Champions of the Global Goals: Jen Bliss
A word used on a daily basis by millions of people, but used completely differently by millions of others. As someone who plans their day around what I am going to eat next or what I need to buy at the grocery store, the following fact has had a major impact on me: 66 million primary-school-age children go to school hungry across the developing worlds, with 23 million in Africa alone.
Out of all the Sustainable Development Goals, I am immediately drawn to goal number two: Zero Hunger. Can you imagine a world with zero hunger? Let me just say it again… Zero. Hunger. It may seem unrealistic and a little hyperbolic, but it’s a goal to help us change our thinking, and hopefully the outcomes. Imagine how truly amazing it would be: not just saving the number of lives that hunger claims every year, every month, and every day, but also preventing the huge cost in happiness that hunger causes.
I have never experienced true hunger, though I have used the word “hangry” many times in my life. I’m one of the truly fortunate who, through no achievement of my own, was born into a life where not having food was never an issue. I graduated with a degree in kinesiology where I learned the importance of a healthy meal , and that although food insecurity is harmful to any individual, it is particularly devastating among children. Proper nutrition is utterly essential in the first three years of a child’s life; establishing a good foundation for future physical health is vital to the growth and development of any child. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 13.1 million children under 18 in the United States live in households where they are unable to consistently access the nutritious foods necessary for a healthy lifestyle.
One of my core beliefs is that every kid deserves the most important meal of the day – a healthy breakfast. There are amazing organizations, such as Feeding America, who work daily to make sure adults and children receive the nutrients that they deserve and need. However, they cannot do it alone. Global Goal #2 is to not only end hunger, but to also ensure access to healthy dietary options for all people, especially the less fortunate.
Anne Frank once said, “No one has ever become poor by giving,” and for some reason that’s always stuck with me. Even if we can’t achieve the unattainable goal of ending world hunger, we can make a change, we can make a difference, and special things come when real charity happens… Bliss happens.