As a child, I remember hearing, “Don’t waste your food. There are hungry people in the world.” I wondered why it mattered or how this would impact those who are hungry. I have since learned that although enough food is produced every year to feed the world’s growing population, that food is not evenly distributed. As a result, nearly 1 in 9 people go to bed hungry each night. The question remains: How do we redistribute the food from vast storehouses in industrialized nations to the hungriest people in the world?
One of our ministry partners, Rise Against Hunger (RAH) aims to answer that question, with a goal of ending world hunger by 2030. RAH is an international organization that distributes food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable people, working with local resources to ensure that meals are not only safely delivered, but are prepared to high and healthy standards. Through its meal delivery initiative, RAH provides a safety net to the world’s most vulnerable while long-term food security projects take root. It also empowers communities through agriculture and income-generating initiatives, which promote “improved agricultural methods, business skills, and market access.” Additionally, in emergency circumstances, pallets of prepared meal packages are shipped to in-country partners where aid is efficiently and effectively distributed when it is needed most. Through these efforts, more than 794,700 people were served in 2018—and we at Christ Church were part of that.
The Lenten season offers an opportunity for each of us to reflect on our relationship with God—and perhaps our relationship with food. During this season, some people elect to refrain, or fast, from some food items as a discipline. When we reflect on our own personal food consumption, we may recognize the contrast between the rich and abundant food we consume as compared to the lack of food others experience. According to the USDA, “In the United States, food waste is estimated at between 30-40 percent of the food supply.” How can we begin to make a change? First, we need to be more conscious of our own food selections, consumption, and waste, and be excellent stewards of God’s bounty. Secondly, we can give to the Christ Church Lenten Offering, which will be collected on Palm Sunday (April 14) and will go directly to packing nutritious meals for people in third world nations through our partnership with Rise Against Hunger. Our goal of $16,000—when combined with missions funding from the Boundless initiative—will provide 100,000 meals in 2019. Finally, we might consider traveling with Rise Against Hunger to assist in the distribution of packaged meals; learn more at riseagainsthunger.org.
This week, we encourage you to pray about how God might be leading you to address world hunger. Consider how you might be part of the Lenten Offering. Contact Pastor Virginia (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Rick Brown (email@example.com) if you want to learn more about impacting world hunger.