Hunger is anything but yesterday’s problem. For 1 billion people, it’s a problem right now. But world hunger is 100 percent preventable, and more than 50 teens from Marion are poised to help.

Wars and natural disasters dominate the world’s daily headlines, but behind the scenes and far from the spotlight, hunger and preventable diseases claim the lives of more than 20,000 of the world’s children every day. Nearly 1 billion people go hungry every day. More than 6 billion live on the planet. One in six will go hungry tonight.

Why so many? For some families, the only food they have is whatever they can grow themselves. One drought or flood can wipe out a year’s harvest. When it does, there’s no supermarket or food bank they can turn to. Others can barely afford food despite their best efforts. Either way, hunger is anything but yesterday’s problem. For 1 billion people, it’s a problem right now. But world hunger is 100 percent preventable, and more than 50 teens from Marion are poised to help.

This April 26 and 27, they will be joining the efforts of hundreds of thousands of young people all over the nation who will set aside the usual “stuff” that fills their daily lives. Instead, they will do World Vision’s 30 Hour Famine by going without food, and getting a taste of what the world’s poorest children and families face every day. Prior to the event weekend, students raise funds with the knowledge that every $30 they raise can help feed and care for a child for a month. Groups are also encouraged to perform hands-on service projects during the weekend in order to make a difference in their own communities.

As part of the Famine, the Refuge Youth group is hosting the event in Marion.  Friday night, April 26th, the group will go homeless, living and sleeping in a cardboard village on Marion’s Main Street.  Then to relate to the plight of living in hunger, the group will be spending Saturday performing service projects and physically taxing activities while completing their 30 hours without food.  Each student has obtained individual sponsors who contribute financially to the effort.  Last year’s Famine provided enough money to feed 7 children for a year.  This year the group is looking to be a village in order to feed a village.

Funds raised by 30 Hour Famine participants help feed and care for children in communities in need around the globe through World Vision. A portion of the funds raised assist families in need in the United States. Famine funds contribute to World Vision’s response in areas where famine, conflict, and other crises make children vulnerable to hunger and preventable disease. Since 1992, 30 Hour Famine has raised close to $150 million, representing countless lives saved. World Vision works in nearly 100 countries, helping approximately 100 million people every year.

Visit 30hourfamine.org or call (800) 7-FAMINE for more information.