The Method To End Hunger

Aug 23, 2006 | Posted by Scott Hughes, author of Achieve Your Dreams | Post a Comment

by Scott Hughes

Hunger’s a beast of a problem. 15 million children die from it every year. Even in the United States, 14 million children are food insecure. The facts keep going like that. Off the top of my head, I could probably spit out enough facts about hunger to make you cry. I’ve got pictures too. In fact, I have an entire website dedicated to ending hunger and poverty, namely childhood hunger and poverty. 10 minutes on that website and it becomes clearly obvious to anyone that as a society we must fix this problem.

Since I run a website dedicated to fighting hunger to the end, it seems appropriate for me to explain the methods that we as a society need to take to end hunger.

In and of itself, food is far from the end-all solution. It’s not even the last step. Of course, it is a step. In fact, it’s the first step. Food is the first step. That’s because, if a hungry child fails to eat today, that hungry child dies tonight. However, if the hungry child eats today, then we still have a hungry child tomorrow. We cannot end hunger without food, but food alone won’t solve the problem. Simply giving food to the hungry to solve hunger is like shoveling water out of a sinking ship. For example, in 2005 the World Food Programme (WFP) distributed 4.2 million metric tons of food to the world’s hungry [1], yet in 2005 852 million people across the world went hungry. [2]

In addition to food, we must utilize education. Education is the silver bullet required to rid the world of the vampire that is hunger, sucking the blood of justice from our society. In this context, it isn’t even a metaphor to use the clich�d Lao Tzu proverb: “Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” The future of a child is literally determined by the availability of education, and the quality of that education.

What an unjust world, in which simply the birth location of a child can sentence the child to a life of poverty and starvation!

It isn’t a far-fetched dream to imagine a world in which all children, and even all people, have access to education. For example, less than one percent of what the world spent every year on weapons could put every child into school, yet it doesn’t happen [3]. Unlike weapons which blow up, education can be funded by student loans, meaning it doesn’t even require spending or charity, just investment.

Education doesn’t just help fight hunger for the one educated person. Rather, the viral benefits of education spread outward and back like Karma itself. For example, an educated man from a poor neighborhood may open a business and employ other people from his neighborhood, who would otherwise be unemployed or under-employed. Perhaps, those employees then could use some of their pay to invest in their own education…

Although education is the most powerful tool in the fight against hunger and poverty, just like food alone won’t solve the problem, neither will education. There is still more needed to fix the problem once and for all. This last step is of course the hardest step. The society and the social system in which people, namely children, starved must change. This change can’t be quick and won’t be easy. Rather, it must be a change caused by the education itself. Just like food is required to allow education, education is required to allow this social change. Just as educating a starved corpse is useless, enticing social change with an undereducated populace is useless. In contrast, as we educate ourselves and our communities and the entire world, then as an educated society we can finally hack at the root of the dysfunctional social system that now allows hunger and poverty. It isn’t until we can hack at that root that hunger and poverty can finally be eliminated.

And thus the solution: The hungry children must be fed, so they can then be educated, so that finally these educated people can secure – not just for their lifetime but for all lifetimes to come – social freedom, justice, and peace… a world in which no child goes hungry.

About The Author: Scott Hughes owns and operates Millions Of Mouths – a website dedicated to ending hunger. You can discuss hunger on the hunger and poverty forums. Read more articles like this at the hunger and poverty blog on MillionsOfMouths.com:
http://millionsofmouths.com/blog/nfblog/

[1] Wikipedia Aug 23, 2006

[2] Human Development Report 2005, United Nations Development Programme. http://hdr.undp.org/reports/global/2005/

[3] http://www.newint.org/issue287/keynote.html

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About Scott Hughes

I am the author of Achieve Your Dreams. I also published the book Holding Fire: Short Stories of Self-Destruction. I have two kids who I love so much. I just want to be a good role model for them. I hope what I do here makes them proud of me. Please let me know you think about the post by leaving a comment below!

One Response so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Lisa Powers
    October 23rd, 2006 at 7:25 pm #

    Scott,
    I enjoyed your article regarding hunger. I am profoundly upset that in a country of wealth and power, we still have hungry children. It also upsets me that the rock stars of the world are just focused on the hungry and dying children of Africa. The situation in that part of the world is a global problem, but I am wondering when they are going to look at the poor, especially those located in here in the US. Many small towns lack proper sewer/water facilites and healthcare. Doctors come but once a month and do not have the proper medicines/tools to help the poor. These wonderful doctors volunteer their time and pay for antibiotics and immunizations out of their pockets. The children are sick because they are underfed.

    Thank you for taking the time and effort to help our hungry right here in the US. I am going to take the time to visit your website and find out more about what you are doing.

Children suffering from Poverty