HUNGER and starvation affect people across India and the most vulnerable among them are children and elders. Inadequate food and nutrition affects both children and elders in different ways but the impact on both is equally debilitating and dangerous. Without regular and nutritious food, children suffer from malnutrition, stunted growth, slow mental development and other conditions that affect them well into adulthood. On the other hand, senior citizens without sufficient food suffer from muscle weakness, cognitive decline, bone deterioration and other crippling conditions

While there are many reasons that children and senior citizens have no access to food, it mainly comes down to poverty. Poverty renders families unable to provide basic needs and are forced to suffer with the little that they have. Mission: Feed The Hungry provides packed midday meals for school children to improve their health and help them attend school everyday and not drop out due to poverty-induced hunger. Mission: Feed The Hungry also provides the elderly with nutrition-packed meals to reverse the disastrous effects of hunger and starvation and enable them to gain greater strength and live better lives through food donation.

a group of school girls eating a meal

The impact of hunger and starvation

For the average person, hunger is no more than an uncomfortable feeling that is satisfied with a trip to the kitchen. Even a slight delay in sitting down for a meal has led us to coin a new term: hangry. We instinctively understand the importance of food and have never thought twice about purchasing, preparing and consuming food that is both nutritious and delicious. It is more or less an involuntary response. But for people across India, hunger evokes feelings of helplessness, sorrow and even morbid thoughts of death. The reason: the lack of money and access to opportunities such as education and employment to improve one’s life.

Without access to education, a child does not have the foundation to improve their future. Without a school or college education, that child has limited opportunities to work and, more importantly, earn for themselves and their families in the future. This traps a person in poverty, a situation in which they lack access to rights and resources required to give them a good life. This includes access to food, which is an essential to sustain life on Earth. 

vegetables and food grains

Hunger and starvation in India

It is estimated that a massive 1/4th of the world’s undernourished people are in India, a statistic which indicates that more than 190 million people are hungry. Despite being one of the world’s largest food producers, India has millions of people that live below the poverty line and cannot afford food to eat. When there is widespread hunger, the impact on individuals and communities is devastating. When people do not have enough food to eat, their bodies do not receive enough calories to function. If this lasts for a longer amount of time, it can lead to organ failure and death

But the social implications are just as unfortunate and disturbing. Without access to food, children are forced to stay home from school because their bodies are too weak to allow them to learn, study and be an attentive student. This closes the door on their future and they have no choice but to accept whatever livelihood options are available to them, without the opportunity to improve their lives through an education. In addition, people are forced to beg on the streets for a few scraps of food just to stay alive. This perpetual feeling of helplessness plagues people who are deprived of experiencing the fullness of life because they are forced to beg for the bare minimum. 

Furthermore, without access to food, people have no choice but to place themselves in dangerous situations where there is the high risk of them being abused or exploited. Desperate for food, children and adults roam the streets and often fall into the hands of criminals who exploit their vulnerable situation by promising them jobs or food in exchange for a high price: their safety and freedom. This is how children and adults are trafficked and taken away to work in mines, factories or red light districts where they are abused. 

a group of women holding food grains

How Mission: Feed The Hungry strengthens the vulnerable

Mission: Feed The Hungry works with on-ground partner NGOs Annamrita Foundation and Rise Against Hunger who identify at-risk groups of people and provides these children and senior citizens with nutritious meals. This food donation initiative aims to improve the health of the most vulnerable and helps them improve their lives through education, employment and other opportunities. Mission: Feed The Hungry focuses on food donation amongst underprivileged groups of people to strengthen their bodies and enable them to access the rights and resources they deserve, such as education, medical care and employment. 

Food donation to children includes healthy midday meals during school lunch hours to improve their health, enable them to perform better academically and reduce the school dropout rate. For elders, food donation packs of meals rich in nutrients and minerals increase their strength and reduce muscle waste, cognitive decline and other malnutrition-related mental and physical illnesses among the destitute. 

Support Mission: Feed The Hungry

Mission: Feed The Hungry highlights the importance of food donation to improve the lives of children and adults who struggle under the burden of hunger and starvation. Through food donation efforts, marginalized groups of people now have access to all that is needed to help them improve their lives and help their families. When you support Mission: Feed The Hungry, you provide food donation packets to poor children and destitute elders and uplift their lives. To distribute more food donation packets to people in need, support Mission: Feed The Hungry: 

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