Celebrating World Food Day

Celebrating World Food Day
From foodtank.com, by Emily Nink

As food system leaders gather in Iowa on World Food Day for the Borlaug Dialogues, the awarding of the World Food Prize, and the awarding of the Food Sovereignty Prize, nearly 1 billion people around the world continue to suffer from chronic hunger. More than 161 million children under the age of five are stunted, and one-third of childhood deaths are associated with malnutrition.


World Food Day, celebrated on October 16, 2015, mobilizes action around hunger issues and highlights the disproportionate impact of hunger on the world’s most vulnerable populations. Women make up 60 percent of those affected by hunger, and in the developing world, 13.5 percent of the population is malnourished.   


The United Nations recently adopted new Sustainable Development Goals, including a goal to end hunger, achieve food security, and improve both nutrition and sustainable agriculture by 2030. In celebration of World Food Day, many organizations are working to bring awareness to the persistent problem of global hunger and tackle food insecurity through innovative approaches. 


Food Tank is highlighting the work of 20 organizations fighting world hunger and poverty and advocating for economically and environmentally sustainable agriculture and food systems:


Alliance to End Hunger is made up of over 90 member organizations with the goal to end hunger through corporate, political, nonprofit, faith-based, and community partnerships and encouraging polices that support disenfranchised people. 


The Berkeley Food Institute aims to catalyze and support transformative changes in food systems, and to promote diversity, justice, resilience, and health at all levels. BFI envisions a world in which nutritious, affordable food is available for all and is produced sustainably and fairly – ensuring healthy people and a healthy planet.


The Center on Food Security and the Environment (FSE) at Stanford University works to influence public debate and build innovative collaborations with policymakers. FSE provides a clear voice on food policy issues, including those related to food insecurity. Dr. Roz Naylor, director of FSE, leads the Center’s courses on the world food economy, interactions between humans and the environment, and sustainable agriculture.


Community for Zero Hunger was formed as a response to the UN Zero Hunger Challenge and looks to identify unique solutions to hunger by engaging world leaders, experts, and individuals living and working in food insecure communities.


The Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)

envisions “a food secure Africa free from hunger and poverty,” achieved through encouragement of strategic partnerships and ongoing policy dialogue. Through such programs as Women Assessing Realigned Markets (WARM)—aimed at strengthening the voice of female farmers in policy development—FANRPAN publicizes sustainable agricultural practices that will contribute to food security in the face of climate change in Africa.


Fazenda da Toca, an organic agroecological farm of 2,300 hectares, is located 200 kilometers from Sao Paolo. The large-scale farm, owned by the family of Pedro Diniz, is changing the future of ecological agriculture. Diniz has transformed his family’s land into one of Brazil’s leading producers of organic eggs, dairy, and fruit while honoring his environmental conscience.


FoodCorps is an AmeriCorps program that trains and places emerging leaders into schools to work on programs designed to increase the number of healthy school children in the U.S. FoodCorps’ members educate children about food and nutrition, cultivate school gardens, and work with school food staff to change school meals to include healthy food from local farms. Tyrone Thompson, a FoodCorps service member with The STAR School in Navajo Nation, works to strengthen food security for the Diné people and create opportunities for local youth and community members.


Food First strives to eliminate economic injustices as the root causes of hunger. Beliving that the key to zero hunger is a shift away from transnational agri-food industry and toward community food systems, Food First conducts research and provides policy advocacy.  The institute’s educational projects foster informed citizen engagement with the institutions and policies currently controlling access to the food supply. Food First’s goal is to amplify the voices of social movements in the fight for both food justice and food sovereignty.  


The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN) is an international organization that helps create and support food banks to ensure food security and views food banking as a method of reducing food waste. GFN is currently active in dozens of countries and works closely with regional food bank networks around the world. 


Groundswell International is a bottom-up partnership of civil society organizations focused on agroecological farming practices, farmer innovation, farmer-to-farmer extension, community health, and strengthening local organizations to lead their own development processes.


The Hunger Project works in partnership with grassroots organizations in Africa, Asia and Latin America to develop effective bottom-up strategies empowering people to overcome hunger and poverty. Programs of the project teach self-reliance and foster partnerships with local governments.


Imperfect Produce, a project of the Food Recovery Network, delivers fresh, local produce to consumers’ doorsteps in the Bay Area in central California. By providing produce at a discount from grocery store prices, the project works to prevent food waste and increase food security.


La Via Campesina advocates for social justice by defending small-scale, sustainable agriculture. On Every October, La Via Campesina celebrates World Food Sovereignty Day to bring attention to the needs of small-scale farmers around the world and their role in ensuring food security and food justice.


One Acre Fund supports smallholder farmers in East Africa through financing, training, and facilitating market access. With a rapid growth rate, One Acre Fund estimates that by 2020 they will serve one million family farms that will produce enough to feed five million people.  


Prolinnova, an international platform initiated by non-governmental organizations, promotes local innovations in natural resource management and ecologically oriented agriculture. Farmers, pastoralists, fishers, and forest managers are recognized for their development of site-appropriate systems and adaptability in the face of new challenges.


Slow Food International works to protect biodiversity and raise awareness about urgent food system issues, including animal welfare, land grabbing, food waste, and much more.


The Small Planet Institute, founded in 2001 by Frances Moore Lappé, encourages U.S. citizens to actively participate in a democratic society as well as promote food democracy. The organization identifies important global issues and produces media that features solutions for a sustainable future.


The Sociedad Científica Latinoamericana de Agroecología (SOCLA) works to drive scientific discussion on agroecology in Latin America. Miguel Altieri, President of SOCLA and a leader in the field of agroecology, is implementing innovative approaches to hunger through science-based research and policy.


World Food Programme (WFP), an arm of the United Nations, provides food aid for vulnerable populations while working towards the goal of community self-sustainability and hunger eradication. WFP also works to keep food issues in the forefront of the international agenda and to advocate for the world’s poor.  


World Rural Forum began in 1998 and since then has brought together 42 institutional partners and more than 2000 contacts around the world to address issues in rural development. Sustainable agriculture is a key component of the World Rural Forum’s vision of rural development.  

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