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The Power of Youth and the Winnable Battle Against Global Hunger

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On Monday night I had the opportunity to share a stage with the great Arianna Huffington and the always inspirational, Josette Sheeran. I was so grateful to spend time with such amazing women and to discuss a topic I love, the World Food Programme's "Fill the Cup" campaign and school feeding program. I've worked with the WFP for 3 years now and have been fortunate enough to become one of their Ambassadors Against Hunger.

It's heartbreaking to picture the number of children suffering from hunger around the world and one of the many reasons I love teaming up with Josette is because of her always optimistic outlook on the solution. How can Josette sit in that room and say that this battle against hunger is "winnable" when the number of children dying from it is so vast? Well, she shares the facts to support that statement beautifully, and I'll leave that to her. But for me, when I see a room full of people eager to learn how to fight global hunger, when I've taken the field trips and seen the effect of the WFP in action, I am overwhelmed and I see the truth in her statement -- this is a winnable battle.

When I donated money to the WFP on Oprah, and saw an outpouring of additional donations from students, families, mothers and fathers across the US that raised an additional $500,000 for the cause -- I once again, saw the truth in her statement. And the other night at CAA, the energy in that room of people being motivated or sharing what they've already done to aid in the elimination of world hunger was palpable. Right in front of me in the audience were Lauren Bush and Ellen Gustafson, whose own youthful philanthropy came in the form of fashionable "Feed Bags," which in conjunction with the WFP have already fed over 40,000 children for a year in school.

One of the questions that came out of the Q&A that night was posed by a 12 year-old boy named Colin. He described the opulent wealth he's surrounded by at school and wanted to know how to make his peers aware of this global hunger issue. And I responded with "Why don't you tell me." We started to engage and I am always struck by the power of youth.

We have to fight for these children to be nurtured and encouraged. I ask for people to donate to the WFP because even a quarter can change the life of a child. Josette says that we can overcome global hunger, and with help and donations it is truly possible!

I was so happy to speak with Colin because as a young person, that's what this is about: Changing lives of children in need, as we work to shift the consciousness of anyone who is able to help or contribute in any way. If our youth don't have the priorities to help others, we are in trouble. If children who need and fundamentally deserve that right for food and education, don't get it, we are in trouble. This young generation is the future. They will be in charge. And taking care of one another is what I hope for in that future. To deliver the message of hope and actually execute it! This is possible.

It is a choice we make. It is what we teach others. What we all must practice. The world can be an overwhelming place. And I understand the human nature to be self-involved, but there are people out there like Josette who are literally changing the world. If the heroes we look up to are human, then the capacity to affect the world positively, the way they do, is possible for any human being.

So if we take a moment out of our busy lives and teach our youth, this conscious shift is possible. I ask children to contribute their ideas on how we can do big to little things to take care of these children in need. Again, they are our future and not only should we not stand in their way or look away, we should enable them to become those human heroes that we all need.

Once more, I thank Arianna for providing this platform as generously as she has. And to end by saying that any bit helps and you can either donate at Drewbarrymore.com or wfp.org.

Thank you for even taking the time to read this and I encourage us all to take care of each other.

Thank you,

Drew Barrymore

Around the Web

Friends of the World Food Program at Changing The Present