We live in a blessed part of the world. We have grocery stores with in a mile or two from our homes. Many of us can walk to buy groceries, but rarely do because we know we’ll be buying more than we could carry home. And even for those who don’t make enough money to buy food, there is assistance available. Either through the government or food pantries, the number of hungry people in North America is pretty small.
However, that doesn’t mean hunger isn’t a problem in America. 1 in 6 people are classified as hungry in the U.S. In 2012, 46.5 million people were in poverty. In Washington State, at least 8.2% of the population is unemployed. And while the poverty level is quite high compared to most other countries around the world, ($31,590 for our family) the cost of living is also higher than other parts of the world.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that nearly 870 million people of the 7.1 billion people in the world, or one in eight, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2010-2012. Almost all the hungry people, 852 million, live in developing countries, representing 15 percent of the population of developing counties. There are 16 million people undernourished in developed countries (FAO 2012).
But, even in the midst of all that, we are also one of the most overweight nations on the planet. Which I know bothers a lot of people, but in reality, it’s an indicator of blessing. I’m not saying it’s a blessing to be overweight (trust me), but it does say a lot that even those who are in need of food assistance are able to get enough to be overweight. (Yes I know that you can be malnourished and still be overweight, but I imagine other countries laugh at our idea of malnourishment when their idea includes ribs protruding from their bodies.)
All that to say, comparatively, when it comes to food, we are so blessed. We have so much to give thanks for. We have more than enough food to survive. When Jesus tells us not to worry about what to eat, we really don’t need to!
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t there more to life than food and more to the body than clothing? … So then, don’t worry saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ (Matthew 6:25, 31)
Basically, if you have food in your cupboards, you are blessed. If you’ve even in the last 24 hours, you’re blessed. If you know where your next meal is going to come from, you’re blessed.
Give thanks to God for His blessings!