Lambers: It will take everyone to solve global hunger crisis

The biggest global crisis we face right now is hunger. We need everyone helping to stop hunger from claiming millions of lives.

The UN World Food Program (WFP) warns the "number of those facing acute food insecurity has soared - from 135 million to 345 million - since 2019. A total of 50 million people in 45 countries are teetering on the edge of famine."

Conflicts, climate change and the covid-19 pandemic has led to this increase in hunger. The war in Ukraine has further worsened hunger across the globe as it cut off a large supply of wheat and drove up prices even further.

But yet there is so little attention given this global hunger emergency. You rarely hear about the children starving to death because of Yemen's civil war or that one person dies of starvation every 48 seconds in East Africa.

There are shortages of funding for humanitarian aid in the neediest places on the globe. This is often because there is not enough awareness of the hunger emergencies taking place. Awareness leads to activism.

That is where you can come in. Back in 1946, when famine threatened to strike Europe and Asia after World War II, it was citizen activism that made the difference.

Famine emergency committees were formed in cities and towns at the request of President Harry Truman and food ambassador Herbert Hoover. Everyone was needed to help conserve food and encourage donations to needy war-torn countries.

Schools answered the call to action. Students held collections to send donations overseas to help alleviate hunger. Classes had exercises educating what famine was and which countries were in great need.

It was activism in all levels from the President to schools that made the difference in saving hundreds of millions from starvation after World War II.

That is the kind of action we need today to cope with global hunger.

Everyone can spread the word about the global hunger crisis and encourage people to get involved

. You can host an event and encourage donations to humanitarian agencies like WFP, Save the Children, Catholic Relief Services, Mercy Corps, CARE and others fighting hunger

You can hold a letter writing session to Congress encouraging them to increase funding for global food aid. You can educate your representatives about global hunger so they can take the right action.

Schools once again can make a big difference, and have even more tools they can use to fight global hunger. One of them is the online game FreeRice where you answer trivia questions, with each correct answer raising a donation for the UN World Food Program. FreeRice has many popular categories including vocabulary, history and science.


The Focus on Food and Sustainability section of FreeRice can educate students on issues impacting hunger. Also the Hunger Heroes section highlights past efforts to fight hunger and provides inspiration for today's struggle.

Schools can also create FreeRice teams in the groups section and show off their knowledge while fighting hunger. Schools can become a vital outlet for information and activism during this global hunger crisis.

There is enough food for everyone in the world. No one should be starving to death. If enough people take action we can do something about it.

William Lambers is an author who partnered with the UN World Food Program on the book Ending World Hunger. His writings have been published by the NY Times, History News Network, Newsweek, Chicago Sun Times, and many other news outlets. Lambers volunteered to write the Hunger Heroes section of FreeRice.

This article originally appeared on Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: William Lambers it will take everyone to solve global hunger crisis