by Aaron Earls
October 16 is World Food Day, but it’s not a holiday about feasts and parties. Rather it seeks to raise awareness about famine and global hunger.
The good news is things are getting better, according to Jeff Palmer, executive director of Baptist Global Response. “The estimates have moved from 1 billion chronically hungry a decade ago to about 800 million today,” he says.
But that still leaves more than 1 in 10 people in the world suffering from a severe lack of food. Those numbers also don’t speak to just how hungry many are. “We may have less hungry people in the world today,” Palmers say, “but my instincts and observations tell me they are in more dire circumstances than before.”
Palmer says the real issue is not necessarily mass starvation, but “the chronic, unabated struggle with constant undernutrition that is robbing so many of quality of life around the world.”
That means the solution is not in mass feeding projects. “We need to find sustainable ways to help people and communities rise out of their current situation and find ways to solve their short- and long-term hunger issues,” he says.
For Palmer, this issue is one that should be a concern for the church. “The mass of hungry people are located in the most lost areas of the world today. We can help them obtain food through projects and programs and introduce them to the sustainable Bread of Life found in the gospel.”
To address those deeper issues, a program like Global Hunger Relief can be of tremendous value, Palmer says. Every dollar given goes directly to the field “to effectively and efficiently address hunger issues at home and overseas.”
The funds given are channeled through missionaries, churches, and national partners that utilize existing structures to address chronic hunger needs and better enable believers to make Christ known in those areas, says Palmer.
For those looking to get involved, he suggests four things anyone can do.
Pray: Ask God what you should do about local and global hunger. Visit the Global Hunger Relief website, learn about hunger projects and how you can best pray for them.
Be active: Get involved locally in a food pantry or program through your church or town.
Give: One hundred percent of giving through the Global Hunger Relief fund goes directly to help hungry people around the world.
Go: There are many opportunities through GoBGR to be involved with hunger projects.
AARON EARLS (@WardrobeDoor) is online editor of Facts & Trends.