World Cup 2014: How the United States and Belgium Fight Hunger and Poverty
Bread for the World's World Cup series will use the occasion of the Cup to focus on the great advances many of the participating countries and players have made in fighting hunger and poverty. Each day, until the end of the tournament, we will highlight a country, or an individual player, that is making a difference.
By Bianca Brown
Tuesday, July 1: U.S. v. Belgium
Advancing after a close and compelling match with Germany, the U.S. team will play Belgium today. The players will surely kick things up a notch as the semifinals draw near. Despite the tension around this match, there is one thing that both U.S. and Belgium fans can agree on—both countries are making strides in combatting hunger and poverty.
In the United States, one of the wealthiest nations in the world, a large percentage of the population—approximately 46.5 million people—still remains victim to the epidemics of hunger and poverty. While programs are in place to alleviate hunger and eliminate poverty, the nation’s leaders have not yet made ending hunger a top priority.
Jozy Altidore, one of the U.S. team’s key players, has said that, “I may be a young person, but I believe it’s never too early to want to make a difference.” As a supporter of several charity missions, Alitidore is one of many premier athletes who supports the idea of a hunger-free nation.
Belgium, according to 2007 figures, has a poverty rate of about 15 percent. Two of the players for Belgium, Vincent Kompany and Thomas Vermaelen, pride themselves on doing charity work in the Congo—previously a Belgian colony. Ambassadors for the cause of ending hunger and poverty worldwide, Kompany and Vermaelen shine on and off the field as they support the goal of a hunger-free world. Kompany comments, “…if you can take a child who had no chance and give them a chance to become someone who can make a difference, then how much more beautiful can a story be?”
Bianca Brown is an intern in Bread for the World's communications department and a senior at Georgia's Wesleyan College.
Photo: Jozy Altidore in a U.S. v. Austria match. (Wikimedia Commons)
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