Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Hunger Games

Over the past three weeks, I have been fairly obsessed with The Hunger Games trilogy, written by Suzanne Collins. I'm not entirely sure how I overlooked this series. I love speculative fiction and the books closely resemble Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game and sequels. But I have made up for my lapse, reading all three twice. I'm in the middle of the first book for the third time. I'll have to think hard about seeing the soon-to-be-released movie. These are the kinds of books that I want to know really well before seeing someone else's imagining of them.

You may be thinking, "Other than the title, what does this have to do with food, hunger, and community?" Well, those themes run through the books, definitely, but there is a more direct link. The World Food Programme and Feeding America have teamed up with the film debut to bring hunger into public discourse. Their Hunger Games website features a video message from the stars of The Hunger Games, a quiz about hunger, and information about how to donate to both organizations.

For one in six households in the United States, hunger is no game. It is a stark reality they face every day and it affects us all whether we directly experience hunger or not. Hungry employees and coworkers cannot work at full capacity. Hungry children cannot learn as well as their peers. And more and more, it is clear: children who fall behind in early grades will likely struggle for much of their lives. Our whole community -- whether you view community locally or globally -- is hurt when members of the community are hungry.

The Hunger Games is fiction, of course, but hunger, in this country and around the world, is very real. If you are able, please consider making a donation to one of these fine organizations, or locally to Community Assistance Network, Rural Human Services, or Our Daily Bread Ministries, all of whom work to prevent hunger in our community.

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