The First Step

by Jack Brand

A few short months ago, our WSU Hunger Awareness Team started a journey to understand hunger on campus.  The goal of this journey is first to learn what the issues are and then to do something about t. We would like you to join us.

With the help of Numana, and of 171 volunteers, we’ve already fed over 20,000 people who have been displaced by the famine in Somalia. If we can do that, there is no limit to the potential of what we can do together.

Unlike the meals destined for Africa, however, the journey to solve hunger here begins with a step inward.

Your reasons for taking that first step will be your own. Our reason for needing your help, is that the problem here, while less severe, is also less defined, and before we can solve hunger we need to understand it. In order to understand it we need your insight. We need your story.
My own journey inward began when Dr. Ballard-Reisch asked us all a simple question; “Have you ever been hungry?”

I did have a story to tell. I also have known many students who have suffered from hunger. This has been traumatic for them and in many cases has led to their dropping out of school and the loss of potential that goes with that.  But, when Dr. Ballard-Reisch asked the question, my first thought was to wonder, what good my story would do.  Too often our actions feel like a drop in the bucket.

But those drops add up, and soon the bucket is full, just like it took a lot of scoops out of food containers to bag those 20,000 meals. That’s what happens when we all pool our resources. We make a difference.

And it starts with a simple decision to take that first step.

We don’t need you to travel the world like Rick McNary from Numana did, when he was investigating how to get the food to the people who need it.  We just need you to journey inward. What is your story? Have you experienced food insecurity? Have you had to make choices between having enough to eat and other necessities?  Have you ever wondered if the food you had would last long enough? Have you ever been unsure where your next meal would come from?

It may not be easy for you to take that step. It wasn’t for me. It wasn’t easy for many of the people who took part in our dinner and conversation – but together we expanded our perspective and came up with some great ideas.

And ideas can change the world, so please, give us your perspective. Give us your ideas.  Please, join us and take that first step. Please share your story here!



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