There are just 896 million people living on less than $1.90 per day.
To contextualize that number, its 12.7% of the world’s population. It is close to three times the population of the United States of America.
Hunger is inevitable when people live on less than $1.90 a day, but there is something we can do about it.
As a high school sophomore, she read about the severity of hunger across the globe and felt compelled to do something to help. That was when Erin came across One Meal One Day* – our initiative to help those who are hungry.
One Meal One Day is a movement for individuals or groups to turn faith to action by skipping a meal and donating the money they would have spent to help a child in extreme poverty. Participants can fundraise for the cause, increasing their awareness of world hunger while doing something to fight it.
Erin went to her youth leader in Brodhead, Wisconsin and communicated her desire to help those who were hungry. Her youth leader told her to follow that calling and run with it.
That is exactly what she did.
Erin prayed and set a fundraising goal of $500. In order to accomplish her goal, she got her youth group and school involved. She created posters, collected money from her youth group, and even got the event on the morning announcements at her school.
Soon, what started with one person grew into a group effort.
On the day of the event, Erin and her friends skipped lunch together, donating the money they would have spent on their meal and discussing hunger and poverty as a group.
Together, they raised just over $500, exceeding their goal.
The event was such a success that Erin did another One Meal One Day event her senior year of high school and raised $550.
So what happened to the money that Erin raised?
He is 10 years old living in the Kovie village in Togo and is part of our Child Sponsorship Development program.
His father passed away in 2011 and his mother sells firewood and coconuts for an income – only enough for Lucas and his six siblings to eat once a day.
They commonly eat a meal of dough made of corn, accompanied by a sauce that is also corn-based. In order to differentiate the sauce from the dough, Lucas’ mom adds pepper or a few other ingredients to the sauce. Essentially, the meal is just to fill their stomachs.
This is where Erin steps in.
Because Erin and her friends participated in One Meal One Day, families like Lucas’s now receive regular assistance that enables them to avoid starvation. Lucas and his family now receive food, beans, rice, corn, pasta, oil, fish, and other goods at the beginning of every month.
Lucas is just one story of a child being helped because someone like Erin participated in One Meal One Day. Erin skipped 1 meal and raised awareness of world hunger, and a child’s family now receives a constant source of food as a result. You, too, can make a lasting impact in a child’s life by skipping one meal or hosting this event with your church, school or coworkers.
Take part in the movement and have a spiritually unifying experience. Skip a meal during National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week, November 14-22.
*Although Compassion has since retired the One Meal One Day initiative mentioned in this article, we are SO thankful for everyone who participated in the successful movement!