I’ve Never Gone Hungry (& thoughts on living more intentionally)

Our favorite dinner in Haiti (2010)

One of the things that I probably most take for granted in life is my access to food. Anyone who knows me decently well, knows that I tend to graze. Breakfast, 10-10:30am snack, lunch, 2:30-ish snack, dinner, and maybe even a pre-bedtime small bowl of cereal. Some days it becomes more of a habit that anything. It’s what I’m used to doing, so I continue the routine.

Most of us have constant access to food. We’re surrounded by it and always have the option of eating or drinking something. We often don’t even wait until we’re hungry anymore. If there’s a plate of cupcakes sitting out in the office, well, of course we have to have one.

I have never, ever gone to bed truly hungry or had to wonder where my next meal is coming from. However, that is a reality for more than 1 billion people around the world.

My husband & I were out running errands recently on a Saturday. As we were leaving the Lowe’s parking lot, there was a man holding a sign asking for a combo meal. I had never seen a sign that specific before & it definitely caught our attention. I’ll be honest. I’ve grown quite jaded & skeptical of those who beg on street corners with signs. Are they truly in need or are they just trying to scam people into giving them money, like the stories we occasionally see on the news? The ones who then go walk around the corner to their nice car and drive away…

Honestly, I probably would not have done this if I was by myself, but my husband suggested that we go get him a combo meal. It was a Saturday. We had extra time. Why not. As we pulled in across the street at the Burger King, there was a couple sitting in the grass with a sign of their own, saying they were hungry and asking for food. How could we help one and not the others? What were the chances of there being 3 people in the same 1 block radius who were all asking for a meal? It only cost us about $10. Money that we’d never notice was even missing. All 3 were genuinely so grateful when we went back to hand them out.

It wouldn’t make a big difference in their lives – it was only one meal – but it definitely served as a bit of a wake-up call for me. We all I tend to turn a blind eye toward need. It could be for a variety of reasons – we’re I’m skeptical, too lazy, apathetic, scared… too busy and wrapped up in our my own life to even notice, etc.

I want to live more intentionally. I want to be more tuned in to those around me and to the opportunities that God places in my path. But that could be a blog post all to itself…

Anyway, if you are looking for some ways to help the hungry, I can offer 4 suggestions:

Join the Fight Against Hunger – Famine No More

Fact: In the next 12 seconds, another hungry child will die.

In the Horn of Africa, hunger is stalking 12.4 million people, with 35% of all children in the region now facing emergency levels of malnutrition. Families are walking for weeks in search of food and water, often finding none.

The word “famine” isn’t used lightly. An official famine has 3 indicators: 30% or higher acute malnutrition rate in the area, at least 2 deaths per 10,000 people, and at least 20% of households facing extreme hunger. That’s why the famine in the Horn of Africa deserves our attention and help right now. It isn’t expected to end any time soon and supplies are running desperately low, but we CAN help.

Today I’m joining my friends at World Vision and saying that we can’t tolerate these conditions any more. The question they’re asking is:

What one thing can we give up in order to make a simple $10 donation to help save lives?

The truth is, I have a very comfortable life. I have never truly experienced hunger. I have never wondered where my next meal is coming from. I have never had anything other than an abundance of clothes & shoes to choose from each day. We tithe, we sponsor a child, and we give to our favorite charities but the truth is I have never really even given sacrificially – given until it really hurts.

By American standards, we are very, very average. Nowhere near what I would call rich. I look around at friends & family and sometimes struggle with comparing ourselves to others. But in reality, we are all much more privileged than we realize. If you make over $34,000, you are among the world’s 5% richest people. Let that sink in for a moment…

And I do truly believe that we are blessed so that we can be a blessing to others.

So really, at the end of the day I would never notice a $10 donation. And that’s why last week we decided to give much more than that. And really, we still won’t notice it missing from our account, but it will make a significant difference in the life of someone who really needs it.

What can your donation do? For the price of your favorite Starbucks drink (USD$4) you can feed a family of 6 in the Horn of Africa for a day!

Head over to the World Vision Blog where Joy Bennett has asked this question (What would you give up)?

Learn more & make your donation to World Vision at www.FamineNoMore.org or text “FAMINE” to “20222″ to donate $10.