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Groaning with Food or Hunger, Again?

December 1, 2019

A recent Thanksgiving table at our house, before grandchildren.

Another Way for week of November 29, 2019

Hunger. Again.

Most of us in the U.S. have undoubtedly consumed multiple meals this week that could only be described as bountiful, tables groaning with platters and pots and dishes. And people groaning afterward.

Yes, I know that sadly, there are plenty of folks who don’t sit down to such tables. Or they may sit down to a table spread by one of many churches or clubs or do-gooders, just for the day of Thanksgiving, and then return to hunting in alleys or trash bins for crusts of food or cold French fries.

A holiday table at my Mom and Dad’s house: Dad is at the end with hands folded. My husband, and several daughters and cousins can also be seen.

My father, now departed 13 years ago, was a campaigner for feeding “the hungry people of the world.” I’ve written previously about his many efforts and accomplishments in that area through organizations like CROP and Heifer (see links at the end of this column). But his frequent harping to us about cleaning our plates and not wasting food echoes in my brain and heart to this day. A treasured legacy.

I have recently learned of updated efforts in partnering with those who often don’t know where their next meal is coming from, especially in the island country of Haiti. Two people behind a relatively new nonprofit go to my church, Kymber and Daniel Beers. They have assisted helping after natural disasters, and Daniel has worked there for longer periods doing various kinds of research. They’ve met beautiful and industrious Haitians who are feet on the ground with antennae up for ways to make a difference for people there, some of whom are also currently suffering from civil unrest and near-starvation. I love that the effort is not so much about giving handouts, but assisting Haitians who use their skills and opportunities to wrangle ways to support themselves and their families.

The organization is called Resources to Resources (online, http://www.r2rHaiti.org) because the people in Haiti are awesome resources themselves as they work to find innovative solutions for immense suffering. The storms/earthquake of recent years have left hundreds of thousands of people in precarious living situations, yet hanging on to hope—including hope and support for each other. In other words, community. The endeavor encourages economic development not by offering loans to begin businesses, but savings programs where people are motivated by the opportunity to get significant interest on any money they manage to save: save $1, receive $1 from interested donors to saving programs.

One of the issues in a place like Haiti is not having a secure place to keep money—and thus the tendency is to spend it quickly before it is lost or stolen. With the help of some large foreign aid organizations, a mobile banking system has been devised that operates quite well. Many families do have access to at least simple mobile phones and with training learn how to not only do their banking that way but attend classes on managing money.

According to the Beers, the current civil unrest in Haiti is threatening food supplies. “Supply chains have been disrupted, stockpiles are dwindling, and food prices have skyrocketed,” the Beers noted in an email to our church community. The “r2rHaiti” organization connects with a farmers’ cooperative and they indicated that now is a current planting season; if Haitian farmers can get supplies again (seeds, etc.) they will grow their own food instead of paying high prices in markets. “The cooperative has a plan to buy seeds for cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, leeks, and peppers, as well as rabbits for breeding,” explained the Beers.

This is a cooperative that has proven its know-how and resolve to get things done. Earlier they spearheaded a community replanting program in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. “We have seen firsthand what they are able to accomplish in challenging circumstances. They are committed to sustainable agriculture and we are proud to continue our partnership in this time of acute need,” write the Beers.

Some fall harvest bounty at our house this year.

Obviously, there are many many people and needy places all around the world and in our own cities and street corners, right? We all want to share wisely, so yes, give to programs where you know the resources reach people in need, and who take an active part in making changes that will benefit them and others in the long run.

See more about these efforts at www.r2rHaiti.org. Information on CROP Hunger Walks is at www.crophungerwalk.org/ and Heifer International at www.heifer.org.

You can immediately help by contributing at this GoFundMe project.

 

Read more about my father’s work related to hunger: https://tinyurl.com/VernonUMillerHunger Or send questions or comments to me at anotherwaymedia@yahoo.com or Another Way Media, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of nine books. Another Way columns are posted at FindingHarmonyBlog.com a week after newspaper publication.  

2 Comments
  1. Wonderful: your father’s contribution and the efforts to feed the hungry in Haiti!

    You know I grew up in a similar tradition of generosity. Thank the LORD! For several years now, I have my grandchildren pick what project they want to fund through Samaritan’s Purse. Three years ago it was a llama for a family, last year water for a village, and this year Jenna picked feeding hungry babies.

    In this way, we offer hope as we pass on traditions. Thank you, Melodie!

  2. Having the grandchildren pick the project sounds like a great idea–so they are involved in the process and not just having “grandma send money somewhere else.” Awesome. I’m sure they will learn to be giving persons too. Blessings!

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