When I was a kid, summer meant freedom, fun, and lots of food.
From getting a hot dog at the beach to having barbecues with family and friends to constantly hearing the gentle jingle of a nearby ice cream truck — it felt like the summer season revolved around food.
I remember my dad firing up the grill most summer nights. He’d carry in hefty plates of grilled pork chops, chicken, or burgers. He also had a garden chock-full of fresh green beans, corn, tomatoes, and potatoes that my sister and I would help him collect in buckets.
Add in the Southern Baptist potluck lunches and family reunion cookouts, and I was never far away from some good food.
Summer food favorites across the U.S.
No matter where you live, food often takes center stage in our homes and traditions during the summer.
Maybe you live in Maine and you know summer means the start of peak lobster season. Or you’re from Maryland where summer is synonymous with crab boils.
Are you a Michigander who spends every summer at the National Blueberry Festival? Or a Californian who always looks forward to the Gilroy Garlic Festival, complete with garlic-flavored ice cream?
Or maybe like me, you’re from the South where summer isn’t complete without lots of pulled pork and summer strawberries for dessert piled with whipped cream.
What about in other countries?
Many other countries have their own food traditions around this time of year, too.
Late July begins Uganda’s harvest season for staples like maize, cassava, sweet potatoes and groundnuts. Apples are just getting ripe enough for picking in Guatemala. And in India, cherries, peaches, and plums are seasonal favorites when it comes to fruit.
Unfortunately, many people in developing countries won’t be enjoying their favorite foods this summer. In fact, many families have hardly anything to eat.
The trifecta of the coronavirus pandemic, droughts, and famines have complexly disrupted the growing seasons of countries like Uganda, Honduras, and Zimbabwe.
Even when the weather is favorable, many farmers haven’t been able to work in the fields or sell their crops in the market because of repeated lockdowns. Many areas in India and Nepal are shut down right now as the area battles another wave of the pandemic, and Uganda is also under another lockdown after a recent spike in coronavirus cases.
Uganda is actually known as the “bread basket of Africa” because it is usually the main exporter of food to its neighboring nations. But the lockdowns combined with a lack of rainfall have challenged the country’s standing as an agricultural leader in the region.
How you can help people facing hunger this summer
Here in the U.S., more people are slowly returning to local restaurants, and cookouts are happening again across the country.
But many other countries around the globe aren’t there yet.
So as you’re enjoying some of your favorite foods this summer, please remember the many families who are facing hunger and do what you can to help.
A gift of just $14 is enough to help provide lifesaving food and other essentials like medical care, clean water, hygiene kits, and other physical help and hope to someone in need. Plus, now through July 31, your donation will DOUBLE up to $75,000 thanks to a generous matching gift!
This summer, you can share the blessings God has given you by helping providing food for another family or meeting their other most urgent needs.
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