Letter: World’s malnourished children are in dire need of assistance

World Food Day is today. As more U.S. citizens live in poverty with reduced wages, fewer jobs and programs such as food stamps threatened by Congress, more people are visiting food pantries.

Looking around the world, it is heart-rending to see children not receiving even one meal a day. Malnutrition is linked to nearly half of all childhood deaths.

23 million people in 11 countries in the Horn of Africa are affected by food insecurity.

In Guatamala, one in two children under 5 is chronically malnourished.

In Haiti, 22 percent of kids ages 6 to 59 months experience chronic malnutrition.

The theme for 2013 World Food Day is Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition.

Here are some actions we can take: Donate to a reputable group such as UNICEF or Save the Children. Ask your U.S. rep to co-sponsor H Res. 254 for improved Nutrition for Children, or go to world-food-day-usa@fao.org for more information.

No child learns well when they are not fed well. Our world cannot improve with malnourished kids.

— Mary Martin