World Food Day: A Day to Be Kind and Increase Happiness
Next Friday, October 16th, is World Food Day. It’s a day dedicated to bringing the world together for one life-changing mission: to eradicate hunger in our lifetime.
According to World Food Day USA, 805 million people, or one in nine worldwide, live with chronic hunger:
- 60% of the hungry in the world are women
- Almost 5 million children under the age of 5 die of malnutrition-related causes every year
- 4 in 10 children in poor countries are malnourished, leading to severe health issues
- Beyond human suffering, the global economic cost due to malnutrition is the equivalent of $3.5 trillion a year
- In the U.S. alone, one in seven Americans (14.3%) does not have enough to eat
These are alarming and sobering statistics.
There are numerous ways to contribute to this important mission. And, as an added bonus, contributions to this cause (or any other kind-oriented action) can be personally beneficial via increased happiness.
How Being Kind Can Make You Happier
In a recent Huff Post article titled “Three Strategies for Bringing More Kindness in Your Life,” Juliana Breines, Ph.D. writes, “One of the best ways to increase our own happiness is to do things that make other people happy. In countless studies, kindness and generosity have been linked to greater life satisfaction, stronger relationships and better mental and physical health—generous people even live longer.”
Dr. Breines also writes how kindness can become a powerful habit: “Intentionally practicing kindness in our everyday lives, even on days when we’re not in a particularly generous mood, can go a long way toward turning kindness into a habit. That’s largely because of the way kindness breeds happiness: The good feelings serve to reinforce our kind acts and make us more likely to want to perform them in the future.”
How You Can Take Action To End Hunger
World Food Day is one way you and your loved ones can spread kindness and make a difference in peoples’ lives, while also making a positive difference on a personal level.
So, how can you and your loved ones give back to the hungry and increase happiness?
- Attend, participate or contribute in World Food Day events, such as hunger walks, banquets and/or food drives.
- Donate or find volunteer opportunities via hunger/food-focused non-profit organizations such as Meals on Wheels, Heifer International, FarmAid and Feeding America.
- On a local level, volunteer at your local food bank and/or support local family farms who supply food to your community.
While these are just a few suggestions, you can also use this day as a bonding experience with your loved ones to come up with shared ideas on how to play a role in ending hunger and increasing happiness.
Kindness can feed the hungry and the soul…