How does food insecurity impact a person day to day? How does it impact a persons ability to focus and concentrate? How does it impact hope and planning for the future?
These are a few of the questions I have been wrestling with, so I thought it would be good to ask someone who deals with this daily.
Here is the short conversation I had with Al, one of our national staff in Haiti. We were discussing how the kids in sponsorship have been doing much better in school, and I wanted to know the connection between better grades and food accessibility…
Me: What impact do you feel the kids schooling is affected by them being able to eat food more regularly?
Al: They can study easily and they learn better!
Me: Tell me how you feel, about how food impacts people’s lives in Haiti.
Al: When people are lacking food they become lazy (meaning lethargic) and they can’t focus on something, the only thing they think about is about tomorrow, like what they will find for tomorrow. Some of them become people that steal and some of them sell their bodies for food.
Me: And how does that impact their hope for the future?
Al: They don’t really have time to think for the future cause if they can’t find food in the present for them the future will be worse. We need food to eat so we will be able to study and stay in good health.
I have found myself over the last 29 days often thinking about how I would get through the 40 days ahead, and it was very daunting to be able to think past the next day. I have also found that when I have been feeling hungry that my concentration decreased. Often the only things I could think about were the hunger I was experiencing and how to stretch out what I had to make it last. I could never just think about that day.
Hunger causes desperation for people! Being forced to steal or to sell oneself is often beyond what many of us would ever have to consider doing. It is easy to judge people that make these decisions but maybe we need to look at it differently and see people in a new light.
I am happy that our kids in Haiti got to eat today. Egg sandwiches were on the menu!
So proud of our kids for doing well in school, I know it is related to their ability to eat!