After a long, weary day, one of the most dazzling things to see may just be the leftover burrito chilling in the fridge. The hunger most people experience on a day-to-day basis can be something as simple as the first-world struggle of having so much food but “nothing to eat.” Starvation, on the other hand, is something more severe, even deadly.
Each day, about 6,200 children die of starvation (https://www.fmsc.org/about). Countless people are left alone in the fight against the slow deterioration of hunger. Lack of food, resources, and proper aid render them helpless in dire situations. With starvation prevalent around the world, non-profit volunteer-based organizations such as Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) have stepped up to fill the plates of those who need it most. During natural disasters, FMSC is also able to provide support and proper nutrition to those in need. FMSC’s efforts extend worldwide, particularly to third-world countries.
Different types of FMSC food are full of the proper nutrients that match the needs of adults, children, and babies. MannaPack Rice is designed for malnourishment, MannaPack Potato-W is specifically meant for babies 7-12 months of age, and MannaPack Potato-D caters to those with digestive issues.
I have volunteered with FMSC a number of times, most recently over winter break. The volunteer process is simple: sign-up for free online, show up at the designated time slot, listen through the tutorial, sanitize properly, and pack food for a couple of hours. With family or some friends, this not-so-laborious task can actually be quite fun.
Nearly every time I went with my mother, she bought something from the FMSC marketplace. FMSC sells products crafted in the communities the organization feeds, each item with a label indicating the country in which it was made. My dad was always late picking us up, so I frequently found time to poke through the purchasable goods on display. I examined an organized assortment of woven scarves, clay sculptures, mugs, painted figures, and vibrant trinkets — admirable products that often caught my mother’s eye. She not only spent money to purchase those beautiful handcrafted goods, but also to support the organization itself; 92% of the total annual revenue and donations are directly spent on feeding people in need (https://www.fmsc.org/about).
Because of the food provided and the efforts of FMSC and their partners, mud that was once consumed to drive away hunger can now be formed into clay mugs to sell overseas. Transforming tribulation into practical art is a concept I personally find astonishing and a bit surreal.
Around the winter holidays, neatly crafted stockings from the Philippines hung in a row, the twisted gold and silver patterns quality enough to be a gift themselves. Complementary to the wintery season, woven scarves from Nicaragua lined a rack, in vibrant colors and earthen tones alike. I felt the ribbed texture of bracelets from Uganda, the beads made of recycled magazine strips. FMSC sells crafts whose individual stories are as unique as the products themselves. Donations can be made to FMSC, and the marketplace offers something in return outside of these donations.
Supporting causes so widespread as world hunger can be as simple as spending some time packing food or even spending some money on unique novelties from around the world. I highly recommend volunteering with FMSC (especially for those juniors and seniors scrambling for service hours) and making a donation if possible. And for sure, take time to peruse the products that people are thankful to be able to make.