1 in 7 US Citizens are Hungry
In today's economy, more and more of us know what it's like to worry about where our next meal will come from. A recent USDA study found that in 2011, nearly 15% of U.S. households experienced some level of food insecurity. That's 1 in 7, the highest ever recorded. Even those who have never gone hungry may realize that it's not as inconceivable as they once thought, while those who were already struggling are hit the hardest. In this environment, it's important to remember that God has a plan not just to help a few, but to eliminating systemic hunger and that we, His followers, are that plan.
A Hunger Free Zone
On Maui, Feed My Sheep is an organization of people who not only remember how Christ taught us to treat the hungry, but are acting upon it with the conviction that it can make a permanent impact. A coalition of volunteers, they are bringing transformation to their community by helping to nearly eradicate all hunger on the island./p>
Feed My Sheep is making a difference because they believe in two things. First, they believe that hunger is something that can be completely erased. Their goal is not to be a band-aid on a wound, but to offer a permanent solution. Thanks to their efforts, more than 90% of the hungry on Maui are being fed, and prior to the recent economic downturn, that number was 100%. It's hard to argue with results like that.
Secondly, they believe that the needy need more than just food. The organization's motto is "People of the community working together to feed the hungry in body, mind and spirit," and that is precisely what they do. For them it's not only about bringing people out of hunger, but also about praying and building relationships with those they serve. They describe those who come to them for help as "friends" rather than "clients" or "customers", and they treat them accordingly.
A "hand-up" not just a "hand-out"
With an eye towards giving their friends a "hand up" in addition to a handout, Feed My Sheep has recently partnered with local farmers to launch a new Mobile Produce Market, through which they can offer fruits and vegetables for sale to qualifying local people at a 75% discount. In addition, they are creating jobs by hiring people to help the farmers harvest their crops. In this way, they are not only bringing people food, but also helping them provide for themselves in the future.
Many organizations distribute food, but Feed My Sheep has gone a step beyond that and is coming close to creating a hunger free zone on the island of Maui. For an inspiring transformation testimony, check out this video from their homepage, or read the written testimonies also there.
Ask yourself how you can take action to help bring the kind of transformational love to your community that Feed My Sheep is bringing to Maui. Feed My Sheep is an example to people trying to eradicate hunger everywhere. The success of their efforts proves that if we act within a paradigm of solving the problem, and with faith that God wants to see hunger eliminated, transformation can happen!