The goal to eradicate hunger in our lifetime is too far away. Try explaining lofty challenges and statistics to these Darfur refugees in eastern Chad whose food rations have been cut. According to the World Food Program, a minimum of 2,100 calories per day is recommended. These refugees are only receiving about a third of this minimum – 800 calories. Children are most affected. Not only food but healthy, sustainable, nutritious food is essential for childhood development and their ability to further their education. I received this message today from a committed friend and activist, Sharon Silber, who asked me to share this link, “Act to Restore 2100” for World Food Day. It’s a wake-up call to take action and enlist the support and commitment from President Obama, Samantha Power, and USAID.
Almost a billion of the global population goes to bed hungry each night. Although we produce enough food for the planet, 800 million people still suffer from hunger. Irony of ironies, 1/3 of food is lost or wasted. According the UNSG, Ban Ki-moon, “Hunger Is More than a Lack of Food – It is a Terrible Injustice.” Urban areas are an essential ingredient in the food chain. The UN Food & Agriculture Organization recommends its enlistment to produce healthy food, sustainable food, educating the public on healthy eating habits, and waste reduction.
Pope Francis recently addressed delegates at the Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) Conference and cited eradicating hunger as a moral obligation. He emphasized one-third of the planet’s food is wasted, the needs of the rural world, and safeguards to ensure agriculture development as a response to nutritional standards. Pope Francis also blamed volatile food prices, market speculation, and large-scale agricultural land acquisitions by transnational companies and governments which deprive small farmers. (See: “Let There Be Bread.”)
Eliminating hunger must become a global mindset drawing in governments, urban areas, rural areas, NGO’s and grassroots efforts. It’s about the human right that everyone around the world has the right to nutritious food. It’s about food justice, sustainable food production, farm worker dignity, providing a living wage for those in the food distribution and restaurant channels, land justice, and the empowerment of youth and women. (See more from #WhyHunger and #BruceSpringsteen – “Encore, Encore to Why Hunger’s Success in Reducing Hunger.”)
Before rushing to that next taken-for-granted meal, remember those less fortunate who will go to bed hungry tonight.
By, Susan Sacirbey