It's World Food Day. A great day for all of us who are able to put food on the table to remember that not all of the world's citizens are so lucky. It doesn't have to be that way. It's also Blog Action Day. This year's theme – human rights – got us thinking about food security and the #1 Millennium Development Goal: to eradicate poverty and extreme hunger.
Some thoughts we've shared previously here on NVR...
From our travels, we know all too well about poverty and the unrelenting strangle-hold it has on millions of people around the world. Heck, this reality accounts for a big chunk of the motivation behind our No Vacation Required life. We owe it to those living in despair – the ghosts of society – to live a full life and to be a voice for them along the way.
We think of our inspirers in South America who are lucky if they get one meal a day; we think of our “family” in Zambia that had never had a meal away from home until we met; we think about the fact that one in seven world citizens is chronically hungry.
Yep, a billion people are chronically hungry despite an over-abundance of food in parts of the world. Right now, here in the United States, a record number of people (about 46 million) are using food stamps. Disturbingly, this comes at a time when our home country also has a record number of millionaires.
You read that correctly. We have a record number of people relying on food stamps in order to live and a record number of millionaires.
By about 2050, there will be around 9 billion people on the planet. We need a better food system – one that more effectively feeds a growing population. Please join us in the fight by doing a few things:
1) Over a meal during the week ahead, get to thinking about your relationship with food. Ponder the following on your own or with your dining companions.
- Where does your food come from?
- Who is the face behind your food?
- How is the global food system connected?
2) Now that you've done some pondering, check out these actions you can take in order to be part of positive change. Oxfam’s “Grow” campaign is a catalyst for such change.
3) Get vocal in your community and in your world! Three ideas:
a) Hold the "Big 10" food/beverage companies accountable for their actions. Details here.
b) Join Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign. Kids who know the value of nutrition become adults who know the value of nutrition.
c) Let your elected officials know that you think the hunger crisis is important. The key is getting power back into the hands of those who deserve it – the people who produce food and the people who consume food.
We're off to New York City to attend the annual Wine and Food Festival. It's a charitable event with all net proceeds benefitting hunger related organizations, including Share Our Strength. Check back for more on that and other initiatives we're plotting through the end of the year.
So, where will you sit? With the silent majority or with the vocal minority who want to make the world more hospitable for everyone?