NPCA Takes Part in World Food Day 2013
By Jessica Agostinelli on Monday, September 9th, 2013
What is World Food Day?
Peace Corps Volunteers know firsthand the devastating effects that hunger and food insecurity can have on a community. According to the United Nations World Food Programme, about 870 million people in the world currently suffer from malnourishment. While food is in abundance, distribution difficulties, natural disasters, conflict, and poverty create a cycle of hunger which leads to economic and social troubles. Supporting sustainable agriculture and distribution programs will increase the health of citizens, bolster local economies, and create more productive societies.
For these reasons, on October 16, the National Peace Corps Association is taking part in World Food Day. In this post is information on World Food Day, facts about global hunger, and ways to take action at home to end hunger around the world.
The theme for this year’s World Food Day is “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition.” Sophia Lafontant, the Lead Organizer of Oxfam America, explains, “By being more conscious of how we use our resources and practicing sustainability we can create a food system that produces nutritious diets for all people today while also protecting the capacity of future generations to feed themselves tomorrow.” This day serves to raise awareness and advocate for issues surrounding food insecurity. Returned Peace Corps Volunteers can draw upon their overseas experiences to join the effort to end world hunger.
The Facts about Hunger:
- 1 in 7 people suffer from undernourishment
- 60 percent of the world’s ecosystems are degraded or used unsustainably
- Asia and the Pacific are home to the most hungry people, with 578 million individuals surviving on less than the recommended 2,100 calories per day
- In developed countries, 19 million individuals suffer from hunger
- Three quarters of all hungry people live in rural areas
- 146 million children in the world are underweight, pointing to malnutrition and food scarcity
- Small-scale farmers have the potential to generate enough food for 9 billion people by 2050
What You Can Do:
Part of a Peace Corps mission is for Volunteers “to learn peace, to live peace, and to labor for peace from the beginning of their service to the end of their lives.” World Food Day is an opportunity for RPCVs to start off long-term service efforts to end world hunger. Here are some options for taking action on World Food Day:
In your area: Oxfam America provides resources for individuals and groups to host a WFD meal, participate in a hunger walk, or organize a food packaging event or food drive. You can find a list of events going on in your area or volunteer in your community.
Spread the Word:
In Sophia Lafontant’s words, “World Food Day is an opportunity to start a conversation.” Oxfam America provides free information on ways to get involved on World Food Day. Additionally, several blogs exist which provide ideas and inspiration to begin a process of positive change.