Thursday, April 7, 2011

My Rice Month: What I've Learned

It's kind of hard to think that I finished with my 30 days.  I wasn't always perfect with it and, of course, I thought of all these really cool ways that I could have done my rice (Blue rice?!  That would have been cool, right?) 

But here's what I've learned from this:

1) Plain rice kind of sucks.  There were days where I looked at my bowl of rice and pined for something else.  That the thought of eating more plain rice made me sad and I couldn't imagine eating another bowl of it.  What about all the people in the world who have no other options?

2) My concentration was almost nil for anything after just eating a bowl of rice.  My headaches were almost immediate if I tried to do anything.  How are children, who may have only a bowl of rice to eat, going to be able to accomplish anything?

3) I was hungry almost immediately after eating a bowl of rice.  No turn around.  For men and women who may have spent hours walking for water or who have spent their days toiling outdoors or children who have walked miles to and from school must feel this far more sharply then I do.

4) The food waste in America could change the lives of the hungry all over the world.  Sure, we can't really send cooked food overseas, but we could be using that food to feed some of the 30 to 50 million Americans who are hungry today.  Organizations like Rock and Wrap It Up! and City Harvest are helping to change the way we see food waste.
5) We must stand up for the destitute, the poor and the forgotten.  God has constantly and continually called us to love the poor and to help the hungry.  We must "let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! (Amos 5:24)"  Places like Bread for the World and ELCA World Hunger are trying to change the way we deal with hunger, whether it be lobbying our government on behalf of those who need justice or dealing with the problem directly.

If you would like more information about different organizations that I've found through my rice month, I'll list them for you below and what they do (all information comes from their websites):
ELCA World Hunger: ELCA World Hunger is a comprehensive and sustainable program that uses multiple strategies—relief, development, education, and advocacy—to address the root causes of hunger and poverty.

Bread For The World: Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation's decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.
Kauzbots: Kauzbots robot toys are the perfect gift for anyone on your list who wants a cuddly gift or a thoughtful gift that supports causes in a unique way.

Feeding America: Feeding America food bank members help provide low - income individuals and families with the fuel to survive and even thrive. As the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity, our network members supply food to more than 37 million Americans each year, including 14 million children and 3 million seniors.

Feed The Children: Feed The Children is a Christian, international, nonprofit relief organization with headquarters in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, that delivers food, medicine, clothing and other necessities to individuals, children and families who lack these essentials due to famine, war, poverty or natural disasters.

Rock And Wrap It Up!: Rock and Wrap It Up! is an anti-poverty think tank. Using greening tactics, we recover food and other assets to agencies fighting poverty, increasing their operating budgets.