Sunday, February 13, 2011

Starving Children in Africa

There it was again, that commercial that tugs at the heart strings. You know, the one with soft music playing in the background while it flashes pictures of starving children in Africa across the screen, with a voice that says "for just a dollar a day you can feed a starving child in Africa. That's less than the cost of a cup of coffee." This tells me one of two things: Either people are paying way too much for their coffee, or food in Africa is a heck of a lot cheaper than in the US, because there is no way I could feed my kids on a dollar a day. Now let me stop this right here before anyone jumps to conclusions by assuming I'm making fun of starving children in Africa. I'm not. Far from it. I know it's a problem and something needs to be done about it. But that being said, I'm fascinated to know that just $1 a day is enough to help a child from starving.

I guess I didn't know a buck had that much buying power, especially in today's economy where the value of the dollar has been diving faster than Greg Louganis in the 1988 Olympics - that's right, I just pulled a seriously old school reference. He won gold by the way ,which is the same precious metal our dollar was once backed by, in case you were wondering. Yes, I realize Dollar Stores are springing up across America faster than the population of China is increasing, but still, $1, even in a Dollar Store, can't feed a person for a day - well not in America anyway.

I think that's what I am most interested in here...how it is possible to actually feed a child in Africa for $1 a day. What kind of food they will be receiving? Is it three meals a day? Is dessert included? Or are we just talking beans and rice once a day? If it truly is possible to feed a child on just $1 a day in Africa, I'm going to have a serious talk with my wife about shipping my kids there just to save some money on food expenses. Kind of like an exchange student sort of thing, but until they're 18.

It makes some more sense now as to why we never see "feed the starving children in America" commercials. How would the commercial go? "For just $25 a day, you can help feed a starving child in America. That's less than three hours of work a day if you work for minimum wage. Think about it, for only three hours of every work day you can be feeding a child in America the rich nourishment they need to sustain life." It would be pretty difficult to find pictures of American children who aren't overindulged and obese to go along with the sad music. (Note: this is not to say that I think we should blame ourselves for this problem...see here for more details)

I just see too many complications in trying to feed America's starving children commercially. What are we going to do, show how $25 a day helps take them to McDonald's? And how would they address the chubbiness issue? "Yes, little Bobby may look a little plump around the edges, but trust us, he's really starving." It could end with a close-up on the chubby kid's face and then slowly pan out to see him in his living room, sitting on a couch with the sun shining brightly through the window as he is frantically playing away on the X-box while wearing his brand new Nike high-tops. Cut to end of commercial.

I just don't see organizations that are trying to feed the starving children in America working out very well, which is probably why most of them have turned to Africa for their cause. But still, to be able to feed a child on just $1 a day blows my mind. Africa is doing something right if food can be bought for so cheap. Maybe more people in America need to get off of Facebook's FarmVille and get out to farming in the real world (no not MTV's Real World, which there is nothing real about, but that is another whole discussion in itself). Maybe then we could feed our own children on just $1 a day.

In all seriousness I know that there are starving people all across this world and every little bit we can do helps. So I encourage everyone to give of any extra time or money they may have in fighting hunger in this world. I also encourage you to give of any extra money you might have to me. But it you can't, feel free to just leave me a comment here and there instead. You can even keep yourself anonymous if you'd like. I'm just beginning to wonder if I have any readers at all out there. And if I do, are you wondering the same things I am?

9 comments:

cort said...

You are SO RACIST!

Anonymous said...

Whoops, I mean....you are SO RACIST!

Jared said...

Haha. That was funny.

Anonymous said...

I mean...that was funny.

J said...

a dollar a day?? for how long?? one day?? two?? 365? how bout give 20 bucks to buy a fishin pole...problem solved capitan (pronounced with a spanish accent)

Anonymous said...

You need a stronger conclusion to your passage... Otherwise, well written. I enjoyed the satirical nature of your piece - very nicely done.

Alex Kruger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

On the other side of that coin are poverty stats that point at wages in one country being low relative to wages in another country. For instance wages in Africa and wages in the US. That side of the coin might incite one to think and perhaps act towards having that "income inequality" corrected which in turn would make it impossible to feed a child in Africa for a buck a day. In fact it might even lead to Africa looking a lot more like the US whereby African women driving SUVS complain about the taxes "they" pay for the social services of the poor women that they stole from, sorry, "worked hard for", to get the SUV in the first place.
But that would equate Africans and Americans and one can only hope they prove to be a better people than that.
A people who are capable of caring and having without having to insidiously snipe at the people they hurt.

Anonymous said...

On the other side of that coin are poverty stats that point at wages in one country being low relative to wages in another country. For instance wages in Africa and wages in the US. That side of the coin might incite one to think and perhaps act towards having that "income inequality" corrected which in turn would make it impossible to feed a child in Africa for a buck a day. In fact it might even lead to Africa looking a lot more like the US whereby African women driving SUVS complain about the taxes "they" pay for the social services of the poor women that they stole from, sorry, "worked hard for", to get the SUV in the first place.
But that would equate Africans and Americans and one can only hope that Africans prove to be a better people than that if they are not a better people than that allready.

Life is just too funny to be taken so seriously