World hunger can seem like an overwhelming problem. But there are actually lots of small steps you can take to make a big difference.
Step 1: Pick a good charity Pick a good charity -- meaning one that is run efficiently. Go to "www.charitywatch.org":http:// for rankings.
TIP: Action Against Hunger gets an A+ from Charity Watch.
Step 2: Make donations automatic Figure out what you can spare and then make your donations automatic. Many charities allow you to pledge a monthly amount that they deduct from your checking account or post to your credit card.
Step 3: Fast once a month Research shows that fasting one day a month reduces your risk of heart disease. Why not make it a win-win situation -- better your health and donate the money you saved on meals to a hunger charity.
Step 4: Give the gift of food Make charitable donations to food banks in lieu of birthday gifts, wedding favors, sympathy flowers, and so on -- and ask people to do the same for you.
Step 5: Think before you buy Once a month, stop yourself from making a nonessential purchase and set the money aside for hunger relief. Get your friends to do the same, and turn it into a friendly competition by posting running tallies on your Facebook pages.
TIP: For $3, you could either download a few songs or have the World Food Program feed two hungry children for a week.
Step 6: Improve your vocabulary Improve your vocabulary — and help feed the world's poor at the same time — by going to "www.freerice.com":http:// and answering multiple choice questions on word definitions. For each correct answer, the site donates 20 grains of rice to the hungry.
FACT: "Stamp Out Hunger" is the largest one-day food drive in the nation -- when postal workers in 50 states take in over 70 million pounds of food.