The Hunger Games: book, movie, reality?

Popular among teens, the best-selling book and newly-released movie highlights a world where many go hungry. This spring, some of these same teens are participating in World Vision's 30 Hour Famine, fasting in order to raise money to fight hunger around the world.

By Shawna Templeton and John Yeager. Photo by Chris Sisarich for World Vision.
Published March 25, 2012 at 12:00am PDT

This weekend, movie-goers flocked to theaters across the nation for the much-anticipated Hunger Games motion picture release.

Fiction or reality?

The Hunger Games movie, based on the young adult trilogy by Suzanne Collins, reflects the dystopian fantasy of a world where those from the poor districts are hungry. While the story is fiction, in reality, more than 850 million people are going to bed hungry tonight.

In a world where nearly 3 billion people live on less than $2 a day, one in seven people do not get enough food to be healthy, and most of these are women and children.

Poor nutrition is the single biggest underlying cause of ill health and death among pregnant women and for children in their first two years of life, underlying one-third of preventable deaths of children under age 5 — more than 6,500 children a day.

Teens respond to global hunger

Some of biggest fans of the books — teens — are taking action. An estimated 150,000 young people are preparing to go hungry to raise money and hunger awareness as part of World Vision’s 30 Hour Famine, the largest teen hunger awareness campaign in the world. Participants in the 30 Hour Famine forsake food for 30 hours to get a taste of what the world’s poorest children face.

Prior to the event, teens raise funds by explaining that $1 can help feed and care for a child a day. Participants consume only water and juice as they participate in local community service projects, like volunteering at food banks, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters.

Since 1992, 30 Hour Famine youth have raised more than $150 million.

Last year’s 30 Hour Famine raised $9.5 million to fight hunger. This year’s goal is $10 million. Funds raised this year will be sent to countries or regions such as Haiti, the Horn of Africa, Burundi, Malawi, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Some 30 Hour Famine funds also address poverty in the United States.

Four ways you can help

Thank God for young people who are striving to make a difference. Pray for successful 30 Hour Famine Events across the country. Pray for a life-changing experience for these youth. 

Share the 30 Hour Famine with your church. Urge young people in your church to get involved in this worldwide campaign to fight hunger.

Make a one-time gift to help provide life-saving food and care. Your donation will help deliver critical assistance to hungry children around the world, like emergency food aid, agricultural support, clean water, nutritional training, and more.

Contact your members of Congress. Urge them to not cut foreign assistance funding, which funds life-saving hunger prevention and poverty reduction programs. Making up just 1 percent of the federal budget, no other part of the budget saves so many lives for so little money.