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Patricia Wolff, the Executive Director of Meds & Food for Kids, an organization that is trying to fight hunger in Haiti, has created an energy rich food product based on peanut butter - Medika Mamba, to help Haitian children grow up to adulthood. http://edition.cnn.com/2008/US/11/17/hunger.week/index.html
According to a CNN.com article the situation in Haiti is so desperate that there are instances in which mothers are now choosing which one of their children will be fed the little food ration that they have for the day. Regretfully the horrifying situation going on in Haiti is not an isolated event. The article reminds us of the food riots that went on earlier this year in Egypt and India, and I must add another one that touches me closer to home, the Dominican Republic.
The food problem appears to be the result of many factors, some of them uncontrollable, like weather phenomena affecting crops all over the world, and other factors such as life style, those of us who have too much and waste it, and greed. The greed factor is a major contributor to the food crisis. It involves the financial interests of food distributors and oil producers who have increased the price of food to levels many in the world cannot afford, “2008 was a record year in terms of harvest. There’s more food per person in 2008 than there’s ever been in history. The problem is not food, but how to distribute it.” The article points out some pretty shocking statistics: “A child dies of hunger every six seconds, and hunger now kills more people every year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.”
According to the article Ms. Wolff’s approach to the increasing cost of food is to teach the people living through the famine how toproduce their own food, Medika Mamba being the main example of this approach. This approach adds self-help and empowerment as additional nutrition to the spirits of those working to produce the food they will consume and share. I really like the approach that Ms. Wolff has taken to try to solve the hunger problem in the world, it is not the hand me down approach, but an approach that puts in the hands of those suffering from hunger the tools to seek a solution of their own. It shows respect towards people who are victims of hunger, a respect that the rest of the world does not give them when they are treated as invisible.