A Moment for Mercy - Feed the hungry

A Moment for Mercy - Feed the Hungry

About 21,000 people die every day of hunger or hunger-related causes, according to the United Nations. This is one person every four seconds. Sadly, it is children who die most often. (www.poverty.com)

I wonder whether the first 'work of mercy' is precisely 'feed the hungry' because food is so basic to all human life and flourishing that if we fail in this we are really failing very seriously. The World Food Programme's website claims that as a result of serious lack of food, One in four of the world's children are stuntedIn developing countries the proportion can rise to one in three.  In developed countries the number of children suffering real hunger grows, while obesity is often a sign of bad eating habits.

Hunger has been called 'the world's most solvable problem', for we produce food in excess of our needs, yet the amount of wasted food is many times the amount of food aid. Hunger on such a scale is perhaps the clearest indication that radical change is needed in the way our world is organised.

It is very easy to brush off all this by asking, what can I do in reality? Like the doctor of the law who asked Jesus who his neighbour was. Jesus' call is to be merciful like our Father in heaven. So I do well to ask whether such statistics really touch my heart, transforming it into a heart that is more sensitive and open to those suffering the humiliation of hunger.

Mercy has to do with the heart:  when the heart is full we will find real ways of feeding the hungry, whether by wasting less food and eating more simply, donating to those programmes which feed the hungry worldwide, helping others to eat a more balanced diet, being more sensitive to those around us who lack food or proper nutrition.

Paul Pace, SJ 

The video below was followed by news that aid had reached Madaya in Syria, however the good news was short-lived, as information reached us that people there are still dying of hunger, today, right now. Click on the video image below to view live on our site page. (Video contains some harsh imagery).

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