158 posts categorized "Maternal and Child Nutrition"
I entered her office.
Instead of a jar of candy, she had a jar of pretty strips of paper.
She offered me one. I pulled one out.
There were words on it:
“Where there is hunger and poverty, there is almost always poor access to maternal and child health care.”
And then we had a conversation about the 1,000 Days.
The 1,000 Days Jar is a useful tool for starting conversations about the 1,000 Days movement. It’s practical, creative, and fairly easy to make. Having conversations about the importance of maternal and child nutrition during the 1,000 day window between pregnancy and a child’s second birthday can be challenging at times. A 1,000 Days Jar can introduce the issue of maternal and child nutrition to those unfamiliar with it, or spark new conversations surrounding the 1,000 Days Movement.
What You Need:
- Computer and printer OR time and good penmanship
- Recycled colored paper
- Scissors or paper cutter
- A medium-sized jar of your liking, preferably a mason jar
- A location for the jar, such as an office desk, coffee table, etc.
- An informational list of nutritional facts and reasons why the 1,000 Days is important (provided below).
- If using a computer, cut and paste the provided list to a document. If using pen and paper, write the list out by hand.
- If using a computer, print out the list.
- Cut out each statement.
- Fold each statement in half and put them in the jar.
- Place the jar in your location of choice.
These suggestions may inspire more conversations on how to make a difference for the many women and children who don't get the proper nutrition during the critical window of 1,000 Days.
1. Create the 1,000 Days Jar with:
- Fellow church members during Sunday school
- Friends and family who don’t know about the 1,000 Days Movement
- Preteens and teenagers in your family
- The youth director at your church
2. Step it up:
- Either with a group or on your own, make jars for gifts and give them to friends, family members, or colleagues
- Add Bible verses and/or spiritual quotes about hunger to The 1,000 Days Jar
- Visit the Thousand Days website and check out their resources. Add additional facts to the Jar.
In early 2011, Desire came to Omoana House, a rehabiliation center in Njeru, Uganda, as a malnourished young girl. But with proper healthcare and feeding – including nutrition supplements provided by USAID, she has grown healthy. (Photo by Laura Elizabeth Pohl/Bread for the World)
by Inez Torres Davis.
Nutrition for the pregnant woman and her child through the age of two years is such a critical window of opportunity. Women with our own children or women who have never given birth, but have participated in nurturing children “get” how critical this is. And, maybe it’s easier for us to have these conversations for this reason, but I would really like to see men of faith step up for this one and make the commitment to have these conversations!
The 1,000 Days Movement addresses the need for those who “have” to be sure that child-bearing women, women who are pregnant, and infants from birth to two years of age receive the nutritional diet they require to avoid life-threatening physical and mental health issues such as stunting, protein deficiency, and cyclical starvation. Cyclical starvation is when the body has a hunger season each year in which important nutrients are completely lacking from their diets thus providing short term and long term health problems and in many cases, death.
While visiting three countries in Africa with Bread for the World in 2011, I saw the raw and measurable difference nutritionally caring for pregnant women and infants makes in the life of a community as well as in the life of a child. One Malawi village had not had a single case of cholera since learning how to secure clean water, sanitation, and create supplemental nutrient-rich feedings for pregnant women and babies. Dozens of Zambian infants are receiving healthy starts in health clinics and through the campaign for non-HIV positive mothers to nurse their babies.
Here in the United States, programs like the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the food stamp program) provide a nutritionally sound base for children who would otherwise suffer the debilitating effects of malnutrition. Dollar for dollar supporting the nutrition of pregnant women and babies is money “best” spent whether it is spent domestically or as international development aid.
The call of the gospel is the call to be present with the disenfranchised. I can’t think of a more disenfranchised or disempowered person than the infant born to a malnourished woman. Simply put? This is the work of the gospel. Start to share this good news!
(image courtesy Urban Ministries of Durham)
by Robin Stephenson
Simulating poverty does not give one the lived experience of poverty, but it can begin to expose the truth about choices—or lack thereof—that people working low-wage jobs face every day.
We are called to compassion—meaning to suffer together, but it can be hard to make a compassionate connection when paths don't cross. So when I’m invited to speak to church groups, I emphasize personal stories, knowing that statistics don’t always engender compassion and solidarity.
