Send that Seed

May 15, 2011
Every year, thousands of schools across the nation hold non-perishable food drives to send food to developing nations that lack sufficient nutrition. These clubs and organizations play on the emotions of millions of Americans with a variety of depressing pictures. Indeed, the cause is noble and relevant, but what is one bag of rice solving? What will that poor starving child do after he consumes the can of beans I sent?
A math teacher once posted a quote on the board that read: “give a man a fire and he is warm for one night, teach a man to make fire and he will be warm for life.” As I read this quote before I dropped off my 10 cans of food to our Principal’s office I wondered what kind of an impact I truly was making. After these cans left our school they would be shipped to several nations in Africa. Once there, they would be distributed to the different schools that were in need of food in their respective countries. These people would then devour the food only increasing their dependency on a foreign hand to feed them.
America needs to lead the reformation of disaster-relief giving. Instead of sending a box of cheerio’s, we should be sending a bag of seed. It is much more economical and sustainable. We need to teach sustainable and efficient ways of farming. Not only will the receiving parties learn how to make food for them, but they can sustain their communities. When local schools take donations of food and other goods they should also take donations of rakes, plows and seed.
This proposal creates a self sufficient world full of positive feedback loops. We would no longer be feeding people for one meal, but rather for the rest of their lives. This gain in technology and intelligence would further better the lives of all of the involved individuals.
Next time you go to Kroger of Publix to buy a few canned goods, I urge you to take a detour to the local Pike and grab a few seeds that can grow crops. You will not only save yourself the trouble of having to buy more cans in the future for the same cause, but you will have had a direct impact in improving an entire communities well-being.





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