You may think off the holiday season as a time for massive meals and delicious desserts, yet one in nine people
across the globe does not have enough food to live a healthy life.
The National Geographic and hunger-relief organization Feeding America
invited photographers from around the world to capture the stories of people who struggle with hunger and the people who are working to alleviate it. National Geographic's online community of photographers sent in more than 5,000 submissions for the project, which is called 'The Story of Hunger and Hope.
"Hunger affects people from all races and all ages -- and from every corner of the globe," the magazine writes. "Hunger doesn’t care if you're from the wealthiest nation in the world or the poorest."
Here are some of the most haunting and inspiring photographs from the assignment.
"A young boy is surprised at the sudden dawn of an unusual evening mist, as he heads home after a hard day of work in the agricultural fields of Assam, India."
"A little kid is helping his dad to pull the overloaded van. Even the beautiful background can't distract him."
"This man was just waking and setting up his chai tea stand when he stopped to take a rest. His home serves as a tea stand during the day. There are people sleeping behind him, grasping those last few moments of sleep before they are ready to start the day. This man, to me, symbolizes "Hunger and Hope." He is clearly tired, but he has gotten up to open up his shop and earn a living."
"Women stack bundles of freshly harvested rice in preparation for the annual 'hunger season,' when food supplies run out and people die. In this part of Madagascar, women have formed a cooperative of weavers who work with wild silk harvested from the surrounding forests. Access to global markets for these products is making the 'hunger season' a thing of the past."
"A woman in black preparing food on an anniversary of death. This is a tradition for most people in Vietnam, in the hope that the dead will bless them with all luck in life."
"People are gathering for the Annakut (heap of grains) festival. On Annakut, people worship the Hindu God Lord Krishna out of a belief that He is the supreme controller of nature, crops and food. On the occasion of the Annakut festival in Kolkata, India, rice that has been prepared as an offering to Lord Krishna is showered from above onto the devotees, who eagerly collect the grain to ensure their food security for the rest of the year."
"Before the delicious and healthy vegetable, the potato, ends up on our tables, this is how it is harvested in Poland, in some areas by people on their knees. After spending only a few hours with this nice man and witnessing his hard work, I gained a whole new, more positive attitude about this vegetable that I comfortably shop for in supermarkets."
"Up to four million Haitians currently live in the Dominican Republic. The immigration wave started many years ago in search of a better life."
"Food is distributed to the poor every evening. Through this photography I want to convey the message that poverty still prevails in India. The intense look in this person's eyes conveys it all."
"A man sells coconuts with his son in the village of Joypur in Bengal."