This weekend in the Justin we’ll be doing our annual Rise Against Hunger service project! Rise Against Hunger is an organization committed to working to end world hunger. Our small piece in this larger puzzle is that our church has a goal to pack 20,000 meals over the course of several hours this weekend. The work of feeding the hungry is deeply connected to our call as Christians, but it is also one of the most important pieces of interrupted global cycles of poverty.
Poverty is the principal cause of hunger, but hunger can also be a cause of poverty, and thus of more hunger. By causing poor health, small body size, low levels of energy and reductions in mental functioning, hunger can lead to even greater poverty by reducing people’s ability to work and learn, thus leading to even greater hunger.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that about 815 million people of the 7.6 billion people in the world, or 10.7%, were suffering from chronic undernourishment (as of 2016). It is estimated that undernutrition—including stunting, wasting, deficiencies of vitamin A and zinc, and fetal growth restriction (when a baby does not grow to its normal weight before birth) – is a cause of 3.1 million child deaths annually or about 45% of all child deaths in 2011. Undernutrition magnifies the effect of every disease, including measles and malaria. The estimated proportions of deaths in which undernutrition is an underlying cause are roughly similar for diarrhea (61%), malaria (57%), pneumonia (52%), and measles (45%).
We, as youth ministries, frequently serve at First Street Methodist Mission and with other non-profits serving the Fort Worth area, as we should, but we believe it is also important to take aside occasional time to connect our service to the larger global work of the church. We are both to feed the hungry person right in front of us, and to work towards there being less hunger in our whole world. Both are feeding the hungry, and both are part of what God calls the church to do.
Packing 20,000 meals is no small feat, and last year we fell just short. The teenagers will take the 9:30-10:30 block and will fill 75 spots we have pretty easily, but there are still a few 30 minute spots left later in the morning, and we’d love to have you come serve with us and the rest of your church family! We can sometimes feel overwhelmed by all that needs to be done in the world, but there is no better cure for that feeling than just doing something, and you would be amazed what we can all get done together.
See you Sunday,
Director of Youth Ministries