October 16th-WORLD FOOD DAY: http://www.worldfooddayusa.org/

Quote from the website (http://www.worldfooddayusa.org/):

On October 16, World Food Day, join the global movement to end hunger. Be part of the solution in your community and around the world. Because when it comes to hunger, the only acceptable number is zero.

The emphasis this year is on the family farm and its importance. And if you have a garden in your backyard or patio, to me that is considered a “farmette” and is a small family farm.

Many years ago I was a volunteer for The Hunger Project whose goal was the end of hunger by the end of the 20th century. Obviously that did not happen, but The Hunger Project is still going strong. Check out their website: http://thp.org/. Here is their Who We Are statement:

The Hunger Project is a global, non-profit strategic organization committed to the sustainable end of world hunger. Our vision is a world where every woman, man and child leads a healthy, fulfilling life of self-reliance and dignity.

Beneath this statement is another, very powerful one (for me*): Our mission is to end hunger and poverty with sustainable, grassroots, women-centered strategies and advocating for their widespread adoption in countries throughout the world.

(*I like the woman-centered approach since they seem to be the keepers of the hearth in all developing countries. es)

Their programs are in 24,000 communities throughout Africa, South Asia and Latin America have at their foundation: empowering women as key agents, mobilizing communities for self-reliant action, and fostering effective partnerships with local government.

When I was a volunteer giving talks about the end of hunger, I remember three important statements:

1. Hunger exists
2. It doesn’t need to.
3. Each person can make a difference.

So, the question is: What can you, one person, do on World Food Day and beyond to make a difference in ending hunger right here in the USA and elsewhere? (If you think hunger does not exist in our wealthy country, here is a statement I read last in two Sunday magazines: One in six Americans struggles with hunger.)

 

Logo from UN Hunger Challenge as seen in an online photo from the Huffington Post (www.huffingtonpost.com/gala-paradiso/ending-hunger-global-chal_b_7032306.html.)

Here are some suggestions to get you started. But please don’t be limited by my suggestions. Look around in your own community and see what is needed and make one step toward filling that need:

1. Donate non-perishable food to your local food pantry or food program at your local church, synagogue, mosque, etc.
2. Check out the websites above or below, or Google ending hunger organizations on the ‘Net. (There are 127,000 hits when you type in organizations ending hunger!)
3. Skip one meal on Oct. 16th and give what that meal costs to a local ending hunger organization.
4. Think about eating lower on the food chain.  Frances Moore Lappe’s classic book, Diet for a Small Planet, taught me that more people can be fed on a plant-based diet than on a meat-centered diet. (See #5)
5. Make one day a week a meatless day. There is already a program called Meatless Mondays (www.meatlessmonday.com).
6. Work in a community garden that donates the food to the hungry.
7. Read about the relationship between ending hunger, factory farms, saving the soil, reducing pesticides,etc. The library will help you find books such as the one I recently reviewed on soil. (The Soil Will Save Us by Kristin Ohlson: www.menupause.info/archives/16686.)
8. Check out non-profit agencies in your town that deal with ending hunger beyond a food pantry, perhaps one that make meals for the hungry.
9. Become aware of the importance of food in staying healthy. When someone is hungry s/he cannot think well, work to his/her capacity, or make a contribution to society because s/he is in survival mode, not producing mode.
10. Explore World Food Day and its relationship to World Vegetarian Month (October 1st was World Vegetarian Day and October is Vegetarian Awareness Month). The link between eating lower on the food chain and ending hunger is something that needs to be discussed and acted upon as our world population grows and our precious topsoil and water levels are diminishing. Here is the link to a wonderful article on Vegetarian Awareness Month by Ginger Hultin, MS, RD, LDN:

http://www.foodandnutrition.org/Stone-Soup/October-2014/Why-Celebrate-Vegetarian-Awareness-Month/. Photo is also from this site.
Hultin will give you many important reasons why to eat lower on the food chain (even if you are not a vegetarian).

Celebrate World Food Day and ending hunger by donating to a non-profit org. that deals with ending hunger, volunteering in such as organization, eating a veggie meal, fasting, whatever will raise your awareness to the need to end hunger so people can work and live in good health and dignity.

 

P.S. Just got an email about another organization focusing on healthty soil. Here’s the link to check it out: http://www.regenerationinternational.org/

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