The holiday season can be a time of plenty and overflowing for some. For others, it may be a season of deficiency and lacking of resources. Read the article below, brought to you by our Compassion/Mercy/Justice (CMJ) Ministry Team, and learn about the many ways you can support local, as well as worldwide efforts to combat the subject of starvation.
We’ve all probably been guilty of saying that we are “starving” when hungry, but likely that hasn’t actually been even remotely close for any of us.
So what’s the difference?
Starvation is defined as a condition of severe suffering due to lack of nutrition, while hunger is simply a need or compelling desire for food.
Hunger is a temporary state between meals, while starvation is an ongoing struggle that can result in death if proper nutrition is not achieved soon, and it is something affecting millions of people around the world on a daily basis.
In fact, according to some statistics from World Vision, one in every nine people in the world does not have enough to eat.
That is staggering! To take it a step further:
- An average of 31 kids die per hour because of starvation. That’s an average of 744 kids a day that are dying simply because they don’t have enough to eat.
- Malnutrition causes nearly half of the deaths in children under five around the world.
These statistics are sobering and tragic. So why don’t we think about this more?
A lot of us are aware that world hunger is an issue, perhaps even a major one. But even as we realize that, odds are most of us don’t spend a whole lot of time actually thinking of this reality. We don’t often see the effects of this severe hunger, since 98% of those facing starvation live in developing nations. It can be sort of an “out of sight, out of mind” issue.
So while tragedies such as the famine in East Africa, or refugee crises caused by conflicts in Syria seem far away, we need to be reminded of the significant impact such events have, and can even make it hard for those impacted to find enough food to survive.
We also need to be reminded that although starvation is not as huge of a need in our community as it is in other parts of the world, hunger is still certainly an issue even here in River Falls.
The River Falls Food Pantry shares on their website that they served over 1,200 households in the River Falls area in 2017 and distribute roughly 20,000 pounds of food each month to those in need! The implication is there is significant need, even in our community!
So what can we can do to help those that might be starving around the world or going hungry in our community?
We can pray, donate, and volunteer.
There are so many ways we can be praying.
- We can pray for those that are facing starvation and not having enough to eat, the conditions that are causing them to be in need, the organizations that are seeking to serve those in need, and for us to each become more aware of the opportunities we have to serve those that may be starving.
- We can donate and support local and worldwide organizations that fight against hunger and starvation.
- Worldwide organizations such as Feed My Starving Children (FMSC), World Vision, and others.
- Local organizations such as the River Falls Food Pantry and Our Neighbors' Place. (A special thank you to those who supported our youth group in our recent 30 hour famine from which we raised $531 for World Vision and collected 707 pounds of food to donate to the RF Food Pantry!)
- We can volunteer. Locally the food pantry and Our Neighbors' Place are constantly looking for volunteers and folks to help out! We also regularly take groups to FMSC in Eagan to pack meals to be distributed around the world to those facing starvation. If you are interested in serving at FMSC there will be groups from FirstCov going on Monday, December 10th from 12:00-2:00pm. Contact the church office to sign up for either of these opportunities! Thank you!
From your FirstCov Compassion/Mercy/Justice (CMJ) Ministry Team