WORLD FOOD DAY
(This article below was published in the Sentinel Douglas County Newspaper recently.)
On October 16th, 2019, World Food Day is celebrated as a day of action to tackle global hunger. People from around the world come together to declare their commitment to eradicate worldwide hunger during this lifetime.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), created World Food Day with the collaboration of diverse coalition of food movement leaders, organizations, and people from all walks of life. In celebrating the creation of the day, events are organized in over 150 countries, making it one of the most important days of the United Nations (UN) calendar. All of the events will promote worldwide attention and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure food security and nutritious meals for all.
The main focus of the day is that food is an essential and fundamental human need. In a world of billions, over 820 million people worldwide suffer chronic undernourishment, and 60% of those are women. Almost five million children under the age of five die of malnutrition-related causes every day. It’s also important to note that, while millions go hungry, 672 million people suffer from obesity, and a further 1.3 billion are overweight. Currently, twenty-three nations on the planet are planning to guarantee constitutionally the right to food for its people according to an FAO survey.
A while ago, I had a chance to stop by the Atlanta Community Food Bank for an incredible tour. During this visit, I took the opportunity to see the Hunger 101 presentation, which is particularly important for World Food Day. The Hunger 101 presentation increased my awareness about hunger and poverty on the local, state, and national levels. This presentation is an interactive community food game that shows what it is like to live a day in the life of a person who is an Atlanta Community Food Bank client. The objective of the game is to find out how much money you will need to purchase nutritious foods. There are a lot of obstacles in the way.
Some of the challenges were: clients living 30 miles away from the places that provide assistance, having lack of transportation, living on a minimum wage of $5.15 in the State of Georgia, poor access to healthy foods at the local market store, continuous paperwork to fill out for assistance, long lines and unfriendly workers at the assistance offices. The list goes on and on. Some people who are working underpaid full-time jobs have a tough time getting healthy food due to the lack of time to apply for any resources. Unfortunately, clients had to purchase the foods that were sold at the local stores near their home, which usually contain no fresh fruits and vegetables and expensive, unhealthy food items.
The Hunger 101 game teaches a life lesson on how hard it is to access healthy nutritious foods and that places like the Atlanta Community Food Bank are needed in all communities. For more information about Hunger 101 presentation, check out the following website: http://www.acfb.org/about/our-programs/hunger-101#workshops.
I learned a lot from this tour at the Atlanta Community Food Bank. I encourage people to get involved with your community organizations that provide food to local needy clients. The Good Samaritan Center and the Pantry are two such local organizations in Douglas County, Georgia. Master Gardeners regularly donate produce grown at the Community Garden to both.
What would you want to do in order to tackle hunger?
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