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The Hunger Site

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

by James Lamont

Suitable for Whole School (Sec)

Aims

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

Preparation and materials

Assembly

  1. It is estimated that 1 billion people in the world suffer from hunger and malnutrition. That's roughly 100 times as many as those who actually die from these causes each year. About 24,000 people die every day from hunger or causes associated with hunger. Ten years ago this was 35,000, and twenty years ago it was 41,000. Three-quarters of the deaths are children under the age of five.
  2. The Hunger Site was the first online activism site on the internet and began on 1 June 1999: The site uses the power of the internet for a specific humanitarian need: the eradication of world hunger. 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: donating is free. Visitors merely drop in once a day and click on the ‘Give free food’ button. They can then visit an area 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 today. The cost of this is covered by adverts on the following 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 desire them. Extra cups of food are donated as items are purchased from these advertisers.
  4. The staple food funded by The Hunger Site is paid for by site sponsors and is distributed to those in need by Mercy Corps and America's Second Harvest, two other affiliated charities. 100% of funding from the sponsor’s banner advertising goes to the site’s charity partners. These funds are split between the charities and go to aid hungry people in over 74 countries, in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and North America.
  5. More than 330 million visitors have donated more than 14,000 metric tonnes of food to the hungry via the site since it was started. 70% of donations are shipped internationally; the other 30% remains in the United States to feed the hungry. Contrary to popular belief, hunger is a major issue in the USA. In 1999, a year marked by good economic news, 31 million Americans were ‘food insecure’, meaning they were either hungry or unsure of where their next meal would come from. Of those Americans, 12 million were children.
  6. In August 2001 the 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. In addition to The Hunger Site, Kunin and Hesterberg own and operate:

    The Breast Cancer Site, where visitors help fund free mammograms for underprivileged women.
    The Rainforest Site, where visitors' clicks help save endangered rainforest. 
    www.GreaterGood.com, the online store where up to 15% of every purchase goes to charities, at no extra cost to the shopper.

    Since taking ownership of The Hunger Site, Kunin and Hesterberg have also launched:

    The Animal Rescue Site, where a click helps feed an abandoned animal.
    The Child Health Site, which empowers internet users to fund basic but critical health services for impoverished children living in developing countries.

    All of these sites are free to donate to and use the same system of advertising to provide free donations.
  7. Today,* over 159,000 cups of food have been donated for free. In 2004, over 48 million cups were donated. The true achievement of this can only be recognized when you consider that most of these were free to the donator.

    With 3.5 million visitors every month, The Hunger Site is one of the most trafficked sites on the internet. It has also won two major internet awards, proving that this ambitious project is a success which continues growing.

Time for reflection

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.

Prayer:

Let’s be quiet and think of those figures.

24,000 people will die from hunger in 2008. 18,000 will be children.

(Pause)

We thank you for all that we have.

Help us to give to others, at the touch of a button, every day.

Please be with those who have no food today.

Help us to do whatever we can to make the world a fairer place.

Amen.

 

* Check the correct daily figure on the website, as above.

Publication date: February 2008   (Vol.10 No.2)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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