New York, N.Y. — Looking toward World Food Day – Tuesday, October 16 – humanitarian agency Church World Service has called for Americans to make the fight to end hunger a regular part of their daily diets, citing the one in seven people who are hungry in the world, a looming food crisis and, in the U.S., the 1 in 6 people – including 1 in 5 children – struggling with hunger.
As a partner in the World Food Day USA coalition, CWS has initiated a campaign to engage individuals, families, faith-based and other community groups across the United States. in joining World Food Day actions, from hosting local Share a Meal events with conversations focused on solutions to world hunger, to participating in fundraising events such as CROP Hunger Walks that are scheduled around World Food Day in communities nationwide.
A comprehensive, interactive World Food Day USA website details many more grassroots involvement ideas, like starting a garden, engaging local schools and colleges, or organizing a food packaging event.
Announcing its Share a Meal initiative, CWS has issued a national invitation to its constituents across the U.S. to get on board. The relief and development agency is offering free resources for World Food Day engagement, including special placemats illustrating successful farming cooperative projects, to help inspire dinner conversations. The focus echoes this year’s United Nations World Food Day theme is “Agricultural cooperatives – key to feeding the world.”
CWS-sponsored CROP Hunger Walks are the nation’s oldest walks for hunger and the only charity event that raises funds for both local and international hunger programs. Some 881 of the agency’s fall walks are scheduled countrywide in the days surrounding World Food Day.
The relief, development and advocacy agency is also encouraging Americans to speak out to their leaders in Washington, pressing for a “faithful budget” that protects the Senate’s FY 2013 funding levels for overseas relief and development programs.
In the lead-up to World Food Day, CWS East Africa Humanitarian and Emergency Coordinator Sammy Mutua is in the U.S. this month and has traveled to Denver, Colo., Cleveland, Ohio, and New York City, speaking to groups about the continued food crisis and climate change-exacerbated droughts in the Horn of Africa and the Sahel.
But Mutua also has been reporting good news from ground level: that in such challenged regions — with a little support, greater awareness and the right education, supplies and resources — even some of the poorest communities are improving their food and nutrition security situation by growing drought-resilient, more diverse and nutritionally balanced foods, and by using cheap, effective micronutrient supplements to bring their children back from malnutrition.