Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Best Meal You Never Eat

What is your absolute favorite meal? Most of mine come from my mom's kitchen. My mom is a great cook and knows how to make a mean broccoli-and-rice chicken casserole and whoo-boy is her manicotti delicious!

Growing up I ate some darn good food from my mama's kitchen. The thought never crossed my mind that it was a privilege to have a favorite meal, because I never worried about where my next meal would come from. The idea of not having enough food never even occurred to me. 

But for more than 140 million children around the world - the idea of having enough food is completely foreign. Hunger is a daily reality to them. And a favorite meal? This idea would be strange too - if they get to eat at all, they certainly don't get to be picky about what meal is their favorite.

Now when I say "hunger", I'm not talking missing a meal here and there, or having a little rumble in their tummies occasionally. I'm talking severe malnourishment that causes swollen stomachs, hair loss, skin discoloration, and reduces the body's ability to fight disease and infection. And every year, for 6 million children, this kind of hunger will also cause their death. (source:

Numbers like that are not only incomprehensibly tragic, but can feel overwhelming and debilitating. But the good news is that there are people doing something about it - and you can be one of them. Compassion International's One Meal One Day campaign is raising money to intervene in the lives of some of these severely malnourished children and you can be a part of the impact.

The idea is simple: give up your favorite meal between now and November 6, 2013, and donate the money you would have spent on that meal to One Meal, One Day. Easy right? And yet the impact on the children who receive food because of your gift will be exponential. (donate here)

Perhaps you're wondering, I thought Compassion's sponsor program helped these kids - why do they need more money? Good question, and here's the answer: Compassion's sponsorship program makes an unbelievable impact around the world by rescuing children from poverty, but there are many times when a child comes to the Compassion centers so malnourished that the funds from monthly sponsorships are not enough to meet the child's needs. Also, in the case of famine, natural disasters, or in emergency situations, the child many need more intervention than the sponsorship alone can provide. The money raised through One Meal One Day will help meet these extraordinary nutritional needs.

And getting involved is so easy. I'm willing to bet that if you are reading this (with - ahem - a computer//tablet/smartphone and an Internet connection), then you aren't worried about where your next meal is coming from and you probably can afford to skip one without much detriment to your health. But the money you would have spent on that one meal will stretch so much further in a poverty stricken country - providing far more than just one meal for one person.

One Meal One Day would be an amazing project for a family with older kids to tackle together. Talk about an tangible lesson - giving up one meal and experiencing a twinge of hunger so that other kids around the world might have the nutrition they need to live. That's a life-lesson your kids won't soon forget.

Or how about this idea: host a dinner party for your friends but serve beans and rice (a staple in most third-world countries). Then, donate the money you would have spent on steaks, side-dishes, desserts, and drinks. Plus, you'll have an awesome conversation-starter for your friends.

The main point is this: it only takes a little to make a huge difference in the lives of these kids. They need someone to step in and say, "You're important - you matter." All it takes is skipping one meal. Will you join me in the fight against hunger? If so, donating is just as simple - you can visit my fundraising page here. If you do join One Meal One Day, please come back here to my blog and tell me how it went - I'd love to hear about your experience!

Hungry for change? Let's do this thing!