I am a textbook “hangry” person. When I get hungry, I get angry. It’s not a pleasant experience for those around me, and it leads me to snack about every two hours. My closest friends know that without food in my body, no decisions will be made, and the conversations will not be pleasant.
So, I end up talking about the issue of hunger a lot — usually my own.
The proper definition of the word “hunger” is “a compelling need or desire for food” or “the painful sensation or state of weakness caused by the need of food.” I recognize that my hunger pales in light of what others go through, and the endless access I have to food is abnormal compared to the majority of the globe.
But rarely do I consider the full weight of the word “hunger.”
True hunger, especially at a young age, leads to a lack of brain development, an unhealthy heart, cracked skin that leads to infections, and weak bones that prevent proper growth.
True hunger means making the painful choice of entering into the sex trade to provide for your family, or watching your family slowly get weaker and weaker.
True hunger is an upstanding, honest man stealing maize from his neighbor to fill the bellies of his children.
True hunger is a child unable to focus in school because of the weakness and dizziness pounding through her body. Or a child unable to go to school because he must beg for food on the streets instead.
True hunger is seen in tribes battling each other for sought-after farming land.
True hunger is brutal. It touches the lives of young children and causes irreparable harm to their bodies. It causes individuals to make choices that we will never have to consider in our lives.
For 21 years, teenagers around the country have gathered together for the world’s largest hunger awareness campaign: the 30 Hour Famine. Fasting for 30 hours, they experience a small “taste” of what individuals around the world go through daily.
These teens not only experience hunger, they do something about it. Raising nearly $10 million last year, these teenagers are unwilling to let hunger win. They understand that it’s not an issue of having enough food; it’s an issue of getting the right food into homes, teaching farming skills, and providing sustainable food sources so that individuals have a choice. And most of the time, it takes awareness and monetary support to make these things happen.
Hunger is not a pleasant topic to discuss, yet every year, I am amazed at the energy and life that teenagers bring to the fight — their willingness to sacrifice so that others have a right to life. On February 24 and 25, the first national Famine event, consider joining these thousands of teenagers to overcome hunger.
- Involved in a youth group? Sign up! It’s an incredible experience, and World Vision provides you with everything you need.
- Support the cause. This year, an actual famine was declared in parts of the Horn of Africa. The 30 Hour Famine is fundraising to give individuals in the Horn region a fighting chance at life. Help now.
- Pray. On February 24 and 25, please lift up in prayer the teens around this country who will be fasting and those around the world battling hunger.
Learn more about the 30 Hour Famine. Watch videos, check out more hunger facts, and consider joining the thousands of young people in February who will experience hunger and raise funds to feed and care for hungry children around the world!