In Norman Rockwell’s “Freedom from Want,” a family gathers around a Christmas table to offer thanks, eat, speak, laugh, and share their joys. While this magnificent American tradition unfolds in the coming weeks, a global food crisis is placing even the simplest meals out of reach for a rising number of people and families.
Over 828 million people sleep hungry every night in roughly one-third of the globe. Chronic malnutrition stunts 149 million youngsters. Famine threatens up to 50 million people in 45 nations. Acute malnutrition, or wasting, affects around 45 million children. Every one of these astonishing statistics is a person.
Causes Of Global Food Security?
The global food security dilemma has numerous causes. COVID-19 disrupted global supply systems. War in Ukraine, the world’s breadbasket, raises grain and wheat prices when many can’t afford them. A changing climate with continuous seasons without enough rainfall, higher temperatures in regions like the Horn of Africa, and an exponential rise in natural catastrophes worldwide harm crops and the capacity of people to sustain themselves and their families.
Coming alongside crisis-stricken communities offers hope and opportunity. Food for the Hungry has fought poverty, hunger, and malnutrition worldwide for almost 50 years. We contacted over 10 million individuals in 20 countries last year, including Erkihun, an Ethiopian farmer I met.
- Erkihun’s family is a subsistence farmer. We were already working with his family and neighborhood in this food security crisis since one of his children was sponsored by a Food for the Hungry supporter.
- An entrepreneur wanted to plant climate-resistant crops and start a honey company. Erkihun planted and grew climate-smart vegetables and bought beekeeping equipment via local government funding.
- Now has enough to feed his family, all six of his daughters are in school, and he is flourishing by selling his fruit and honey at local markets. Despite the drought, he uses agricultural technology to raise crops and teach people how to adapt to climate change.
COVID-19 showed us that global events influence us in the U.S. So this Christmas, as my family and I express gratitude at the dinner table, we will remember families like Erkihun’s and recommit to sharing our many blessings with families across the globe.
Food for the Hungry, a Christian humanitarian organization founded in 1971, is led by Mark Viso.
Feature Image: Pixabay