The acute deadly hunger experienced during famines haunts us. The emotional images of dead and dying children, wasted bodies, empty and haunted eyes and seemingly endless lines of hungry waiting for a meager ration of life-sustaining food scream out for action. No one who has seen images of such suffering can easily forget them.
But such graphic and horrifying images often mask an even greater tragedy. That’s right. Hunger has another face. That other face is the daily hunger and under-nutrition suffered by 850 million of our human family. This is chronic hunger, the hunger that never goes away. This is the hunger that never ceases stalking the poor.
This is the hunger that never makes the evening news. It’s the invisible hunger. And it’s the hunger that kills far more than famines.
Chronic hunger is a killer. And like any killer, chronic hunger leaves in its wake anguish for the innocent victims. Chronic hunger leaves in its wake grieving parents. Chronic hunger leaves and emptiness that can never be filled.
Also, like any killer, chronic hunger also instills fear. Those stalked by chronic hunger live with a fear that never goes away.
The poor, the powerless, the hungry live in a world of abundant resources, yet they are refused access. The hungry of our family are forced to live in a world of anguish, grief and constant fear.
Ending hunger is not about numbers. It’s about basic morality. It’s about living faithfully as part of a global family.
We know we can eradicate chronic hunger. The real question is if we are faithful enough to do it. I guess in the end it all comes down to priorities, doesn’t it?