This morning in the church bulletin there was a blurb about the hunger task force. This was followed up by our youth group tonight where we learned about the Souper Bowl of Caring and painted bowls that will be auctioned off in the spring. Prior to youth group, this prompted me to look up some information online to put local and world hunger in perspective. I'm fortunate that hunger is not an issue for me. Yes, there are days that I don't like what's in the employee cafeteria at work or in my kitchen, but that doesn't mean that I'm going without. So what did I learn today?
From the Food Bank of the Rockies:
1 out of 8 Colorado households has hunger issues
In Colorado, children make up 45% of the clients
From the World Food Program:
There are 1 billion chronically hungry people, and more than 60% of these are women
65% of the world's hungry live in 7 countries
(India, China, Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and Ethiopia)
40% of the world's population lives on less than $2/day
39 million Americans live in poverty
I had heard the statistic before about a lot of the world living on $2/day. When I think that I pay $2.50 for a "happy hour" mocha at Daz Bog Coffee it's hard to imagine. I realize that number isn't applicable for the US and I'm curious what the minimum cost per day would be to live here. I pulled out some recent reciepts from grocery shopping to get an idea of what it really costs to make a meal....or to buy highly overpriced snacks. For the cost of buying two bags of Snyders pretzel pieces, I was able to buy pasta, pasta sauce and a loaf of french bread. Yesterday I got Ghiradelli chocolate chips and some Szechuan snack mix for $8.99 at World Market. Needless to say, at my favorite Asian grocery store, I was able to get a bunch of mint, a bunch of basil, 3 limes, shallots, garlic, green onions, green beans and vegetable dumplings for the same amount. I know that I can eat more nutritiously (and more cost effectively) if I put my mind to it.
I always have a lot to be thankful for, and in the week that we celebrate Thanksgiving, more people voice their thanks aloud. I will too. I am thankful for a good job, great friends, a safe and warm place to live, the ability to pick what I want to eat each day (as opposed to eating only rice, for example), freedom of religion, having a good education and not being limited because of my gender or geography.
I ran across a quote earlier, but I can't find it or the citation, but it went something like this....
"the person who is full has many problems, the person who is hungry has just one"
This year, I can be thankful for my problems as well.