As someone who eats on a very regular basis, never in want of food, I cannot fathom what it is like to wonder where my next meal is coming from. When I am hungry, I go to the cupboard or refrigerator, where there is always food stocked from the farmers market or grocery store. I am fortunate to be able to rely on produce that comes from local farms, and have the luxury to buy fresh food that comes from other places in this country, like California.
I recently read a post on elephant journal of a woman who, after returning to the US from a long sojourn in India, visited a supermarket. She literally wept at the bounty around her. We should all be so fortunate to realize the abundance we have.
For millions of children around the world, there is no bounty. There is no corner store, no fruit stand, no supermarket. There is only hunger.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recently reported that there are now over 1 billion people worldwide going hungry. Acute malnutrition affects 55 million children globally, resulting in 5 million childhood deaths every year (one child every six seconds). This is a predictable and preventable condition.
No Hunger is an international initiative, started by Action Against Hunger, asking Al Gore to make his next film about global hunger. The website AskAlGore.org features a trailer for No Hunger, and a petition addressed to the former Vice President that will be presented to him this December at the COP15 Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.
The hope is that, as An Inconvenient Truth did for climate change, No Hunger will help shift public perceptions of hunger, and attract the support needed to reach every acutely malnourished child.
The treatment for severe acute malnutrition is not expensive—it costs about $50 per child and doesn’t require prescription drugs. Instead, it relies on nutrient dense, ready-to-use food products. These products can take a child from the brink of death and restore him to health in as little as six weeks.
In response to a desperate situation, ready-to-use plumpy’nut provides emergency nutrition to starving children.