It tugs at you during the most inconvenient times – while you are on the phone with a customer at work, while you are in company meetings, while you are taking a complicated exam, or while you are standing in a long line at the store. While everyone else is fully present during these situations, you are distracted by sudden feelings of dizziness, jitteriness, and irritability. Who is your uninvited guest? No one other than Mr. Hunger Headache. He can be pacified within minutes of grabbing a meal. Occasional hunger headaches arise from going several hours without food and missing your regular meal time, eating an improperly balanced diet, and drastically reducing your calories. When your hunger is so intense that you feel contractions within the pit of your stomach, you are experiencing hunger pangs, a sign that your blood sugar level has dropped to a very low level after not have eating within 12 to 24 hours.
If you describe your sporadic hunger headaches as intolerable, think about the people in the world, both locally and abroad, who don’t have quick access to food when their hunger cries out. Consider that homeless man on the corner of the intersection holding up a sign that reads, “HUNGRY. PLEASE HELP” or the citizens in impoverished African countries such as Haiti who are so hungry that they resort to eating mud pies, made from actual mud as described in the “Live from Haiti” blog by Maria Carroll. This blog explains that after parts of Haiti were hit by hurricanes that wiped out food supplies, the mud pie was all that was left to eat. Imagine the physical symptoms that are endured when living malnourished for days.
In the same way that it is important to listen to our stomachs by eating on time, we should also be concerned about the empty, neglected stomachs of those who are less fortunate. Experiencing merely a taste of the hunger that they endure will definitely make you sensitive to their plight, the first step of bringing you to help. Some of the ways to help on the local level include giving to food drives and pantries as well as volunteering at soup kitchens. On the global level, people can help by contributing to world hunger organizations such as World Hunger Year (WHY) that uses donations to research the root causes of hunger and poverty and to help impoverished countries become self-sufficient through education, job training, and food production. Another nonprofit organization that helps citizens of Africa, South Asia, and Latin America to become self-reliant is The Hungry Project (THP). Their motto is “Empowering Women and Men to End Their Own Hunger.”
Carroll, Maria. “An Update with Apologies.” www.livefromhaiti.blogspot.com