The world is going hungry. It’s something we all know, it remains in the periphery of our consciousness as we go about our daily lives. We’re not surprised to hear about it when it’s mentioned. But it’s rarely a main topic of conversation. We don’t sit and devote time in our day to thinking about the hunger problem. According to the US Department of Agriculture, 33 million people, including 13 million children, experience hunger or the risk of hunger. This is 1 in 10 households in the United States. Do you know ten families? One of them doesn’t have enough food.
And yet the majority of us are not bothered by this on a daily basis. We don’t consider it something that falls within our realm of direct responsibility. Is it because we don’t care enough, or because we don’t think we can make a difference?
We have to say it’s the latter. Because if it’s the former, 1 in 10 households, and 13 million children in this country, are doomed.
We CAN make a difference. Even just by helping out our local food banks, which are in serious need of donations (see “People, Not Funds, Pouring into Food Banks“). One innovative program to address the issue is Plant a Row for the Hungry, a project of the Garden Writers Association. Launched in 1995, this program harnesses the power of garden writers to encourage their audiences to plant an extra row of produce in their gardens each year and donate this surplus to local food banks. PAR explains that there are over 84 million household gardens in the US. Think about what a difference 84 million rows of vegetables would make to all of the hungry people.
Since 1995, more than 14 million pounds of produce have been donated by American gardeners. This translates into over 50 million meals. (Some quick math: three meals per day per person over 13 years: they provided a full stomach to over 3500 people a day for the past 13 years.)
So stop feeling guilty for not caring enough about hunger- DO something about it! Plant an extra row in your garden. Don’t have a garden? Check out this post to learn some easy ways to grow veggies, even in the middle of the city.
Hunger is a massive global problem. But Plant a Row for the Hungry, and help your local community. One row at a time, we’ll feed them all.
- L.A. Victory Gardens (jeffersonburruss.com)
- My New Lemon Tree: Hungry For Change (takepart.com)
- Living On Food Stamps: Hungry For Change (takepart.com)
- NY Food Banks Will Receive $1 Million Emergency Funding (takepart.com)