Friday, April 13, 2012

(Not so) Fun Fact Friday: Hunger's Never Far

I live in New York City where restaurants don't even blink at charging over $30 for a hamburger.  In all honesty, I can't remember the last time I bought food and my bill was under $10 -- and that''s just for a no-frills sandwich.  While there are plenty of reminders all around that times are tough, it's easy to forget how real hunger is.

  • 15.7 million children (21.6%) in America live in poverty.  That's more than 1 out of every 5 children.
  • In 2010, illnesses linked to hunger and malnourishment cost Americans $130.5 billion.  To get a better image of it, that's $130,500,000,000 -- or well more than everyone I have ever met will make in their entire lives, combined.  And that's just one year.
Where's this all coming from?

My mother taught me something this winter that stuck with me.  We were talking about Halal and Kosher foods when I mentioned that the closest Christians came to a food tradition was giving up meat on Fridays during Lent.  "Do you know why we do that?" my mom asked.  To be honest, I had never questioned it.  I just accepted it as a quirk of the religion.  The answer, as it turns out, is really beautiful.

Instead of buying meat on Fridays, Christians would donate the money they would have spent on themselves to the poor.  Such a simple answer.  To go without for one day so that other people can live.   Not starving yourself, you can still eat, just doing with a little less.  That's something I can get behind.

So I did some digging and found so many great charities set up in New York City (and around the country) that are working to end hunger.  

I'm proud to report that on April 28, "Dinner's in the Details" will be donating cookies to the Great American Bake Sale, benefitting Share Our Strength, a non-profit formed to end childhood hunger by 2015.  If you're going to be in the NYC area that Saturday, stop by, buy a baked good, and do something good for the country.

If you're interested in other charities, please see the list below:

New York City
City Harvest
NYC Coalition Against Hunger

Slow Food USA

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