Solidarity for the starving
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With budget cuts affecting several people, some lash out and protest for what they feel is important to keep. Others, though, are protesting for those whose voices aren’t heard.
Hungerfast.org, led by Ambassador Tony Hall, is gathering people together to protest the proposed budget cuts affecting food aid to Americans and those overseas.
In the early ’90s, Hall fasted for 22 days, asking Congress and citizens to recognize the condition of the hungry in the world after Congress cut out a committee working to help the poor.
Now, Hall is at it again, this time backed by about 30,000 people and organizations including The Alliance to End Hunger, Islamic Relief, American Jewish World Service, World Vision and Meals on Wheels.
But is fasting the best way to protest congressional budget cuts? It’s certainly not hurting anything.
Along with thousands of citizens, some members of Congress have agreed to fast for a day and consider what the proposed cuts would mean for those living in poverty.
According to hungerfast.org, “Around the world, 25,000 people die from hunger-related causes every day, 925 million people suffer from severe hunger and malnutrition and 2.1 billion live on less than $2 a day.”
If the cuts go through, 18 million people will be immediately cut off from their only stable food supply, 4 million would no longer have access to malaria medicine and farmers in underdeveloped countries would lose programs that support and train them to be more self-sufficient.
By fasting, participants are showing their deep interest and commitment to the issue. It’s not just something they are holding signs for, lobbying against or writing letters to prevent; they are participating in the sufferings of the people they are rallying for.
Their fight against the cuts seems to be working. The hunger fast movement kicked off with about 9,000 people and has increased more than threefold. Also, the congressmen who have agreed to fast for a day weren’t on board at first, but are now willing to experience what the cuts would do to millions of people.
This movement is an attempt not only to stop the specific budget cuts but also to raise awareness around the world of hunger.
It’s a valiant effort on the part of the participants who have partnered with hungerfast.org. They are voluntarily going hungry to hopefully change the lives of the ones they have sympathy for.
If everyone showed as much discipline and dedication to humanitarian causes as the hungerfast.org group does, perhaps basic life and death problems would be solved much quicker than they now are.
Maybe becoming personally involved in the sufferings of others while working to help them causes greater results than simply reading about an issue and then trying to solve it.
Hungerfast.org is working towards stopping the federal cuts to food aid, a goal they will surely accomplish soon considering the level of dedication and commitment they display for the cause.