3 ways you can have a heart for the hungry this World Hunger Day
"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in," Matthew 25:35.
More than 795 million people around the world do not have enough food to eat. It's a statistic that shocks us, but at the same time can fail to leave a lasting impact because it's so hard to comprehend.
On 28 May, events and actions to mark World Hunger Day will be taking place across the globe to draw attention to the devastating extent of unequal food distribution.
It's easy to put the suffering of the world's hungriest people to the back of our minds when our fridges our stocked full and our plates are piled high. And with a number so staggeringly high, we can think that there is no way that we can do anything to help. But there are solutions, and there are steps that each of us can take to address this issue.
As Christians, we have a duty to care for those in need, whether they're on our doorstep or thousands of miles away.
Here are three small but significant things you can do to mark World Hunger Day.
Share a meal in solidarity
Matthew 25:35-40 reminds us that we can't afford to turn a blind eye to those who need our help. When we do, we don't just turn our back on them, we turn our back on Jesus as well. Instead of ordering your usual takeaway or cooking up a roast with all the trimmings, why not do something a little different. You could cook a simple meal to show solidarity with those whose plates are never as full as yours and use the money you would have spent to make a donation to a world hunger charity, homeless shelter or refugee centre. Before you tuck in, take a few moments to remember those who will be going hungry. Or perhaps you know someone who's hard up. Why not invite them round for a meal at your house and treat them to dinner in a restaurant? They might never say it, but when funds are low, even having one meal covered can make a big difference to how a person is feeling.
Have a heart for the homeless and hungry
Homeless charities are always looking for extra help. One way to do something for those who often go without is to find out where your local homeless shelter is and offer to volunteer in the kitchen. If you can't fit it in this weekend, why not do a bumper grocery shop and specifically pick up some extra items to gift to the local shelter or people you come across sleeping rough? If you pass by someone on the streets as you're on your way to end a night out with a fast-food fix, you could offer to pick them up something too.
Pray with purpose
World hunger isn't an issue that's impossible to fix but it is impossible to fix alone. Why not say a special prayer for all of those who are going without every day this weekend? Maybe you'll find it helpful to focus on a particular region, country or demographic (60% of the world's hungriest are women, according to Hunger Project). You could also pray for our world leaders, that they can exercise compassion and work to find lasting solutions to this problem.