I travel a lot in my work with Food for the Hungry (FH). Like most Americans, I’m often struck by the sharp contrasts between life in U.S. and life amongst the world’s most vulnerable people. What struck me this time was food … or lack of it. On my last trip, I saw a family so hungry that they ate dirt off the ground just to fill their stomachs. That was before FH showed up to help.
My family buys whatever food we need in an air conditioned supermarket. We have choices … maybe too many. But there …
If you could be there, in many of the places where FH works … if you could walk the hard-clay roads, and fill your lungs with the hot dusty air … if you could see the hollows around the children’s eyes, and the foreboding in the faces of their parents … you would be experiencing a deep-down sense of what we are calling the Hunger Gap.
Families like this are caught in the Hunger Gap for six months a year!
It’s the time between the last harvest and the next. Since the last harvest was poor, and the next is months away, children are going hungry … growing weaker … suffering terribly. Their parents are helpless to help them — they’re hungry too.
Wherever you look, in any direction, you see the grim brown of a rainless realm. And you can almost hear the silent question on everyone’s mind, like a nervous drumbeat: Will there be food? Will we have food?
I was blessed by the dedicated FH workers who are living in this world, the world of the Hunger Gap. Every day, they confront the anxiety. The dread. The shortage of basic, life-saving items. Every day, they see families approaching the tipping point, somewhere between despair and tragedy.
Families like the Kegnes. Their food lasted less than two of the six-month Hunger Gap. They urgently want to be self-sufficient. They farm their own small plot of land. But in their mountainous region of Ethiopia, the rains didn’t come last year — or the year before.
Food distributions are getting people through the Hunger Gap.
Awotu Kegne and her husband were only able to coax enough crops from the ground to feed themselves and their children for about seven weeks. A long, long time before the next harvest.
Her husband was about to abandoned the family in hopes of finding work in a larger city. There were no guarantees. Thank God, generous FH friends helped us bring life-saving supplies to Awotu’s village in time. Our donors helped us provide emergency supplies of wheat, vegetables, cooking oil and more to help them survive the six-month Hunger Gap — and to keep the children in school.
But there are so many others who need help.
So here we are. I wonder if you might help us provide some of the five urgently-needed items they need. They aren’t complicated or expensive. They’re simple. But they can offer real hope to those who feel hopeless. They can alter the course of a family’s life. They can lift a family out of poverty today and into tomorrow.
#1: Food — $83
The food you give — wheat, cooking oil and more — provide a family with the staples they need for a full month … and keep them from eating the seeds they need for the next planting season.
#2: Two Chickens — $28
Not only can you give a family chickens that supply a dependable source of nutrition, but you can also give them a source of income so they can buy more food without leaving home in search of work!
#3: Vegetable Seeds — $29
When you provide a family with seeds for tomatoes, onions, peppers, squash, cucumbers, zucchini and legumes, you help to sow seeds of hope for the future!
#4: Goat — $70
When you give a family a goat, you supply the children with a source of protein (yummy milk) – more than half a gallon every single day. You also give the family another source of income to buy more food.
#5: Medicine — $25
Just $25 ships enough deworming medicine to help rid 500 children from the worms that hijack what little nutrition the children take in, leaving them weak, vulnerable to disease and even death.
Thanks for considering my request to help some of the desperate people I see when I travel with FH. And will you join me in praying for rain, along with a plentiful next harvest?