On World Food Day: Be Inspired to Do More for Others

Guest post by Mark Lukowski

Editor’s Note: Yesterday was World Food Day. Mark Lukowski, CEO of Christian Children’s Fund of Canada, and a member of the ChildFund Alliance, shared a recent experience where he visited those in need in the Horn of Africa.

Perhaps it’s not coincidental that World Food Day comes on the heels of Thanksgiving. Both are celebrations of food, but they are as different as turkey is from beef. For me, World Food Day on Oct. 16 will never be the same because, two weeks ago, I visited some of the neediest areas in the Horn of Africa as part of our relief work at Christian Children’s Fund of Canada. I personally encountered individuals who were suffering from food shortages and struggling to stay alive in the midst of a severe drought.

Children receive a meal of nutrient-enriched Unimix at ChildFund's ECCD center in Lokitaung, Turkana Region, Kenya.

For example, I met children who receive their only meal of the day at school – a single serving of protein mix for lunch. I met a beleaguered mother who said,  “When my children are crying because they are hungry, all I want to do is run away.” I met children who lacked energy and were very quiet because they did not have enough to eat, and I observed babies with swollen feet due to malnutrition. I met a father who walks 40 km to get potatoes to feed his family. I met two men that had walked for more than half a day to find food in a nearby town. And those who were able to secure food were often eating the same thing every day — maize, cooked wheat, wild cabbage, or protein mix.

So this World Food Day will be different for me. I am grateful for what we have, but at the same time I am inspired to do more for all the adults and children I met in the Horn of Africa for whom access to food is a constant struggle that never seems to end.

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