Today is World Food Day. It is a day to come together and declare that we will end world hunger. World Food Day celebrates the creation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on October 16, 1945 in Quebec, Canada. First established in 1979, World Food Day has since then been observed in almost every country by millions of people.
In a world of plenty, 805 million people, one in nine worldwide, live with chronic hunger. The costs of hunger and malnutrition fall heavily on the most vulnerable. Even in the U.S., one of the richest countries in the world, one in seven Americans – 14.3 percent – does not have enough to eat.
This year FAO ‘s theme for World Food Day is focusing on how climate change is effecting our food and agriculture.
One of the biggest issues related to climate change is food security. The world’s poorest – many of whom are farmers, fishers and pastoralists – are being hit hardest by higher temperatures and an increasing frequency in weather-related disasters.
At the same time, the global population is growing steadily and is expected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050. To meet such a heavy demand, agriculture and food systems will need to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change and become more resilient, productive and sustainable. This is the only way that we can ensure the well being of ecosystems and rural populations and reduce emissions.
Growing food in a sustainable way means adopting practices that produce more with less in the same area of land and use natural resources wisely. It also means reducing food losses before the final product or retail stage through a number of initiatives including better harvesting, storage, packing, transport, infrastructure, market mechanisms, as well as institutional and legal frameworks.
Want to take part in the fight to end hunger and help farmers be resilient to climate change?
- Join one of the hunger walks or hunger banquets across the nation
- Start a food drive
- Host a Cool Harvest Potluck and educate other about hunger and food issues
- Discuss with your faith community about starting a community garden
- Set aside space in your congregation to become a CSA drop off or farmers market site
- Support state and national policies that support small farmers, reduce antibiotic resistance, and feed the most vulnerable.
- Look into how at home and in your faith communities you can reduce food waste
- Reduce your carbon footprint by reducing the amount of meat you consume