World Food Day serves as a reminder of the continued, crucial development of food security programming across the world.
Each year on October 16, the international food security community comes together to celebrate the advancements made and to discuss the next steps toward ending hunger, achieving food security, improving nutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture.
Hunger and nutrition issues are complex and multifaceted, and the solutions are not limited to simply feeding those who are hungry. While over 820 million people suffer from malnutrition, over 670 million adults and 120 million girls and boys between the ages of 5 and 19 are obese, and over 40 million children under 5 are overweight.
New forms of food production, coupled with climate change, are drastically reducing biodiversity worldwide, resulting in diets absent of vitally nutritious elements. Currently, 66% of all crop cultivation is comprised of only nine plant species.
This year, the theme of World Food Day is “our actions are our future.” In highlighting this, World Food Day is taking a comprehensive approach to tackling global food insecurity. Cognizance of climate change, changing dietary trends, and new patterns in food production are integral to the development of effective nutrition programs and combatting global hunger and unhealthy eating.
Now more than ever, it is imperative to prioritize the creation of healthy and sustainable diets affordable and accessible to all, while being conscious of our planet.
InterAction’s work on global food security
At InterAction, we provide a platform, the Food Security and Agriculture Working Group, for Member organizations to unite each month to share information, coordinate education and advocacy, and address each component of the hunger issue.
The Working Group was actively involved in both the creation and reauthorization of the Global Food Security Act and routinely engages with Feed the Future staff in USAID’s Bureau for Food Security. Feed the Future is the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative that works to give families and communities in some of the most impoverished countries in the world the opportunity to lift themselves out of food insecurity and malnutrition.
Our Members’ work to combat hunger and obesity
InterAction’s Members also engage with hunger in many capacities. Prominent food security organization, Action Against Hunger, is leading lifesaving programs in over 45 countries that affect more than 21 million people. Bread for the World, another InterAction Member, organizes Congressional advocacy efforts directed at ending hunger and poverty.
Food for the Hungry, The Hunger Project, and Feed the Children work locally to aid communities affected by hunger. Ninety-eight percent of Food for the Hungry’s staff serves in the country of their origin, strengthening the efficacy of their aid. The Hunger Project has launched programs in 16,075 communities that emphasize the empowerment women, mobilization of self-reliant action, and construction of relationships with local governments in relation to food security. Feed the Children approaches hunger from a Child-Focused Community Development approach, implementing programs directed at both educating and providing resources for vulnerable children and caregivers.
What more can be done?
While it is critical for organizations to take action, everyone has a role in eradicating hunger and obesity. This means simply reaching for fresh produce rather than heavily processed commodities or biking to work to reduce your carbon footprint. Explore the UN Food and Agriculture Organization for more resources and participate in #WorldFoodDay on Twitter to raise awareness!
This World Food Day, as well as every day, we must all recognize the ramifications of our choices and promote healthy eating and sustainable agriculture worldwide.