By Inger Furholt
The feeling of your stomach shrinking into a little raisin. The point where you just feel nauseous because it has been too long since the last time you’ve consumed food, or liquid for that matter. This feeling is probably the closest most of us has come to feeling what we think is real hunger.
As college students attending a private college, we may not know much about what it really feels like to be hungry. We may often say that we’re dying of hunger as our stomachs feel like they are empty at times. However, we do not know hunger like many others in America and all around the world.
At home, most of us have something to eat in the fridge, or in the cabinets, a parent who will make dinner on most days, if not every day. Many are used to having enough food, and having enough money to buy food, so we tend to forget about the fact that there are people around us who don’t have the same opportunities.
According to the Hunger Report of 2010 posted by the Feeding America Foundation, hunger in the United States is increasing at an alarming rate. There are people in every continent of the world who do not have the opportunity to eat when they’re hungry.
People often forget to think about starving people in a western country like America, while there are many households that at some point cannot afford to buy food. There are commercials on television that show starving children in other countries, which is heartbreaking to watch. However, it is also heartbreaking to know that there are children and adults in our own country who do not have the opportunity to eat, because families do not have the funds to feed themselves or their children.
The population of the world is increasing, and even though food is being mass produced to a maximum, the increase of food production is not helping those that do not have the ability to get food, especially when it comes to eating healthy. Fast food is so much cheaper than going to an actual store and purchase fruit, vegetables or other healthier choices.
The focus of so many these days is on how to stay in shape, or how to become or stay skinny. Some even starve themselves on purpose without considering they have a choice of eating, while others don’t have a choice, because they cannot afford food or it is just not available to them. Some do not understand the difference between being healthy and eating healthy, while others don’t even have a choice.
Hunger is something we may not be familiar with, but there are so many people who deal with the feeling of hunger every day. As we stuff our faces, and eat more than our stomachs can often handle, just to complain about how we are going to gain weight during holidays or family gatherings, it should be important to remember how lucky we are. There are families, maybe even relatives, neighbors, and people in our community who know the real feeling of hunger.
Inger Furholt is a senior majoring in journalism. You may e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org