Sharing the Abundance
As Americans gather to celebrate holidays with family and friends, it's a good time to remember the needs of the hungry around the world. One organization that has been addressing world hunger and its causes for many years is Oxfam International, a coalition of twelve autonomous Oxfam non-governmental organizations based in many countries. Local partner organizations of the international confederation work closely in their humanitarian response and development work. They aim to increase action and advocacy and take a rights-based approach towards global equity.
In the United States, Oxfam America promotes Fast for a World Harvest, a day of fasting the Thursday before Thanksgiving. Many participants get sponsorship donations for their fast; others fast simply to remember the hungry and give the money that they would otherwise have spent on their own food that day to Oxfam. If world hunger is a cause close to your heart, consider volunteering with a local Oxfam chapter or donating a gift in proportion to the feast you share on Thanksgiving Day . . . or any day.
Clicking to end world hunger
Web surfers can donate food to hungry people around the world every day with the click of a mouse. Bookmark these sites on your list of Favorites:
- The Hunger Site: One click gives a little over one cup of food to a hungry person. And any purchases from the merchants who advertise on this site result in giving 50 cups!
- Stop the Hunger: One click buys one meal for a hungry American through America's Second Harvest, the largest domestic hunger relief organization in the United States.
Stocking your local food pantry
As you stock up for holiday cooking remember that your local food bank, homeless shelter pantry, or soup kitchen can always use more food and helping hands to serve or deliver it during the winter months. Volunteering at a food bank or pantry can familiarize you with what kinds of foods are most needed and how the distribution of donations works in your community. For example, most people think "canned goods" when donating food, but a pantry may need to organize a "white goods" drive to get cooking basics such as flour, pasta, sugar, and salt. Call before you donate to find out what the shelves lack. Then if you organize a large gathering of family and friends for the holidays, consider asking everyone you invite to bring an appropriate item for the food bank and fill a few grocery sacks.