First time ever.
This year, because BAD (gotta love the acronym) coincides with World Food Day, we've all been asked to blog about food.
I love food. Anybody who has ever eaten a meal with me knows that I not only love food, I love pushing it at other people. This past weekend, marked my annual visit from my goddaughter and newly-minted godson-in-law, along with their friend Meaghan, and the food flowed freely. We started the visit with a pot of ten-bean soup from the Women's Bean Project after they arrived on Thursday; on Friday, Alex treated us all to homemade gumbo. Saturday we went to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, where - among other things - I ate my first-ever Scotch egg.
Food is comfort. It's a tangible way of showing people that you care.
Which is why, I guess, it bothers me to think about people who are impoverished and in need of a good meal. I just want to feed everyone soup.
As I mention periodically (though any new readers wouldn't know it), I work for my local chapter of Ten Thousand Villages, which is a leading fair trade retailer. I love my job. I like explaining it to new shoppers by saying that by purchasing from us, they're literally helping to fight global poverty. The painful thing about working there - and honestly it's the only thing I don't like - is learning about all the different ways that our artisans are suffering. The most recent discovery bothers me a lot.
We sell beaded crafts - bracelets, earrings, and now keychains - from the women of the Maasai tribe in Kenya. The Maasai people live in what's called the Great Rift Valley, which is known as the 'cradle of humanity.' For the last few years, they've been suffering from terrible drought, which makes it difficult to grow food, and so of course food prices are skyrocketing. And this, of course, is only one example of how people around the world are suffering from hunger, often through no fault of their own. I mean, it's not exactly the fault of the Maasai tribe that it's not raining there as much as it should.
So I ask myself, what can I do - apart from promoting their products in the store and telling our customers what's happening to them - to help not only the Maasai people, but anyone anywhere who is going hungry? I can't answer that question too easily on my own, though, so I then ask Google. Here are three possible ideas for me, for you, and for anyone who cares enough to do something about it:
1. Check out From Hunger to Hope, which raises money for the World Food Programme to feed the hungry around the world. They partner with such well known food brands as Taco Bell and Pizza Hut.
2. Look for a local event run by World Vision, a faith-based initiative to fight global hunger.
3. Easiest of all - every day, visit The Hunger Site and click the button. Advertisers then make a donation on your behalf to feed hungry people. You can increase your impact by purchasing items from the site, such as t-shirts and wristbands, but clicking on the button costs nothing at all.
As I like to say, if each of us does a little, we can do a lot.