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Aid and Relief2 min read


What do you eat during a famine?

Kelsey Campbell
Aug 03, 2018

What if today’s only meal were a choice between eating grass or old melon rinds?

Neither sounds too appetizing, right?

But that’s the reality for families living in places ravaged by famine such as Niger, Zimbabwe, and South Sudan.

Civil war, drought, famine, and poverty all contribute to a lack of food. And when it comes to a hunger crisis, children are the ones who suffer most.

The average person can survive 30 to 40 days without food; an infant, less than a week.  People living in areas with a food shortage are forced to survive on whatever they can scavenge. Their crops and their livestock have long withered away.

So what do people eat during a famine? The answer is severe: not much.

Some mothers will boil water and mix in cornstarch to form an edible paste called ugali or a thick porridge made from maize meal.

In Zimbabwe, children will eat amajodo, a tasteless melon that is usually fed to livestock such as donkeys.

For families living in countries plagued by violence, their nomadic lifestyle means their stomachs are rarely full. Many will eat grass or water lilies as they flee to safety. 

In the war-torn country of Iraq, parents in Mosul resorted to feeding their children boiled cardboard boxes in a desperate attempt to keep them alive.

Wild plants, roots, leaves, and bark are often cooked down into a digestible mush by many who are starving. 

However, like other food substitutions, none of these contain the vitamins and nutrients a child needs to grow and develop.

But the good news is that starvation and malnutrition is 100 percent preventable. You can be the reason a mother doesn’t have to watch her child starve to death. 

For $40 you can feed a child for an entire year! That means for 11 cents per day, you can make sure one boy or girl has access to real, nutritional food … even during a hunger crisis. 

So, what does your $40 provide? One of the main foods you’ll provide is fortified rice that includes added vitamins and minerals. You’ll also help send nutritional supplements specially designed to help young children fight malnutrition. 

Your $40 can save a life. When you give, you’ll provide more than nutritious meals; you’ll deliver hope for a brighter future.


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