This may sound a little bit pessimistic so if I upset you with this post, please leave a comment or send me an email. This is a bit of a follow-up post to yesterday’s Endowment Giving post.
It bothers me when we talk about “ending poverty” or “ending hunger”. I think these are great things to aim for and to hope for but aren’t we biting off more than we can chew? We have had poverty and hunger since the beginning of time. People do not go hungry because we are unable to grow enough food but because of the way food is distributed and the systems in place that distribute that food. Something will have to change about the human condition that would really allow those with many to give it up for the sake of those with few.
So should our organizations really spend valuable resources on solving an unsolvable problem? It is an incredible marketing message but wouldn’t it be more practical to ask what we could do to have a lasting and permanent impact on these problems, to provide higher quality and lower cost food to those that currently live in our communities? How can we provide emergency assistance that addresses the needs of the poorest in our community, and what can we do to improve the overall quality of life? Aren’t these questions that we can actually answer that would have a tangible and lasting effect on our communities and in our world?