A few years ago I gained greater compassion and insight into the realities of poverty when I participated in an elaborate simulation. Even though it was imaginary, the activity made me stop and think about poverty as a time consuming and complicated condition.
A young girl enjoys breakfast at a local farmer's market. (Photo by Margaret W. Nea)
by Eric Bond
How much will you spend on food today?
For breakfast I ate two bananas (40 cents each), a handful of almonds (let’s say $1.00), a whole wheat bagel (65 cents), two eggs (21 cents each), and a cup of coffee from the corner café ($1.79). Having spent a total of $4.68, I felt thrifty, and I ate fairly well. I also broke the SNAP budget for an entire day.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) allots about $4.30 per person per day. Figuring out how to purchase 2,000 nutritious calories on that amount is a test of creativity and resources.
Try stretching those dollars when you live in a food desert, miles from a well-stocked, economical grocery store. What if you haven’t got any cooking appliances or the money to power them? What if you are working full time, earning barely enough to cover the rent? Would you have the time and energy to search for, purchase, and cook enough food to sustain yourself on $4.30 per day? Somehow you would have to find a way.
This is reality of the farm bill—which funds SNAP.
Alex Morris, from Bend, OR, depends on SNAP, WIC, and other programs to care for André, who suffers from a serious medical condition that affects his hormonal system. (Photo by Brad Horn/Bread for the World)
by Christine Melendez Ashley
Misinformation about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) is far too prevalent. Sometimes it seems that I can’t check the news—or even Facebook—without reading another inaccurate claim about the program and its participants.
As a domestic policy analyst at Bread, I know that the facts tell a different story. SNAP served more than 46 million Americans in May. Here are some hard facts about the program:
Haitians build a USAID-funded irrigation canal. A rice field is at right. From the Bread for the World Institute 2011 Hunger Report. (Photo courtesy USAID)
In a New York Times opinion piece yesterday, Rev. David Beckmann wrote about how our fate is tied to poor people around the world. He describes why Americans should care about U.S. foreign assistance and why it's a great return on investment. You can read the full story below.
Our Fate Is Linked to Helping Others
by Rev. David Beckmann
This is not the time to cut back on international development assistance. For every dollar our government spends, only less than one cent (0.6 cents) is spent on foreign aid. The return on our small foreign aid investment can be measured in the millions of people we are helping throughout the world, and in our country’s economic well-being and national security.
by Keaton Andreas.
It is critical that we raise our collective voice on behalf of poor and hungry people as Congress debates funding for anti-poverty programs, which is exactly what a Bread for the World Covenant Church did this past Saturday.
Hunger was the topic of discussion this weekend at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Warr Acres, Okla. The Covenant Church hosted the forum “Fighting Hunger in Oklahoma.”
Oklahoma is the fifth hungriest state in the United States, with 47,871 families living in extreme poverty (less than $11,057 a year for a family of four) and a poverty rate for children under five of nearly 28 percent.
(Photo by Flickr user cnishiyama)
by Robin Stephenson
Hunger is a frequent companion for too many children. Around the world, 178 million children under the age of 5 are stunted because of inadequate nutrition during their first 1,000 days of life. Closer to home, one in five U.S. children face hunger every day because they live in households struggling to put food on the table.
These sobering facts can be changed with enough political will, but the first step is education.
Students play together outside at Lott Carey Mission School in Brewerville, Liberia. (Photo by Laura Elizabeth Pohl/Bread for the World)
by Sarah Dickey
The Olympics brings together the most physically fit athletes from nearly every country in the world. It is a time of joy and celebration. But with eyes on the world’s strongest athletes, viewers might easily forget that 925 million people in the world remain hungry. In July, the Guardian reported that the average Olympian eats six meals and consumes 6,000-10,000 calories daily—a foreign concept to people without enough food. The prospect of ever competing in the Olympics is bleak to the 178 million children around the world who suffer from stunting.
"Recent research shows that many children who do not have enough to eat wind up with diminished capacity to understand and learn. Children don't have to be starving for this to happen. Even mild undernutrition - the kind most common among poor people in America - can do it."
Carl Sagan, astronomer and Cornell University professor.