Here’s what we know about hunger:
- 7,500 children under the age of five die every day as a result of poor nutrition, according to Food for the Hungry
- One in eight people worldwide go to bed hungry
- 795 million people worldwide, or one in nine, don’t have enough food to lead a healthy active life, cites the World Food Programme
- Nearly half (45 percent) of all deaths in children under five are caused by poor nutrition, or about 3.1 million children per year
We also know there are stories enveloped in the hunger epidemic that can’t be told by the statistics. Children are born blind in Bolivia because their mothers suffer an iodine deficiency. There are children in Lesotho who survive past the age of five but suffer in school because the brain cannot develop properly without adequate nutrition. Imagine living in Iran and having to choose between waiting for the harvest season to plant your family’s seeds, or giving them to your family to feed now.
More than nutrition, there are secondary aspects of food that bear witness to our humanity in ways that go beyond our physical health. Food builds community. Gathering around the dinner table brings communion, enabling opportunities for camaraderie.
Food also seems to have a spiritual quality, connecting us to our own humanity and to the earth itself. As Kahlil Gibran’s wise man says in The Prophet:
“When you kill a beast say to him in your heart, ‘By the same power that slays you, I too am slain; and I too shall be consumed. For the law that delivered you into my hand shall deliver me into a mightier hand.’ . . . And when you crush an apple with your teeth, say to it in your heart, ‘Your seeds shall live in my body, and the buds of your tomorrow shall blossom in my heart, and your fragrance shall be my breath, and together we shall rejoice through all seasons.’”
Eating food is a natural, physiological human need, and every pang of hunger pointing to our need to eat reminds us that we’re all part of the same great glittering chain of being. We’re all human. Though these aspects of food are secondary to its function of sustaining us physically, the way food can be used to invite comfort and connect us with our own humanity is a luxury many people in developing countries don’t have.
But here’s the bottom line: the most important aspect of food is that it’s a basic human right. We believe every person deserves to be fulfilled in their fundamental need for food and water regardless of where they live.
This basic human right is why we partner with organizations to end hunger internationally and locally. In 2016, the Roosevelt was donated over six thousand dollars to provide food for those who desperately need it. Here are some ways the Roosevelt contributed to the fight against hunger:
- Purchasing food tree seedlings
- Building mini green houses in Peru
- Sponsoring a child in Cambodia
- Buying beekeeping toolkits
- Providing almost 1200 meals for residents at Faith Mission of Ohio, next door to our shop
- Purchasing goats for families in need
- Outfitting a farm with 18 chickens, 6 goats, 4 pigs, 2 rabbits, and 2 sheep
So here’s where our heart’s at. There are too many people in need to end hunger overnight. Eradicating hunger will take systematic effort and collaboration from many outlets.
But here’s the most important bottom line: every person we help makes a difference. Every human is valuable, and providing food to just one community, one family, one person in need is worthwhile.
Thank you for having a heart for the hungry by supporting our cause.