Too many people not getting enough to eat, but everyone can help

Posted: Monday, November 03, 2003

Our society is fading in a world tainted with greed. When will all of America wake and smell the roses? About 21,600 people die every day due to chronic malnutrition. It would cost only $13 billion to stop world hunger. People spend half of that on their pets!

Editor's Note: Students in the sixth through 12th grade in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District were invited to participate in an essay contest to raise community awareness of hunger. The contest, sponsored by the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank, was held in conjunction with World Food Day on Oct. 16. The first- and second-place winning essays were published in Friday's Peninsula Clarion. Today, the third- and fourth-place winners are featured.

How can we bring down these statistics, you ask? By donating cans of food or giving money to a local or even an international charity, you can make a difference in someone's life. Donating to food banks is a good way to help, even though you might not reach a Third World country, you could help someone closer to home. Most charities you can access via the Web, and for some you've got to watch TV. Although some charities say they're going to help the poor some don't, so be careful.

Although people in Third World countries have needs, so do some of the people in your country and city. Take Louisiana, for example; 12.8 percent of all of the people are "food insecure." That means they do not know where their next food source will come from when hunger beckons.

There are many different types of chronic malnutrition. Take Vitamin A deficiency, for example; even though you get food, maybe you're not getting the right food. Third World countries don't have the resources to choose what foods they eat, and by eating the same food everyday their bodies lack certain nutrients that don't come from their food source.

Have you ever taken the time to look at the hungry toll statistics for people who die in a sub-Saharan region? Well it's at 185.9 million. Also, have you ever stopped to think how rich you are? Most people in Third World countries only get paid $1 an hour. Minimum wage in Alaska is $7.15. That's a sad statistic that we can't help. But we can help them take the food bill out of their miniscule paycheck.

Not only are employers to blame but so are wars. There were 21.5 million refuges and displaced persons in 1999. Most of this statistic is due to wars, civil conflict, political instability and social unrest. In such emergencies, malnutrition runs out of control leading to disease and death.

The saddest statistic of all has to be the fact that if you took 10 kids from Third World countries 1 out of 10 will die before the age of 5. If you ask me that's the statistic we need to work on.

Have you ever wondered why our world is like this? I have, and I can only come to one conclusion, the world is tainted with greed.

Teagun Coreson is in the eighth grade at Nikiski Middle-Senior High School.

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