Winning Essays

Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The following essays were the winners of the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank’s World Food Day essay contest. The contest, held in November, was open to area students in grades six through 12.

Communication is a vital aspect that holds our world together. Communication can lead to success in many cases, one of the more pressing matters being world hunger. Hunger is an evil that plagues our society locally, nationally and internationally.

Working together, our world can fight this calamity by communicating with one another and by using our hearts and minds to come up with a long-term solution to world hunger. Locally, there are many places that are putting up a good fight against hunger. These people and organizations are making sure that kids do not go to school hungry, or that parents do not have to give up their meals so their children can eat.

Our own local school, KCHS, has a breakfast program for kids in the morning. Community churches go out to the Kenai Alternative High School, for those with low income or are out on their own, and serve them food. The food bank and the park strip in Kenai have gardens to grow food as well.

Within the U.S., we have programs, such as The Hunger Site and Bread for the World and internationally, we have programs such as World Food Day. These organizations take action in the fight against hunger. If any one person could imagine what an impact they could make in taking part in this ongoing battle, hunger would be diminishing as we speak.

The 2005 tsunami was a huge devastation, and naturally increased the hunger population. The fishing industry was crushed, irrigation systems and drainage were clogged and food markets wiped out. This left nearly 1 million people without homes, and sadly, without food to survive. This tsunami really tested the world’s power to unite and fight for a cause.

In addition to working on the hunger problem, many organizations are working on pollution and health risks as well. Contaminated water kills up to 2 million children in Third World countries each year.

No parent could even imagine losing a child, which makes the struggle against hunger even harder, with parents giving up what they have to eat just to support their children. In addition to changes to fighting this locally, nationally, and internationally, there is still the fight of the individual.

Donating towards a righteous cause is very courageous and noteworthy. The way one touches others lives makes a world of a difference, whether it is one person or a whole country. Donations or just a helping hand may only be one drop in the ocean, but it is indeed the water that makes the ocean itself.

By HANNAH WATKINS, junior

Kenai Central High School

I deftly sorted through the large pile of oranges, carefully scrutinizing every mark before placing one in my bag. As I sorted, my mind wandered to other things, like homework and friends.

I didn’t think about the cultural dialogue and the agriculture that had occurred to bring me these oranges, or the fact that once every five seconds a child dies from hunger or related causes.

Thousands of years ago, oranges could be found only in Asia; however, through the cultural dialogue created by the mixing of people, oranges came to grow not only in Asia, but all over the world.

If the war against hunger is to be won, people need to broaden their focus, and think not only of their family, and their community, but also of our world.

Cultural dialogue is a crucial weapon in the battle against hunger. The more people know about new ways to produce and cultivate food, the better. If a biotech company creates a new type of seed that will grow hardier corn and tells no one, no one will benefit; if they spread the word to the world, and teach others how it is done, the benefit will be felt worldwide.

Often times what is best for a rich, industrial country is not what’s best for a Third World country.

Lower prices of food make it hard for poor farmers trying to compete on the world market.

The food from Third World countries is often more expensive to produce than that from the industrial countries since they do not have the technology for mass production. This leads to the farmer making even less money, and being able to buy even less food.

By encouraging representatives from different communities to come together and talk, we can try to fix these problems. A single stone does not stop a river; it is only through uniting that we can truly eradicate hunger.

Hunger is a political problem. There is not always one easy solution. Genetically enhanced seeds can produce more food, but without proper soil, they won’t grow. Plus, the lack of genetic diversity between plants could mean that one parasite could wipe out entire harvests of food. It is easy to become complacent and see hunger and poverty simply as inevitable, unavoidable problems.

It is because the problem of hunger is so huge that it should be solved. Hunger is the ultimate form of poverty. People are so poor that they cannot even find food for themselves.

Eight hundred fifty million people in the world are hungry. Are you going to sit back and wait for the problem of hunger to solve itself, or are you going to get up, broaden your thinking, and fight against that terrible beast of poverty? Awareness and knowledge are the first steps. The next time you eat an orange, think about it. I know I will.



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