Discomfort Food

805 million people in the world are undernourished

Comfort food. Autumn is here and for many our food thoughts turn to comfort food. Those yummy traditional dishes which remind us of home, family, or friends. Mine is spaghetti and meatballs. That may seem odd, but it reminds me of my childhood and Sundays at Nanny and Pop-Pop’s surrounded by aunts and uncles and later, as the next generation was born, my cousins. These were good times, infrequently recaptured as we have spread out across the country.

Now that I have you thinking about big Italian meals with my big Italian family; comfort food, let me give you a little dose of food meant to discomfort…

“While you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition.” – Tony Campolo

This quote really slapped me in the face, and as if it didn’t bring enough discomfort, I looked up these facts about hunger.

Before we started sponsoring a child earlier this year through Compassion International, I never really gave any of this a lot of thought. It’s hard to think about being hungry when you live someplace where food is in such incredible abundance and we are bombarded with the ease of its availability every night on television. It seems to me that there is plenty enough food in this world to feed us all. No one should be going hungry. Thirty thousand kids shouldn’t be starving to death every stinking day. Yet, they are.

So, I have a question. For some it may be a discomforting question.


With so much food so readily available in so much of the world, why is any child, or adult for that matter, going hungry? Why are almost a billion people undernourished?

Part of the answer is us. You and me. We eat more than we need, more than is healthy (there’s irony for you), then turn around and throw away tons of food we can’t eat because our eyes really are bigger than our stomachs. We eat 1500 calorie hamburgers for lunch, because we are told we need to eat like we mean it, with no thought of what we’re doing to our bodies and that one thousand five hundred calories is a full days worth of food.

If the way we eat isn’t enough of a why, how about this? We argue over the politics of food security while children, 30,000 of them apparently, die because we can’t figure out which ones are of the right political, ethnic, or religious, group to benefit from the most basic necessity of life, which we can easily provide. Food security can never be about politics, ethnicity or religion. We have to stop seeing groups. We must begin seeing people, individuals, souls for whom Christ died. And before you play that religion card know this, Christ did not die for Christians. Christ died for people, all of us, each of us as individuals.

That’s the why, at least partially, and simplistically. So, what’s the how? How do we stop hunger when 30,000 children die every day and 805,000,000 people are starving.

Step one – as I said, stop seeing groups. I can’t feed all those people, neither can you. But I can feed one. Or two, or three. Perhaps four. You can do the same. Your neighbor can feed another, and so on. You get the picture. Extreme poverty is stopped, children are fed, clothed, given medical care, receive education, one at a time. So stop trying to change the whole world all at once. The job is too big for you. Focus on one, choose one, or whatever number you can handle. Big change comes in small steps.

Step two – Remember the facts about hunger I linked to earlier in this post? They come from Compassion International, a child advocacy ministry that releases children from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty. It does this through people like me, like you, who are willing to sponsor a child so they can be lifted from poverty and become responsible, fulfilled adults. One sponsor plus one child equals incredible change. Step two is to sponsor a child.

Here’s what happens when you sponsor a child through Compassion.

You change a child’s life – forever. Your support changes every aspect of your sponsored child’s life. Children in Compassion’s program have the opportunity to thrive spiritually, economically, socially and physically. Compassion is committed to helping children in desperate need grow into fulfilled, Christian adults.

When you sponsor a child with Compassion, you help shatter the cycle of poverty. You change the world — one child at a time. Compassion’s long-term holistic approach, along with your encouraging letters, will give your child hope and a new beginning.

Start with one. Save one life. Others already have, and many others will join us, and together we will reach 30,000 and beyond. Together we can defeat extreme poverty. Sponsor a child today.

Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

Images in this post are courtesy of Compassion.com.