World Food Day

16 10 2010

October 16 is World Food Day. This year, the theme of the day is “united against hunger”.

We are fortunate in Canada to be among the world’s healthiest populations and producers of significant amounts of food. From grains to fish, our ability to draw from the land and waters is abundant. Still, we have our own problems with hunger. Many find this surprising, but we nonetheless have a sizeable number of people in this country who do not get adequate food on a regular basis. Food banks, hot meal programs, community gardens, and various public health and community initiatives are aimed at this food insecurity problem. Here in Hamilton, local farmers and concerned donors have joined in the battle against hunger. Hamilton Food Share was out in those fields today, receiving freshly-harvested carrots destined for food banks in the coming days. Increasing the amount of fresh food available to food bank users is just one of the challenges facing local service providers.

In coming weeks Karen will be working with the Hamilton Community Foundation to support a community initiative aimed at bringing enhanced nutrition and food intake to local schools. Hunger hits children particularly hard, negatively affecting their development and learning. More than 8,000 children use local food banks despite breakfast programs and school nutrition initiatives. Watch for future updates about the local food insecurity landscape and the Hamilton Community Foundation initiative.

Of interest, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization has a world hunger map indicating levels of food insecurity and hunger around the globe. With the exception of Australia and New Zealand, the current map shows the entire southern hemisphere as being hungry to varying degrees. North of the equator, parts of Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean, China, the Middle East and Southeast Asia are indicated on the map as experiencing some level of hunger but nowhere in North America, Europe, Scandinavia, Japan, or the rest of Asia.

For more information, visit www.fao.org.

To support local food banks, go to: www.hamiltonfoodshare.org. Every $1 in donations raises $5 in food. To support the Hamilton Community Foundation, go to: www.hcf.on.ca.

You can add your name to the worldwide anti-hunger petition by going to: www.1billionhungry.org.

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