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The Hunger Site

To explore a simple way by which we can all give to those who have no food.

by James Lamont

Suitable for Whole School (Sec)

Aims

To explore a simple way by which we can all give to those who have no food.

Preparation and materials

Assembly

  1. The United Nations World Food Programme reports that throughout the world an estimated 925 million people are undernourished. That means that one out of every seven people do not get enough food to lead healthy lives.

    According to the United Nations, about 25,000 people die every day from hunger or causes associated with hunger. That’s one person every three and a half seconds. Three-quarters of the deaths are children under the age of five.

    How do you feel when you hear those statistics?
  2. Well, back in 1999 someone thought of a way of helping us to do something about it. On 1 June 1999, a new website was set up. It is The Hunger Site, the first online activism site on the Internet.

    The Hunger Site uses the power of the Internet for a specific humanitarian need: the eradication of world hunger.

    The Hunger Site is one of the most visited sites on the Internet. It has also won two major Internet awards. On average, over 220,000 individuals from around the world visit the site each day to click the ‘give free food’ button and help feed the hungry.
  3. The success of The Hunger Site can probably be attributed to one thing: it is free. You can donate a cup of food: and it costs you nothing at all. Visitors merely drop in once a day and click on the ‘give free food’ button. They are then shown a webpage telling them that they have donated 1.1 cups of staple food to the hungry, and updating them on how many cups have been given that day (‘1 cup’ means one serving of food).

    According to the website, between June1999 and December 2011 over 808,072,651 cups of food were distributed. The true achievement of this can only be recognized when you consider that these cost the person giving nothing at all.
  4. The cost of the food is covered by companies who pay to have their adverts on the donation page. Products advertised tend to fall into the ‘new age’ or ‘ethnic’ categories. Mexican Cube Candles, Burled Maple Baskets and Afghani Lapis Bracelets can be found here, if you ever desired one. Extra cups of food are donated as items are purchased from these advertisers.
  5. The Hunger Site gives the income it receives to three charities, which are affiliated to The Hunger Site: Mercy Corps, Feeding America and Millennium Promise. We are told that 100 per cent of funding from the sponsor’s banner advertising goes to the site’s three charity partners.

    The money goes to the aid of hungry people in over 74 countries, including countries in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and North America.

  6. In mid-August 2001 The Hunger Site was bought by Tim Kunin and Greg Hesterberg, who work to maintain its position as a leader in online activism and in the fight to end world hunger. Tim and Greg are co-owners of CharityUSA which owns and operates the GreaterGood Network of Sites. This is ‘a network of online activism sites that harness the power of the internet to help people, animals and causes in need’.

    Other sites in the GreaterGood Network include:

    –  The Breast Cancer Site (where visitors help fund free mammograms for underprivileged women)

    –  The Rainforest Site (where visitors’ clicks help save endangered rainforests)

    –  The Animal Rescue Site (where clicks help feed abandoned animals)

    –  The Child Health Site (which funds basic but vitally important health services for impoverished children living in developing countries)

    –  The Literacy Site (which promotes literacy among young children and makes books available)

    –  The Autism Site (operates to help children with autism)
  7. A former German Chancellor said: ‘History has taught us that wars produce hunger, but we are less aware that mass poverty can lead to war or end in chaos.’

    Remember to visit: www.thehungersite.com, or even better, make it your home page, so every time you log on to the Internet, you can give at the touch of a button.

Time for reflection

Let’s be quiet and think of those figures.

Every day in 2012 about 25,000 people will die from hunger or causes associated with hunger. Over 18,000 will be children.

(Pause)

Prayer
We thank you, heavenly Father, for all that we have.
Help us to give to others.
Please be with those who have no food today.
Help us to do whatever we can to make the world a fairer place.
Amen.

Publication date: February 2012   (Vol.14 No.2)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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