Today Friday, October 16, is World Food Day, a global day dedicated to the eradication of world hunger. On this day in 1945, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) was founded in Quebec, Canada.
Each year, World Food Day has a theme which focuses on one hunger-related issue. Many of the themes focus on agriculture, as agriculture alone will provide relief for those suffering.
The 2015 theme of World Food Day is “Social Protection and Agriculture: Breaking the Cycle of Rural Poverty.” The range of services that social protection provides decreases rural poverty and offers access to food, or a way to buy food.
According to the World Food Programme, 795 million people suffer from chronic hunger, this equates to one in nine people going to bed hungry. This costs the global economy $3.5 trillion US dollars.
Our local Feeding America Food Bank, Lowcountry Food Bank (LCFB), released statistics surrounding hunger in the United States and our home state of South Carolina:
- More than 46 Million Americans are served through Feeding America’s network of over 200 food banks.
- More than 631,300 people are served each year in South Carolina.
- LCFB distributes more than 24 million pounds of food including more than 5 million pounds of produce each year.
In addition to increasing the levels of global insecurity and environmental degradation, hunger leads to several lasting physical effects including:
- Learning difficulties
- Decrease in productivity
- Increase in frequency of sickness
- Decrease in lifespan
When tackling such an overwhelming issue such as world hunger, it’s easy to think that your donations or volunteer hours do not amount to much. However, in order to put a dent in the world food crisis, every bit helps. If you start acting locally, you consider the wellbeing of the entire globe while positively impacting your neighbors in your own backyard.
There are many different ways to help achieve global goal #2:
1. Hunger walks
Register for a local hunger walk to raise hunger awareness and raise money for hunger relief.
2. Host a World Food Day dinner with family and friends.
Discuss the issues of hunger, farming, and food over a delicious, home cooked meal.
3. Food Packaging Events
This past Spoontember (September), Good Done Great volunteered at the Lowcountry Food Bank packing apples to be delivered to individuals in Charleston, Myrtle Beach, and Yemassee, South Carolina. Our group of five volunteers in addition to four Bosch employees packed over 233 bags of apples which amounted to 3000 pounds! Take a look at our photos of the event here.
4. Host a Food Drive
Contact your local food bank to determine the food that is in the greatest need. Tape posters around your office requesting donations and place food donation bins in highly trafficked areas.
5. Conduct a Virtual Food Drive
If you cannot collect food items, offer your employees the opportunity to donate via a “virtual food drive” in which employees will select a food donation item.
Yum! Brands manages the world’s largest private sector hunger relief initiative which spans over 125 countries, over 41,000 KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell locations, and 1.5 million associates. Through the Yum! Harvest program, Yum! has donated on average over 10 million pounds of food annually to partner agencies within the United States and globally. Their partnership with Food Donation Connection, the industry leader in coordinating prepared food donations, allows Yum! to conduct the program.
We have a lot of work to do to end hunger by the year 2030, but if we act locally by donating and volunteering, we can begin to curtail hunger around the globe!