Tag Archives: mother

the face of hunger in South Sudan

Hunger is not abstract numbers even if those numbers are in the thousands or even millions. Hunger is real, and it has a million faces.

One such face is that of this malnourished child in the village of Old Fangok in South Sudan. The mother brought her son the Dr. Jill Seaman’s clinic for help.

When Dr. Seamon offered a packet of Plumpynut the young child grabbed it from her hand and consumed it so fast she offered a second packet.  This one, seen in the photo, was eaten a little more slowly.

Dr. Seamon took the photo after asking the mother’s permission, and then shared it with Stop Hunger Now who provided the funds to purchase the Plumpynut. She uses food as a vital part of her medical treatments as hunger and malnutrition are major health issues in her area of South Sudan and has grown worse with the increased violence and warfare.

Working together we can keep food in the hands of hungry children, and make possible the compassionate work of dedicated medical staff like Dr. Seamon. Thanks for all you do to help end hunger in our lifetime. Thank you for caring enough to act. Thank you for being a part of the global movement to eradicate hunger forever.

in reality

I have spent over 35 years working with, and walking along side, the poor and hungry. I have seen some poor here in our country who expect help and who have been taught by our welfare system that they deserve whatever they can get. But these are a  minority.

I have seen far more who struggle to climb out of poverty. This is especially true in other countries. Nothing is more heartbreaking than to watch a mother holding on to an infant dying of hunger. There is a pain in her eyes that time cannot erase.

The tragedy is compounded by knowing she has done everything in her power to keep that child alive. The poor are not lazy, not in my experience. In reality, they will do anything possible to escape the deadly trap of poverty, and that includes working far harder and longer than most of us do.

the repugnancy of wasting food

Feel what it’s like to truly starve, and I guarantee that you’ll forever think twice before wasting food. – Criss Jami in Killosophy

I do not know what it feels like to starve. But I have been far too close to far too many who do know.

Some sights can never be forgotten. Some images can never be erased. The unspeakable anguish in a mother’e eyes as she watches life slip away from her starving child sears itself into memory for a lifetime.

That’s why wasting food is totally repugnant to me. No, I have never felt what it is like to starve. But I never see food wasted without it tearing at me.

Every mouthful of food is a gift. Wasting food is the height of arrogance. I despise it. It is a ugly demonstration of privilege and lack of community.

I pray for forgiveness every time I have to throw out something from my refrigerator. It doesn’t feed the hungry. I know that. But it does help me be more mindful. It reminds me that I need to live more responsibly and that millions of my family would love to have the food I am wasting.