Hunger rising worldwide


When we were young, we thought the world was a good place; we were naïve to the problems that plague it.  As we grew older, however, we began to notice the injustices happening around us. Racism, poverty, war, global warming, and world hunger are, unfortunately, only a few examples. I came to understand the depth of global hunger, but at a local level, during a field trip to The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) in my sophomore year.

I had the opportunity to volunteer at the GBFB with a group from my school. I spent a day at the warehouse, helping to package vegetables, snacks, and canned goods. Before starting the workers at the food bank informed us how some families do not know when their next meal would be, and how 1 in 11 people in Eastern Massachusetts alone are food insecure. According to the United Nations, worldwide about 690 million people suffered from hunger in 2019, and that over 2 billion people do not have access to fresh food. The statistics opened my eyes to the grim current situation in the world, and I was determined more than ever to try to help. 

As I was packaging vegetables, I came across a green bell pepper that did not look quite fresh like the ones we buy from the local supermarket but when I asked one of the workers if I should throw it out he said, “If someone is desperate, they are willing to eat food like that.” That answer not only made me ponder upon how other fellow humans could be living in such a situation, but it also saddened me how much we all take for granted. It is a dire situation in our community, increased since the Pandemic in which millions of fellow Americans have lost their jobs.

I enjoyed volunteering that day, and I went home feeling as though I had accomplished something by helping some families have dinner that night. Maybe I didn’t have a huge impact, but knowing that I was able to make a small difference made me feel happy. Serving a few families made me feel as if I had served all of humanity, which encouraged me to do more. I enjoyed the experience so much that I went back a couple of months later during the summer vacation, inviting a few friends with me to try to bring as much help as possible. This experience made me realize all that I take for granted, and how we should be thankful for everything that we have. Sometimes we have to stop, step back, and look at the bigger picture. Wherever we are, we should always help the people around us.

People going through a hard time in life are resilient, refusing to give up and continue trying to bring food onto the table. They symbolize strength and they are the real heroes. The world needs to help each other. As Nelson Mandela once said, “Poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, it is man made and can be removed by the actions of human beings.” We can end world hunger if everyone works together. Taking action does not have to be on a large scale. If everyone took care of their neighbor and made sure that they had enough food to eat, the world would be a substantially better place. World hunger can be solved; it is not a hopeless or inevitable situation. We can reach a better tomorrow if we work together. We can do it.