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Empower Food Choices But Insure Food Availability

May 19, 2014

A comment on Facebook tonight from a hero. I said I wished more could hear his words.

We in America are so, so spoiled. Recently our pastor traveled to Brazil, and spent a week with another friend that was life changing. Hundreds of children were fed out of a very small kitchen. Just a short ride from the glamor of the major travel areas, there are people working hard to survive. They spend 14-15 hours a day or more working to build a church. Hours praying. Outside the walls isn’t safe. Inside it’s a place children can be safe. Some ride bikes many miles to attend.

Here people don’t go to church because they’re tired, or it’s raining, or it’s sunny. But this post isn’t really about church it’s about food. I say words from a hero because he’s doing what many don’t even see as a need.

So often those in agriculture talk about feeding the world. It’s an expression that many, even within agriculture, find tiring. Here at our little farm we’re not feeding the world…we’re tending to one little piece of it. We’re feeding some in our community, and blessed to be able to help some out who can’t afford food in a temporary issue thanks to our box sponsors. Today one of the recipients came by to get some food, some seeds and some tomato plants. You see, food choices are important but empowering people to do for themselves is so much more than just turning food over.

We have a bad view here, in America, of lazy people who don’t work sponging off of those who do. Perspective is critical. So that comment.

I met a young man in Delhi today who was literally dying of malnutrition, disease, and now delirium. I tried to help him get some food, but it is too late. I would write a note to myself to seriously work at relieving hunger. – Jay W.

That’s not all. You won’t see Jay in People magazine. You won’t see him in the Huffington Post or on headline news. Many might look down their nose at him for putting faith in action, and traveling to Nepal, Haiti, India, Africa and other countries to try to do something about hunger. Some call them missionaries. I call them heroes.

In Valsad Gujarat this morning having masala dosa and chatting in Nepali with a Rai from Ilam. At 17, he has traveled far from home to find a little work while he waits for his school marks to see if he can go to college. Why didn’t he just stay at home? Too little food this time of year.

We are so blessed to be able to choose from a massive host of labels. Organic. Gluten free. Low fat. “Conventional”. Hundreds of types of cookies, and chips, and tasty but non-essential food choices.

Around the world, a friend sits with a 17 year old looking for work because there’s no food at home. Should we not consider those people also? How many have gone a few days without eating, let alone long enough to die from malnutrition.
While it’s great that we have food choices…sometimes food availability is more important. Sometimes it’s not that people are lazy or bad – it’s that they aren’t blessed to be born American.
Krish Dhanam often says if you woke up this morning in this great country called America you have already won. Whatever the political issues, problems, celebrity gossip and other issues, it’s incredibly petty when compared to starving to death for lack of food.
It’s not world food day, or a special day to reflect on these things, but it’s no less urgent. It’s no less important for all of us to do all we can to show compassion to others who don’t have enough to eat, whether it’s here or around the world, far from home.
Be thankful for that food you throw away tonight. Be aware.
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