March 3, 2011
Embracing a spirit and ideas that work

A Guru Nanak Food Pantry (Sikh Temple, Indianapolis) van loaded with about two tons of vegetarian food for Gleaners Food Bank

Hunger is a global problem that transcends cultures, frontiers, and ethnicities. It is growing at an alarming rate: over one billion worldwide and 100,000 in Indiana go hungry. Food is Life; basic sustenance for all living beings is a fundamental human right and our collective moral responsibility as a civilization. Without basic nourishment for body, mind, and spirit, human dignity and productivity suffer; we invite unrest and riots, dislocation of starving populations; and witness the use of food as a weapon and an instrument of unconscionable exploitation.

At a recent seminar sponsored by Indiana Humanities Council, we learned: Ending hunger is possible at this time of unprecedented abundance and landmark advancements in food production, high-yield seeds, and scientific, technological, and agricultural revolution. The Green Revolution that made India self-sufficient in recent decades can benefit other countries facing severe food shortfalls, and by replacing antiquated methods of food production, safe storage, and timely distribution to populations affected by weather-related failed crops or famine to prevent mass starvation.

Life is a Divine blessing; culture is an intrinsic part of our humanity; our solutions to the hunger problem must include education, trust, sensitivity about traditions and dietary concerns.

Scientists, agriculture and nutrician experts, service agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations, faith communities, and institutions are working hard, and for millions, their efforts represent the difference between life and death. This humanitarian crisis needs will and resources: many well-stocked food banks and pantries, new soup kitchens; conservation and safeguarding food; retrieving more of the unserved food from restaurants, as is done by Indiana’s nationally-celebrated program, Second Helpings, to feed the hungry in our midst. Interfaith Hunger Initiative is leading one Hoosier effort: creating awareness about the size and scope of hunger problem; raising funds, expanding canned-food drives in partnerships with small and large faith communities. To end world hunger, nations must develop sustainable high-yield innovative solutions and adapt time-honored ideas like the Sikh Temple kitchens that feed millions across the globe every single day as an act of faith and thanksgiving.

Written by Kanwal Prakash Singh, an architectural artist, author, public speaker, community volunteer. Learn more at

*If you add your voice to this hunger conversation (meaning you make a comment, below), you’ll be registered to win a signed copy of Enough!

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