By Sharon Kurtz~
Food is a fundamental human right. And yet, one in nine people around the world experience chronic hunger.
World Food Day 2020 celebrates food heroes — notably farmers and other food system workers — who ensure access to food, even through unprecedented disruptions created by COVID-19. This year’s theme is “Grow, Nourish, Sustain, Together.”
Access to safe and nutritious food is an essential part of the global response to the pandemic. World Food Day calls for global solidarity to help all populations, especially the most vulnerable, recover from the crisis and create improved food systems. An essential part of this goal is to develop sustainable agricultural practices that preserve natural resources and the climate.
As far back as 1945, the United Nations recognized food as not a privilege but a right. The UN formed the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) on October 16, 1945. Its primary focus is to eradicate hunger throughout the world. The FAO also aims to raise nutrition levels across the globe, improve agricultural productivity at all levels, enhance the lives of rural populations, and contribute to the world’s economic growth.
Exactly 34 years later, the UN marked October 16 as World Food Day to draw attention to the plight of the hungry. This 75th anniversary of the FAO’s founding — and the 41st World Food Day — marks an exceptional moment as countries worldwide work together to address the food shortages resulting from the widespread global COVID-19 pandemic effect.
Even before the pandemic, there were dramatic inequalities around the globe. The world produces enough food to feed all seven billion people, but those who go hungry either do not have land to grow food or money to purchase it. Furthermore, two billion people experience moderate or severe food insecurity, meaning they have difficulty accessing nutritious food regularly.
Now, in the midst of COVID-19, it is estimated that one in four children is considered “food insecure” just in the U.S., alone — up from one in seven children, before COVID-19. At-risk kids in Dallas County are at a greater risk of food insecurity, as well.
But there is hope, even as the impact of hunger has grown over the decades.
In 1982, four philanthropic Dallas women decided to address the critical issue of hunger in our community. They began to distribute surplus food and grocery products through a network of charitable organizations.
Today, the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) continues this fight against hunger. It is committed to closing the hunger gap in our community by providing access to nutritious food.
In honor of World Food Day, here’s how you can help:
Visit the North Texas Food Bank website for more information.