Students think about hunger

Posted: Monday, November 03, 2003

Why does our world allow an approximate 800 million people to go hungry every day? "Approximately 1.5 billion people live on less then U.S. $1 a day and every 3.6 seconds someone dies of hunger," according to information from "Fight Hunger to Reduce Poverty." It amazes me to see the number of humans with hunger problems internationally, nationally and even locally. It's unfortunate the number of people who have hunger issues and cannot get the food amount they need in a day.

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.

I believe that World Hunger Day will be most important internationally. I know the U.S. has many people who suffer from hunger and malnutrition, but if we can try to help in different areas of the world, then I believe it will effect more people and make this world a better place. "Famine and wars cause about 10 percent of hunger deaths," according to "Hunger: Do you Know the Facts?" If countries around the world would stop fighting wars, there wouldn't be nearly as many starving people. As an American citizen, I know keeping wars from beginning is not an easy thing, but I believe that fewer wars and more encouragement helping humans around the world with malnutrition and starvation will help this world in several different ways.

Why are people in America starving? "Enough food is available to provide at least 4.3 pounds of food per person per day worldwide enough to make most people fat," according to "World Hunger: The Face of Starvation." Of all places you would think America would have a lower amount of hunger and malnutrition rates. The sad thing is, is that it doesn't.

When I compare living in America to living in Africa the first thing that would discourage me from living in Africa is the low amount of food source. At least that is how I have always seen things. I feel that in America no one should be starving. I know there is a fair amount of people that are poor, but I feel that no one in America should be starving. I hope we can make a change in the U.S. and even the world on World Hunger Day.

It is hard to watch people starving when so many of us get more than enough food. America probably wastes more food than any other country. The amount you get in most restaurants is unbelievable, and the food you don't eat goes to waste. That is very sad when there are so many starving people in the world.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Alaska has the fifth highest hunger rate in the U.S. with 4.3 percent going hungry. How is that possible? There are so many reasons that one can come up, but when I think about it, none of them are good enough.

I know there are things that can be done about this in Alaska. We Alaskans need to try and lower that rate considering we are the smallest state in population, yet we are in the top five in the U.S. hunger rate. Hopefully, on World Hunger Day, those of us who can give will give all that they can. I know what I can give and will definitely be trying to help. ...

"Progress has been slow in efforts to reach the World Food Summit goal of cutting by half the number of the world's chronically hungry and under-nourished people by 2015. This goal will not be met if we continue doing 'business as usual,'" according to information from "Working Together for an International Alliance against Hunger." That is a very true statement.

People are just going on with their lives thinking about themselves and not even thinking about others. I honestly think we could reach our goal of lowering the rate down to half by 2015. We, as a nation, just need to try and not just go on as usual. This is important to our world and the world should be important to all of us.

Kristen Lazenby is in the 12th grade at Kenai Central High School.

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