Living Lent: Global nutrition

April 8, 2019

The world, with a strong commitment from the United States, has made great progress toward ending hunger by promoting global nutrition programs. As a result, hunger and poverty rates have been cut nearly in half during the past 30 years. However, today, some 821 million people in the world remain hungry. One in four of the world’s children are affected by stunting, resulting in irreversible life consequences. Good nutrition during the 1,000-day period from the beginning of a woman’s pregnancy to her child’s second birthday is critical to a child’s health and future well-being. Bread for the World’s 2019 Offering of Letters: Better Nutrition, Better Tomorrow urges our government to accelerate progress toward ending hunger by increasing funding for global child nutrition programs.

Prayer for Reflection

Lord God,

You call us to journey with you through the wilderness this Lenten season. 

Our wilderness is a scary place, filled with distractions from the work of Kingdom building. But, we have freely and readily accepted this journey; guide our hearts, minds, and feet.

On this journey, we now turn our attention to our brothers and sisters who are malnourished. 

We remember the story of Jesus feeding the multitude. When those who had gathered grew hungry he said to his followers, “you give them something to eat” (Matthew 14:16). We hear that message today.

Many of our sisters and brothers are not getting enough of the right nutrients. As a result, they face lifelong consequences that limit their ability to contribute to their communities.

Be with the baby who, right now, is not getting the right nutrients to reach his full potential, and for his siblings and community who will care for him for the rest of his life.

Be with the young mother who suffers from anemia but does not have access to doctors or iron-rich foods.

Be with the girls who go without, so their brothers might have enough to get by.

Be with the father who cannot work enough hours to access the good, nutritious food his family needs.

Be with the parents faced with the difficult decision to take a dangerous journey or face starvation.

Be with the aid workers striving to offer a drop of hope in a vast ocean of despair.

Be with and move the hearts of our elected leaders who have the power to make positive change to give each person enough nutritious food to reach their full potential.

Be with each of us, O Lord.

As we see our malnourished sisters and brothers, show us how to be like Jesus, the provider to them—moving all from hunger and weakness to the intrinsic hope and the promise their lives hold.

Make these 40 days a Living Lent in which we come to know you deeper.

Questions for Reflection:

How can you best reflect God’s call to care for one another?

What are the ways you plan to engage your family in the work of advocacy?

Scripture for Reflection:

April 8: John 8:12-20 and Proverbs 31:8-9

April 9: Numbers 21:4-9 and Isaiah 58:10

April 10: Daniel 3:14-20 and James 2:14-18

April 11: Genesis 17:3-9 and Acts 4:32-35

April 12: Jeremiah 20:10-13 and Isaiah 58:6-7

April 13: Ezekiel 37:21-28 and Proverbs 3:27-28

April 14: Luke 19:28-40 and Joshua 1:7-9

April 15: Isaiah 42:1-7 and Ezekiel 18:21-32

April 16: Isaiah 49:1-6 and Psalms 22:23-26

April 17: Isaiah 50:4-9a and Esther 8:1-17

April 18: Isaiah 61:1-11 and Luke 4:16-21

Additional resources about this theme:

Bread for the World's 2019 Offering of Letters to Congress: Better Nutrition, Better Tomorrow

Briefing Paper: A Multi-Sectoral Approach to Nutrition

The Nourishing Effect: Ending Hunger, Improving Health, Reducing Inequality

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As we see our malnourished sisters and brothers, show us how to be like Jesus, the provider to them—moving all from hunger and weakness to the intrinsic hope and the promise their lives hold.

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