Poem by Taiwo Adesina
It is a difficult time to be hungry
It is a difficult time to be hungry as the world continues to evolve.
Along with broken economies and social structures, hunger remains unsolved.
Food insecurity is no longer the burden for only some to bear.
But if you cross the street or drive across your town, you will find hunger there.
Toddlers and young ones going to sleep without the nourishment they require.
As caretakers keep looking for that opportunity or hire.
Between this bag of food or electricity many now must decide
As the realities of the pandemic continue to abide.
In Ethiopia and Kenya, locusts swarm and ravage the wheat
Destroying livelihoods, fields, and the food the people eat.
In Syria, hunger persists as families experience a rise in prices
Inflation worsens and undernourishment follows, intensifying the crisis.
In the LAC region those facing food insecurity will rise to 16 mill.
And with all this going on, we battle COVID-19 still.
In America, food banks face increased demand and unprecedented user rates,
As hunger penetrates new demographics across the land, affecting every state.
The political unrest in Ethiopia, Venezuela, the US and Hong Kong have reached a new altitude,
Reminding us that justice, human rights, and equity are just as important as food.
It is a difficult time to be hungry, almost everywhere on earth,
But we are presented with new opportunities for innovation and rebirth.
So, we shine a light on those who have shielded us with their priceless armor
Our healthcare workers, engineers, delivery drivers and farmers.
We remember our teachers, humanitarians, and market vendors from Indonesia to New York
Knowing that every sector is necessary to ensure farm to fork.
This time is pivotal, we must rethink how we feed, ensuring we take care of our planet as we rally to meet the needs.
Food waste must be combated and challenges in the supply chain addressed.
The solutions must be local, and engage women and youth- with fresh wisdom they are blessed.
Money, time, skills, ideas, science- we all have something to give.
It’s only through efficient collaboration, that the next generation will live.
It is a difficult time to be hungry but still we must thrive.
It is a difficult time to be hungry, but in unity, the challenge will keep us alive.
Click on the file below to listen to Taiwo read her poem:
Taiwo is a relief specialist at Food for the Hungry, where she works with field teams to prepare for and respond to rapid onset and complex emergencies. She has a masters in public health and is passionate about the humanitarian and development space, believing that everyone deserves to live with dignity and have their most basic needs met. She currently lives in Washington DC with her running shoes, Diet Coke, and laptop on which she writes short stories and the occasional poem.
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These poems were submitted for the 2020 WFD Poetry Competition