Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Child Hunger

This is a speech I gave at my speech and debate club. It is a topic very close to my heart. 

How many of you had lunch today?  How many of you had breakfast?  You are part of only one third of the world that is well-fed, the second third being under fed and the last third being malnourished. One out of every twelve people worldwide doesn’t have enough food.  Many of these people are children.  We in America often do not appreciate what we have.   We close our eyes to what is happening worldwide.  A time has come for that to change.    
Sometimes, we tend to think that hunger is only in other countries, such as Africa or Asia.  This is wrong.  The truth is that a multitude of children suffer from malnutrition in America.  It is happening right around us, and we don’t even notice.  The Journalism Center for Families and Children states, “In 2008, 16.6 million children lived in homes that couldn’t afford to provide enough food for their families.  The Great Recession has only made things worse.” end quote.  Consequently, one out of every eight children under the age of twelve in the U.S goes to bed hungry every night.    Is it right that the world’s wealthiest nation has millions of unfed children?
Besides the U.S., many other countries have underfed or malnourished citizens.  Half of all children under five in South Asia and one third of those in West Africa are malnourished.    In a new report from the International Food Policy Research Institute, it says that the number of hungry children in Africa will increase by 3.3 million by 2025 if nothing changes.  Asia and the Pacific region is where half the world’s population, and two thirds of the world’s hungry people call home.  Additionally,  65% of the word’s hungry live in only seven countries:  India, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Ethiopia.  These people have no food, no shelter, and for most, no relationship with God.  What does this equal? No Hope.
Why is hunger such a problem?  Why do people have no food if the world produces enough?  The simple answer is poverty.  People just don’t have the money to either purchase or grow the food they need.   Nearly one in four people live on less than one dollar a day.  Twice as many people struggle to survive on only two.  Poverty causes hunger, and hunger causes poverty.  For, when people are underfed, they are more susceptible to sickness and exhaustion.   It is a dreadful cycle that can continue for generations, if nothing is done to stop it.  
If nothing changes.  These problems will never stop if nothing changes.  Perhaps someday we would be in that position if nothing changes.   You may ask, what can I do?  It is the little things, giving, donating, and sponsoring, that make the difference.  For a lot of little gifts make one gigantic blessing.  So today, pause, thank God for the life he has given you, and remember those who may not be able to say that tomorrow.  
Matthew 25:35-40
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

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