Food Banks Help Mothers Facing Famine In Niger
As a husband and father, my heart breaks for single mothers that work hard and still struggle to feed their children. I met a woman named Mary from the Fulfulde tribe in the village of Mbsowan whose husband left her and their three daughters because he couldn’t provide food for them. Now, Mary must try to care for her children by growing millet on a small plot of land she owns. She is able to sell some of the millet she grows and uses the rest to feed her three young daughters for months after harvest.
Because everyone in the village was working the same kind of system of farming and selling, they would completely run out of food and have to travel farm to neighboring villages and sometimes other countries to find food. Mary told of times when her daughters would come to her crying because they were hungry and she didn’t have any food food to give them. It is painful to imagine having to tell that to my children, but even harder to think about my wife having to tell them because I am not there.
But this year crops did not produce well across Niger because they didn’t receive enough rain. Because Niger is landlocked and primarily made up of smaller subsistence farmers that don’t have irrigation systems, they rely on the rain to produce crops. No rain = no crops. No crops = no food.
Thankfully, Mary has food to feed her children because Operation Blessing built and stocked a food bank to help villagers keep a source of food within community. After harvest, they are able to sell their excess crops to the bank and during times of need, they can use that money to buy back food from the bank. Because the banks start completely full, there is capital to invest in more millet as the supply depletes. The food banks are working and families are being fed.
Operation Blessing has 17 food banks in Niger that are helping thousands of families, but for villages without a food bank, the food crisis still remains. More food banks are needed to help keep villages stocked with food and prepared for season ending dry spells that wipe out crops and threaten famine.
I’ve seen it first hand and want to be a part of the solution for other mothers like Mary. If you want to help be a part of the solution, you can help feed families in need with a donation to Operation Blessing: bit.ly/donate2OB
SEE RELATED POST: “Helping Families Overcome The Food Crisis In Niger”