“What’s for dinner?” “I’m starving.” “I just went to the market, and there’s nothing to eat in this house.”
Sound familiar? They’re common phrases often uttered without even thinking. The fact is, many of us have abundant choices for our morning meal – our first of three for the day. “I’m starving” translates to “I haven’t eaten in a few hours.” And while our homes may not be stocked with the exact ingredients needed to prepare tonight’s nutritious meal, our refrigerators and pantries are, by all accounts, well-stocked. Those are the good facts.
For some, these are the harsh realities: “What’s for dinner?” really means “Will there be dinner? Any dinner?” And “I’m starving” means exactly that. I’m starving. Maybe to death.
Food for thought
“Food for thought” is a common phrase in the English language. Look for its definition and you find this: Something that warrants serious consideration.
Hunger. It’s food for thought.
By the numbers and years, hunger looks like this:
- 2015: The United Nations reports 777 million people are chronically hungry.
- 2016: The number rises to 815 million, equating to 11% of world citizens being chronically hungry.
- 2018: According to World Hunger Education Service, 821 million people worldwide are hungry.
Through Campaign 100: LCIF Empowering Service, Lions worldwide are taking aim at hunger.
Numbers are a tricky thing. Upward ticks often show progress. Like a rise in the value of your home. Or the addition of a new grandchild. Or more Lions participating in Lions Clubs International Foundation’s most impactful fundraising effort ever – Campaign 100: LCIF Empowering Service!
But an upward trend in the number of people suffering pain, disease and debilitation wrought by chronic hunger is anything but progress. So why, despite sufficient global production to feed the entire population, is hunger still a chronic problem worldwide?
Political instability. Rising food and energy prices. Economic recessions. Climate change. They all factor in. The sad truth is this: Hunger remains one of the world’s most critical and urgent challenges, particularly for children.
That’s why Lions, with funding and project support from LCIF, are bringing hunger to the forefront and taking even sharper aim at mitigating its effects.
A recipe for success
Through donations to Campaign 100’s Empowering Service Fund, Lions’ hunger-focused projects will have the financial backing needed to help make positive change. Financial gifts from Lions, Lions’ partners and others concerned about global hunger, coupled with the hard work and service of nearly 1.5 million Lions across planet Earth, will help us inch toward a world in which no one goes hungry. Anywhere. Here are ways in which LCIF plans to aid in the solution…to be part of the recipe for success:
- We’ll invest in infrastructure and transport systems to increase capacity of existing local food banks, feeding centers and food distribution facilities.
- We’ll help create new food banking systems where they don’t currently exist.
- We’ll help secure vehicles to collect, transport and deliver food and meals.
- We’ll help supply commercial refrigerators and freezers to store perishable food.
- We’ll help equip select feeding centers with stoves, ovens and other kitchen equipment needed to prepare meals to serve or distribute.
That’s our plan.
Feed off the past
That Lions will be part of the hunger solution going forward is an absolute. But addressing the food scarcity challenge – and the infrastructure needed to feed those across the street and across the globe – won’t be easy.
To ensure we execute our hunger-focused plan to invest, create, secure, supply and equip effectively and efficiently, LCIF will leverage learnings from our first 50 years of grant funding and building expertise.
With dedicated efforts of volunteer leaders, advisors and staff, Lions worldwide, backed by funding from LCIF, will work toward stopping hunger in its tracks – one child, one family, one village at a time.
Be part of the hunger solution.
Feed the future
If you’re fortunate to have ready access to abundant food, a well-equipped kitchen, and family and friends gathered around a table brimming with life-sustaining nourishment, be thankful for that. If you’re a Lion, consider these ways in which your service, largely funded by LCIF, can help others enjoy this luxury too, someday:
- Invite local food bank representatives to speak at your club or district meetings. You’ll no doubt benefit from their expertise and learn some innovative ways in which to combat hunger.
- Check out Lions Clubs International’s Working Together to Relieve Hunger webinar for ideas and best practices for collaborating with food banking partners. Originally developed for Lions in Europe, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Singapore and South Africa, the less-than-one-hour webinar offers valuable information, and tips for effectively working with local food pantries, soup kitchens, restaurants, schools, senior centers and more.
- Establish a community vegetable garden (read an inspiring Lions story about such an effort here) and help local residents grow their own food. While the weather in your area may not be conducive to planting right now, it’s never too early to reserve a community plot, plan what to grow and even mail order some seeds to sow!
- Work with local schools to organize a nutritious breakfast for children in need. According to the World Food Programme, globally about 368 million children from kindergarten to secondary school receive food at school every day. What happens when school isn’t in session? And what happens to kids from countries whose governments don’t sponsor programs to help nourish their bellies and their brains?
Each night, more than 800 million people go to bed hungry. Please consider a gift of US$100, or just US$2 each week for a year, and help end hunger. Donate now to Campaign 100’s Empowering Service Fund. 100% of your donation will help provide access to life-sustaining food for those in need and let them wake up to a better tomorrow.
Over the past 100 years, Lions united in service and empowered by their global foundation have transformed millions of lives. With the most impactful fundraising effort in LCIF history upon us, we’re proud to #BE100. Visit lcif.org/BE100 to see how Campaign 100: LCIF Empowering Service will deliver hope and help as Lions work toward a world in which no one goes hungry by expanding resources and infrastructure needed to address food shortages in our communities and globally.
Caryn Lerner is the senior content specialist for Lions Clubs International Foundation.