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What dropping my Chick-fil-A waffle fries taught me about the Somalian famine



George Washington University


- satire

What dropping my Chick-fil-A waffle fries taught me about the Somalian famine

Claire Cantrell


We all experienced it when we were little: you'd say "I'm starving" and some know-it-all would retort with "You're not starving, you're just hungry." When you didn't finish all your green beans, your parents would remind you that there were children in Africa who didn't get to eat at all. I bet they thought they were really clever, teaching us "life lessons" because we would "never be in those situations." But on April 22, 2017, I found myself experiencing the unthinkable.

It happened in slow motion. I set down my Chick-fil-A bag to grab a straw, but the paper cocoon just wasn't stable enough for the firm white table of suffering that I put it on. I saw it tip forward, taunting me, but as I reached out, it was too late. The waffle fries were scattered all over the cold, unforgiving floor, with an exploded yellow Chick-fil-A sauce splattered like blood at a crime scene. In that moment, I finally understood.

Somalia has been in a state of famine for the last two years, but in a matter of three seconds I was able to comprehend what the Somalian people have dealt with off and on since the 1970s. Hundreds of thousands of people have already died, and tens of millions are currently at risk. The fear of starvation really hit home for me, as after dropping my fries, I knew I didn't have enough money left on my GWorld for the day to buy more.

Dropping your waffle fries and being a victim of famine are both humiliating experiences. They're occurrences that you can't anticipate - they sneak up on you and fill you with fear. So the next time you face a food crisis like putting too much olive oil on your garlic knots or giving a tortilla chip to a friend, remember: you are not alone. We are fighting this battle together along with our brothers and sisters in Africa.

And at the end of the day, there's not so much that separates us after all. We are all one race- the human race.