Food for the Hungry is a non-profit organization that seeks to end ALL forms of human poverty by going to the underdeveloped countries and works with the world’s most vulnerable people. They have been serving through purposeful relief and development for the past forty years. Inspired by Christian beliefs, we believe in the fight against poverty, which is why we serve the vulnerable in over twenty countries around the world. The organization started when Dr. Larry Ward was struck by the pain and sadness of knowing that thousands of children are suffering and dying each day from hunger-related issues. In 1971, he founded Food for the Hungry (FH) based on a simple premise, if children find one at a time, Fh could help them one at a time. Thus began his lifelong mission to serve the world’s most underprivileged people in the hard places.
Insufficient nutrition diet can lead to poor mental and physical development in children, and this is a vast problem in more prevalent in underdeveloped countries than the developed ones. Extreme poverty and lack of health awareness in more impoverished communities may cause malnutrition in developing children. Hunger in pregnant mothers can also cause an insufficient amount of nutrition delivered to unborn children. The struggle for food has been going on for centuries. If this problem is not treated correctly with appropriate medical care, it can lead to adverse consequences, including terrible but preventable death.
The primary cause of malnutrition is due to illiteracy, lack of awareness about hygiene and health, and lack of financial resources for providing a balanced diet to the pregnant mothers and growing children. In 2013, the FH budgeted about $1.3 billion expenditure to tackle the tremendous problem of malnutrition and hunger in a country where 230 million kids are undernourished. According to the International Food Policy Research Institute, nearly 46% of children born in Indian below the age of three are underweight, and 38% are stunted. In many rural areas, it is not unusual to see children who look to be much younger than they should for their age. These numbers should be alarming for a country like India because soon it will boast the world’s largest workforce.
Moreover, the last thing that they need is a workforce that is incapable of contributing to and benefiting from India’s economic growth because we failed to invest in them early enough and well enough. Without the appropriate investments, India risks squandering its massive potential. Avoiding this risk and tackling undernutrition requires the government to take a hard look at what must be done to change the harsh conditions in which too many young kids are growing up. At a series launch in New Delhi, the FH issued a call to action for India to start this hard look by confronting and quantifying the problem through routine national and sub-national surveillance data collection at least every two to three years, and use the data to target and monitor progress moving forward efficiently. The government also requires a stronger commitment to improving and strengthening systems to deliver the required amount of nutrition in the areas that are in most need of assistance.
During further research on Food for the Hungry, I came across an article about How your family can make a difference with Earthworms. We all understand the importance of vegetables, even though some of us do not like them, there’s no denying the nutritional value. They are a vital part of the food pyramid. Majority of people around the world acknowledge this fact, but not everyone has access to crops with high nutritional value. The example in the article is taken from Huancavelica in Peru. Neighborhood members commute over 5.5 miles to get non-fresh vegetables which are low in nutritional value. This surely is one of the contributing factors to malnutrition.
One family in particular struggles to ensure that their children receive the nutrition required to sustain a living. Eugenio and Elsa have five children and struggle to feed their family on a daily basis. They live away from the city and because of that food availabilities are very low. Eugenio felt very frustrated because he did not have enough resources to feed my family with appropriate food. FH advised them to consider a home garden. An FH facilitator visited them home to tell them about food and nutrition and offer them to train them, and their families build home gardens. Eugenio and Elsa took advantage of this opportunity and started attending training and started their garden. But, several problems are associated with gardening at home. Many of the time the soil is dry and dull. Fertilizer is not very useful. Soo FH came up with the solution to enrich their soil with earthworms. What this does is, the worms move around in the soil and create an area for air and water to get into the soil. In the process, they also break down things like grass and leaves into things plants can use to grow. When earthworms eat, they release a precious type of fertilizer that helps with the slow release of nutrients to plants and prevents them from being washed away during their first watering. Earthworm waste is richer in minerals than the soil itself. The more than reproduce on their own, the more they provide ongoing garden maintenance and benefit.
Working together, we can do more and have more significant impacts on society. Malnutrition deserves and requires greater attention and investment by public and private sectors than it already currently receives. As we have seen in history before that the world is capable of great achievements. There are proven solutions within our reach, and focus on science and economic growth has somewhat paid off. With the help of the right aid, we can reduce malnutrition and focus on growing and nourishing tomorrow’s leaders, in developing countries such as India and Peru.