MANDALUYONG City, Nov. 24, 2014—If God really answers the prayer for daily bread, why do many people still go hungry?
The problem is the unequal distribution of food, said Fr. Carlos V. Reyes, who serves at Villa San Miguel in Mandaluyong City.
Commenting on a speech given by Pope Francis to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (UNFAO) on Nov. 20 at the Vatican, the priest pointed out widespread hunger occurs due to overconsumption.
“People go hungry because there are those who take more bread than they can consume, in effect, taking bread that is supposed to go to others,” Reyes explained.
The priest expressed regret that starvation remains a reality despite technological advances in food production, especially in the First World.
“Mankind has a tremendous inventive capacity, a capacity that has been given to him by the Creator. The science of farming has developed exponentially these last few decades,” he shared.
According to him, most First World farmers and livestock raisers today have the means to produce food in abundance, with more than enough food to feed everyone on earth.
In his address, the pope referred to this type of abundance as the “paradox of plenty” in which there is “food for everyone, but not everyone can eat, while waste, excessive consumption, and the use of food for other purposes is visible before our very eyes”.
The pontiff stressed this unfortunate “paradox” remains relevant, stating there are few subjects about which “we find as many fallacies as those related to hunger; few topics as likely to be manipulated by data, statistics, the demands of national security, corruption, or futile lamentation about the economic crisis”.
“This is the first challenge to be overcome,” he declared.
For Reyes, better distribution is key to solving widespread hunger, admitting, however, that the problem requires solidarity as well as adherence to natural law which “demands charity, justice and peace”.
“The Pope … voices concern over the way we administer our stewardship of the planet, using anthropomorphic terms such as ‘sister’ and ‘mother’. We are reminded that it is the planet that gives us shelter and food,” he said, underscoring the pontiff’s warning that the Earth is unforgiving of mankind’s abuses against her.
“We must address the clear signs of climate change soonest possible time,” Reyes stressed. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCPNews)