It’s easy to fight hunger

Published 10:45 pm Friday, February 11, 2011

Food has always been an important part of my life. Most of my favorite childhood memories were made in the kitchen. From helping my mom make chili to helping her make cookies, making food has always seemed like magic. I used to love coming home on days my mother had off from work because she would often greet us with freshly baked banana bread, a personal favorite.

It still baffles me that some one realized that mixing flour, sugar and a little baking soda with mashed up, almost rotten bananas could instantly turn a cold house into a warm, comforting home.

Even shopping trips to the grocery store were an opportunity to discover new and exciting flavors. And in college, when I couldn’t sleep, I would often explore the 24-hour grocery store at 2 or 3 in the morning in hopes of finding something delicious to break up the monotony of cafeteria food.

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But there’s a flip side to everything, even something as glorious as food.

While food can satisfy, give you much-needed nutrients, even spark memories you may have forgotten, the lack of it can leave you so empty that it feels as though a little mouse has taken up residence in your belly, gnawing at your stomach. It can stunt the development of children and even kill.

It’s this aspect of food, the realities of hunger, that we are so loathe to discuss.

Maybe it’s because so few of us have actually had to face real hunger. Maybe it’s because we can’t understand the stark reality that there are people in the world who are lucky to get one meal a week, let alone the three square meals a day we regularly enjoy.

But there are some who do recognize the reality and are working to correct it.

In our own community, the North Suffolk, Smithfield and Churchland rotary clubs, as well as Ebenezer United Methodist and Churchland Baptist churches recently banded together to help fight hunger.

Last Saturday, volunteers packaged 40,000 meals for the Stop Hunger Now program, which distributes the meals to the hungry across the world.

Nancy Quell, who organized the event, said that feeding the hungry is really easy when you realize that it costs just 25 cents a meal.

She’s right, especially if you can rally the community to help.

And what better rallying cry is there than a chance to give someone all the magic that food can bring?