Posted by: DCox | November 21, 2008

High Food Prices … We’re not alone

Food prices for staple foodstuffs (like rice, wheat, corn) have increased over 100% in developing countries in the last two years.  As Americans, we know how increasing household expenses pinch our family budgets.  What’s the impact on a family in sub-Saharan Africa?  Prior to the hike in commodity prices, it wasn’t unusual for households to spend up to 70% of their income on food.  By May 2008, food expenses could account for over 80% of total family expenditures. 

poverty_children_pictures-240x151CNN recently had an article on their website about a mother in Haiti that had to choose which of her children would receive food that day.  Other families in poverty are only able to eat one meal per day rather than the three meals per day they may have had in the past.  Higher food prices not only reduce the intake of calories, but also the quality of those calories.

Children are at high risk of malnutrition at times like this.  When malnutrition occurs in the first in the first 24 months of life, children may never recover.  Not only is physical stature impacted, but brain function as well.  

How can we respond to the food crisis?  We can support agencies that provide foreign food assistance, donate to our local food banks for those in poverty and the newly unemployed in the U.S., and advocate for those in need.

See Compassion International’s Hunger Fact Sheet


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