Hunger Notes would like to express its appreciation for its readers. Our readers are certainly a major blessing. (The word blessing, which has to some extent fallen into disuse, means a gift from God and also something that transforms a life, or makes a substantial contribution to making a life worthwhile.) We would also like to enumerate other things for which we do (and should) give thanks, and indicate our goals for this year.
Many people are interested in the situation, perhaps more accurately described as plight, of poor people. This interest is certainly a blessing, and for us all. The world is both one, and very large, and without this imaginative identification with others like us, but not specifically known to us, peace for all and modest prosperity for the poor will not happen.
Last year, approximately 226,000 people visited the Hunger Notes site and spent an average of almost 5 minutes there, for a total of over one million minutes spent learning (we hope!) about world hunger and poverty. This is indicative of strong interest in hunger issues, especially as we know we are not the only site for those interested in world hunger and poverty issues. The concern of students, which form a large part of our readership, was the most gratifying. We thank our readers for their support and—see below for specifics—promise to do better.
We would also like to thank all those associated with Hunger Notes and the World Hunger Education Service. The WHES Board, the Hunger Notes Editorial Board, and Hunger Notes contributors represent over 500 years of experience in development and hunger issues, and we are extremely grateful for the wisdom that they bring to publishing Hunger Notes and managing WHES. Almost everyone associated with Hunger Notes and WHES is a volunteer, and those few who are not volunteers receive only a modest payment for outstanding work. All are busy people in their major fields of interest, who nonetheless take the time to contribute to WHES and Hunger Notes.
We would also like to thank our Associates, who contribute financial and moral support, as well as others who contribute financially. Financial resources are necessary to conduct any enterprise, including educating people about world hunger. Many Associates have been long-term contributors to WHES. We are especially grateful to Ann Marie and Wayne Mewhorter for their substantial bequest to WHES last year.
Our principal goals for 2002 are the following.
Make Hunger Notes a better publication, including:
Up-to-date, and in depth coverage of more issues
Key documents explaining the basic causes of hunger
Increasing the ability of Hunger Notes readers to interact with each other, through such means as discussion forums, and to participate in reducing world hunger, by identifying key issues that need their involvement.
Broaden the involvement of people with WHES and Hunger Notes, including writing for Hunger Notes. Over the not too longer term, we need to transfer operation of WHES and Hunger Notes to a younger generation.
Increase funding for WHES and Hunger Notes. A successful continuation of the organization will require substantially increased funding in order to pay full-time staff.
May God, and our efforts to understand and do good, bless us.
Lane Vanderslice Lane Vanderslice is the Editor of Hunger Notes.