Social Justice Challenge: Hunger

This month’s theme for The Social Justice Challenge is hunger. Amy invited us to post a photo which represents hunger to us. I always think of the children who are hungry when I think of hunger – the huge, bloated bellies, the vacant eyes, the delicate bones jutting just beneath their skin. The picture I’ve posted here says it all.

I have never experienced hunger – at least not this kind of hunger. I cannot imagine living day to day without food being readily available, and yet, that is the reality for many people around the world.

I am planning on participating in this month’s theme, but I don’t yet know what my action will be. I actually would like to do something locally because we have a large homeless population in my county and there are many people who are hungry every day.

I have already read a book which I think is a pretty good book for this month’s theme: Impatient with Desire, by Gabrielle Burton (read my review) which centers around the Donner Party’s ill-fated trek to California. If you don’t know the story, nearly half of them starved to death when they were stranded in the mountains. They ate shoe leather, the hides from animals…and when faced with nothing to eat at all, some turned to cannibalism. I don’t think any of us can imagine a hunger so great we would resort to eating our dead comrades. But that is exactly what happened with the Donner Party. I am giving away a signed copy of the book this month – to get your name in the drawing, visit this post before midnight (PST) on April 20th.

Are you participating in The Social Justice Challenge this month? If so, what are you considering as an action?

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    • sumana on April 12, 2010 at 08:12

    What an moving idea..I am thinking of participating.. I come from a countrywhre really lot of people donot get to eat everyday..It haunts me when I see in restaurants people order food and throw away..

    On a different note, I have an award for you here:…my blog was previously “I Read” but I moved here last week..

    • atla on April 12, 2010 at 12:01

    What a haunting photograph. This is the first I’ve heard of the Social Justice Challenge, but it’s a wonderful concept. Kudos to you for reaching out.

  1. Wow, what a disturbing yet powerful photo. It is a grim reminder of hunger and the ravishing effects it has on people, especially children. I think I heard a statistic yesterday that said that 1 in 8 people in the United States go “hungry” each day. Now that is by Western standards as I don’t think they look anything like the child in this photo. But still, the fact that people in the supposedly richest nation on earth could be hungry really speaks volumes of how pervasive this problem is. I donate to my local food bank but never feel like I am doing enough.

  2. Local hunger awareness is something that families with even young children can get involved in. From selecting food at the grocery store (for a food bank or pantry), to preparing/serving meals … Some people have done an awareness fast (I think they’re generally 24-30 hours); I could do that, but wouldn’t ask my kids to.

    Thanks for blogging about this, Wendy.

    • Wendy on April 14, 2010 at 06:42

    Sumana: It is a wonderful challenge. THANK YOU for the award – I am flattered!

    Atla: I thought it was a stunning photo as well – very moving. I am really enjoying being involved in this challenge.

    Kathleen: I know what you mean – our standards seem so high, and yet there is malnutrition in the US where you would think that couldn’t happen. Good for you for donating to your local food bank…

    Dawn: You’re welcome…I think an awareness fast is a good idea…but I want to actually do something that will put food into someone’s belly…so I like the idea of donating to a food bank.

    • Eva on April 14, 2010 at 11:55

    If you’re looking for another book, Hunger by Sharam Apt Russell was really good. 🙂

  3. I just finished reading Scared by Tom Davis and it focused on the country of Swaziland, which has a lot of poverty, hunger, and AIDS. The descriptions of some of the hungry children and what happened to them were just heartbreaking. It is a good book if you haven’t read it, by the way.

    • Wendy on April 20, 2010 at 05:49

    Eva: Thank you for the recommendation!

    Rebecca: Thanks for pointing me toward the Davis book – it looks like one I’d like to read!

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