, stock shelves, or serve meals.
Start a garden- Nothing creates an appreciation for food like growing it ourselves. As we work the land, we are reminded that food does not grow in a box on the grocery store shelf. Also, remember that eating healthy fruits and vegetables is often more expensive than processed foods. If you happen to have a green thumb and yield a plentiful harvest, one of the items often in short supply at food pantries is fresh produce. There will likely be someone very grateful for the healthy options.
Raise your voice with others- When we work together in a coordinated way we can accomplish so much more than if we simply decided to combat hunger alone.
Feeding Thousands: Just a few short weeks ago, Saint Luke hosted Feeding Thousands, in which people from around the community worked together to raise funds and pack 70,464 meals that would supply the Chester County Food Bank! Plan to join us next time.
Social Ministry Food Drives: Throughout the year, Saint Luke’s Social Ministry hosts multiple food drives collecting needed items for the Great Valley Food Cupboard, located just one mile down the road from Saint Luke. Consider contributing or joining the Social Ministry team in their efforts.
ONE: Through campaigning and advocacy they are working to fight against extreme poverty. You can join the efforts by ensuring that your senator and representative hears from constituents like you regarding funding & policy decisions that affect the world’s poorest. Check them out online or ask Pastor Matt about his experiences with ONE.
God, our sustainer, with you there is always enough. May we live with open hands, not grasping in fear of our stomachs or hearts running empty, but willing to share courageously with those in need.