Time spent online can help fight world hunger

The United Nations has set eight Millenium Development Goals for 2015, and I took a class where we spent some time focusing on each of these goals. The first of them is to end poverty and world hunger. The United Nations’ goal to halve the proportion of people living in hunger is that which I am focusing. Over the past month or so, I have tried to raise awareness of world hunger. I have talked to people by word of mouth, and I have created a twitter account, @fiteworldhunger.

The World Food Program sponsors Free Rice, a website that makes it so easy to make a difference internationally. On this site, you can answer very simple questions, including English vocabulary questions such as “teacher means: instructor,” in which you donate ten grains of rice for every correct answer, via the United Nations World Food Program.

How many study breaks go by watching the same Youtube videos or by clicking on the same Facebook tab over and over? This is an opportunity to actually send food to those who need it and at no cost to you besides a couple clicks.

Certainly chronic hunger is not as severe an issue in Champaign and Urbana as it is for those starving in developing nations across the globe, but there are local resources such as food pantries. I know that visiting a food pantry and donating food isn’t the simplest thing to do, especially with our busy schedules, but what is easy is staring you right in the face ­— the internet is such a simple way to make a difference.

The point is this: One in every four children under five is underweight in developing regions. The problem is worse in South Asia, where half of these children live impoverished. To think that you can make a difference while sitting at a computer, answering easy questions, is truly incredible. I didn’t realize these resources existed before, but it appears that the United Nations found a way to reach a generation addicted to Facebook and the Internet.

Even though 925 million people are projected to suffer chronic hunger this year, you can help make a difference and prevent it.

Alex Ruby,

_junior in LAS_