The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Editorials

March 11, 2014

Hunger

“I’m starving!”

People often make that exclamation as they sit down to lunch or dinner.

“I’m so hungry I could eat a horse!”

That’s another thing heard round about meal time.

But what if you didn’t have the funds or physical or mental capacity to make those meals happen?

That hyperbole we so often utter is a sorrowful truth for many in our communities and around the world.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimated that one in eight people across the world went hungry from 2010 to 2012 — many of them right here at home.

But there is hope.

Kind-hearted people — you, your friends, your family — refuse to let your neighbors languish among the millions who don’t get enough to eat.

Meals on Wheels has been around for 74 years. It began when meals were delivered in baby prams to British servicemen during World War II, according to a history of the program on the Meals on Wheels Association of America website. It emigrated to the U.S. in 1954.

In the last fiscal year, the Raleigh County Commission on Aging’s Meals program served 49,000 meals, as well as another 44,000 to seniors at six other sites in the county.

That is a lot of full bellies!

Because meals are delivered only three days a week, drivers deliver two meals at a time to ensure clients have food for the off days.

This program receives its funding from the West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services, as well as United Way of Southern West Virginia and community donations.

This is just another example of why it is so important to give to the United Way or directly to the COA.

Quota International of Beckley is also helping raise awareness of the world hunger issue while aiding area food banks.

The club has been working on its Empty Bowls project since last fall and it will culminate March 22 with a soup dinner at United Methodist Temple’s Fellowship Hall.

Proceeds from the event — tickets are $15 — will be distributed evenly among the area’s four food pantries: Carpenter’s Corner, Fishes & Loaves, Helping Hands and The Salvation Army.

Quota has involved the community by having schools, church groups, individuals and organizations from across the region volunteer their time and creativity for bowl-making sessions.

These bowls, to be distributed as symbolic keepsakes at the soup dinner, will raise awareness of world hunger. And they will be a long-term reminder every time the owner catches a glimpse of the bowl.

We applaud these two programs which do already or will help the hungry in our communities.

We hope you will find a way to do your part to ease hunger in Beckley, in West Virginia, in the United States and in the world.

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