This week I am in Houston, Texas, attending the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics “Food and Nutrition Conference and Exhibition”. Tonight was the opening session with the keynote speaker Betty Nguyen. She is a young professional with an impressive employment history as a tv reporter and news anchor; maybe you recognize her from CBS or MSNBC or CNN..
Betty was born in Saigon and emigrated to America as an infant, in a military cargo plane during the fall of Saigon. She talks of family stories, recounting the risk her parents took as immigrants to provide a better life for Betty and her family.
Her parents encouraged her to take responsibility rather than merely be grateful for the gifts of freedom to pursue an education, to have enough to eat, to have adequate health care. So, in 2000, she created a foundation called “Help the Hungry”. Each year, she and her parents execute a humanitarian mission to Vietnam to distribute food and medication. She illustrated one trip with a report filmed for a national television network.
Nguyen cites a United Nations statistic that there are 870 million undernourished people across the globe. She challenged everyone in the room to give back to the global community via time and talent, and change the world for the better.