Hunger and malnutrition are widespread issues, affecting nearly 925 million people in the world each year. Even though hunger touches so many lives, it’s rarely at the front of all of our minds. I’m a senior at Central High, and I want to use my enthusiasm and new media skills to change that! 

If you take a closer look at your community you may be surprised at what you find. Many malnourished Minnesotans don’t match the picture we have in our minds. Malnourished and hungry Minnesotans are your neighbors, your classmates, or even your friends. Hunger isn’t something that has definite signs that you can see.

Hunger is also not an issue that we always talk about. Often, people deal with this situation by seeking out assistance programs or coping with it the best they can. 9.8 percent of Minnesotans in 2011 used food shelves. This number is shocking, but it’s a great improvement from the previous year’s 21.8 percent. I believe that bringing awareness to this issue will continue to improve numbers like these.

I want to inspire young people to get involved and use their own creativity and talent to help fight this issue. Our generation has a immense power to spread information and awareness, and we need to use it. It is tough to find something that both resonates with you and send a powerful and clear message. I think in order to spark interest we need to relay this message in exciting new ways. We all have the power to do this!

When I first looked at the issue of hunger I saw the shocking statistics and the huge number of people affected. I didn’t know how my voice could have an effect. But it can and yours can too! I’ve started to look at hunger differently. People all around us, even in Minnesota, struggle with hunger.

To take action, find a way to spread awareness and get involved. In the Twin Cities, and all over Minnesota, there are great volunteer opportunities. I intern at the Revolution Hunger Campaign, which gets teens involved in the fight against hunger. I try to share information about hunger and malnutrition--statistics and stories can be really powerful. In my experience they can spark action and motivate individuals to spread the word! Dozens of great hunger organizations exist in Minnesota, including Revolution Hunger, are they are shinning the light on hunger. (Here’s one good list.) I urge you to check them out! Find your niche in the hunger fight and use it to make a difference!

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Talking About Hunger With the Junior League of St. Paul's Beth Schatz