Seeking Empathy - A One Month Refugee Diet

Eric’s Journal – Day 22

A friend recently sent me a very appropriate e-mail that compared a week’s worth of food in various cultures. There were pictures of 10 families with their weekly groceries. At the top of the list was the Melander family in Germany, the Revis family in the United States was next, and at the very bottom was the Darfurian Aboubakar family in the Breidjing refugee camp in Chad. In one week the Melander family spends $500.07 on groceries, the Revis family spends $341.98, and the Aboubakar family receives $1.23 worth of food aid. The images come from the book Hungry Planet  by Peter Menzel.


The Melander family


The Revis Family


The Aboubakar family

7 replies on “Eric’s Journal – Day 22”

The contrast is amazing, Eric. What’s even more amazing is that the Aboubakar family is shown with the rations they would receive IF everything was stable in and around the camps. Since those pictures were taken, the situation in Chad has deteriorated considerably, so that they sometimes receive even half of what’s shown.

Hang in there, E. I know that it has been a tough few weeks, but it has been so enlightening to follow your experience. It was so great to have you and Miah speak to the kids at Wildwood School!


I wonder if all the people in your life and Miah’s life who are encouraging you all to take vitamins or to eat a real meal make the connection that there are children who have never eaten anything different for their entire lives. Doctors without Borders released a statement last week that noted extreme malnutrition was done in Darfur refugee camps in Eastern Chad – but that threshold is still unacceptable and it means that there are still many who are living with malnutrition, it just means they may be able to survive a few days without food rather than die immediately.

I wonder if our friends and families are making this connection. I hope you share some of your Thanksgiving experience on the blog.

in peace, ktj

I am not sure what the appropriate response to these pictures would be… the contrast is so harsh and more than once a day, I find myself grateful for not being born in these difficult parts and for my kitchen and pantry looking more like the top two pictures than the bottom one.
The malnutrition where boarder line or not is quite obvious here as is the gluttony of the society we live in.
Hoping for a better year.

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