It is a sad reality that every day, several million people have their lives touched by hunger. While farms and food processing factories are more efficient and productive than ever, factors like distribution inequality, violent conflicts that destroy supply chains, and geographical remoteness prevent a huge portion of the population from getting the food they need to live comfortably and nourish their bodies.
While there are many efforts in place to reduce the prevalence of global hunger, it can be hard for parties interested in participating in world hunger relief to know exactly what the most effective way to utilize their time and money to reduce hunger is. For those who are looking to help eliminate worldwide starvation, here are some less known ways to efficiently aid those who are in need of food.
1. Donate Money for More Than Just Food
While the obvious solution to world hunger is to donate food, this can often prove to be less effective than it sounds. Food almost universally requires a set of sometimes unavailable tools for preparation, and can be bulky to ship.
Instead, donating money to establish the means for earning money to purchase food can be a much more effective option. Charities like Oxfam help connect the needy with donors, who are able to fund purchases of things like cattle and equipment, all of which can help a hungry family earn more money to purchase nutritious food.
2. Invest in Local Businesses
Studies have shown that the best way to reduce hunger in the long run is to enable the needy to establish their own businesses. This allows families to gain access to a greater amount of money to purchase goods for themselves, which can be used for everything from education to vitamins. In the long term, local businesses are vital for lifting an entire area out of poverty, as they provide vital jobs and enhance the native economy.
Many nonprofit organizations help native people sell a variety of handcrafted goods, ranging from jewelry to home appliances. Purchasing these items helps support local industry, while indirectly giving more money to the maker.
3. Don’t Forget About Home
One of the greatest misunderstandings many people have about hunger is that it only occurs in exotic and foreign countries. In reality, hunger is still an ever present issue in most western nations, which means that the world hunger relief effort does not stop at your doorstep.
Donating canned and nonperishable goods to a local food bank can help needy families during lean times, and working at a soup kitchen can contribute to economically disadvantaged people gaining access to at least one warm and nutritious meal every day.
In the end, the most important tool for eliminating the specter of widespread hunger is not just money, but also advocacy. By supporting programs that allow the needy to improve their health, get a better education, and have access to proper housing, you can help make sure that world hunger becomes a thing of the past.