Building the Path for a Successful Future: Food Security
Oct 17, 2022|2Zero Hunger
Food is an essential part of our lives. By having access to food, we can guarantee healthier lifestyles and enhance our growing and learning capacity. Think about it, have you ever tried to do homework on an empty stomach? It's hard. An empty stomach might make you angry and prevent concentration and focus.
However, millions of people around the world cannot afford a healthy diet, putting them at high risk of food insecurity and malnutrition. The problem is access and availability of nutritious food can be a challenge for some communities and/or individuals within communities. Conflicts, climate change, inequality, rising prices, and international tensions can get in the way. According to the organization, Action Against Hunger, almost one in ten people don't have enough food to eat. That is around 3.1 billion people worldwide who can't afford a healthy, nutritious diet.
A balanced diet provides the energy you need to think, focus and keep active throughout the day. This is why ensuring everyone has access to nutritious and affordable food is so important. Governments, the private sector, academia, civil society, and individuals need to work together to prioritize the right of all people to food, nutrition, peace, and equality.
Did you know October 16th is World Food Day?
World Food Day is an international day celebrated worldwide on October 16th to commemorate the founding of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in 1945.
Check out the video https://youtu.be/gnTV5chULxw
What is Food Security?
Food security is when people are able to access enough safe and nutritious food to meet their requirements for a healthy life in ways the planet can sustain itself in the future. In other words, it is knowing you will have something nutritious to eat for your next meal. It is not having to worry about not having food in your home and your tummy.
According to the USDA, more than 34 million people, including 9 million children, in the United States are food insecure.
Action Against Hunger
Many food security programs now exist in an international effort to tackle world hunger and food insecurity. The aim is to provide safety nets for the most vulnerable members of our society while helping small-scale farmers increase production.
For example, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the United States helps families of low incomes afford more nutritional foods. Including:
- Fruits and vegetables;
- Meat, poultry, and fish;
- Dairy products;
- Bread and cereals;
Other foods, such as snack foods and non-alcoholic beverages; and
- Seeds and plants to produce food for the household to eat.
However, households cannot use SNAP benefits to buy:
- Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, or tobacco
- Vitamins, medicines, and supplements.
- Live animals
- Pet foods
- Cleaning supplies, paper products, and other household supplies.
There should be absolutely no shame in using any of these benefits to afford nutritional food, and any family in need should be able to access the help needed.
But the United States isn't the only place with food programs. As a matter of fact, the United Nations runs a worldwide program called UN World Food Program. The UNWFP is the world's largest humanitarian organization saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability, and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters, and the impact of climate change.
It covers over 120 countries and territories and helped 128.2 million people in 2021 through food or cash distributions in emergencies, nutrition support programs, and activities to build resilience to climate and other issues.
Play their online game, Free Rice, and help families in need.
Freerice is an educational trivia game that helps you get smarter while making a difference for people worldwide. Every question you answer correctly raises 10 grains of rice for the World Food Programme (WFP) to support its work saving and changing lives around the world.
What else can you do?
Your mom has a point when she tells you not to waste food. But unfortunately, we waste far too much food in our homes while others go hungry worldwide. We must do better.
- Try not to waste food. Eat your leftovers
- Only buy the food you need
- Donate non-perishable items to food banks
- Educate others
Thinking Cap on:
The best thing you can do is educate others. Share the facts with friends and family, and get involved! For example, search #WorldFoodDay2022 and find out what others are doing to help.
Make a short video about why food security and having access to nutritional food is so important for kids your age. Or cook a meal with your family and learn about the costs of cooking and providing good family meals.