World Food Day is observed on 16 October every year, initially started to commemorate the formation of the FAO in 1945, it is now a dedicated day of action to tackle issues of global hunger, malnutrition and food insecurity.
Over 150 countries around the world, participate to promote worldwide awareness and action for all those who suffer from hunger.
Malnutrition can be defined as a deficiency or imbalance of a person’s intake of nutrients and energy. There are two types of malnutrition, undernutrition, this includes stunting, wasting, being underweight and having various micronutrient (vitamin & mineral) deficiencies. The other is overweight, obesity and diet-related NCDs (WHO, malnutrition, 2016).
Food security, as defined by the FAO, exists when ALL people, at ALL times, have physical, social and economic access to SUFFICIENT, SAFE and NUTRITIOUS food which meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy lifestyle.
This year’s theme is, “Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together. Our actions are our future” which couldn’t be a better theme in the midst of a global pandemic where resources are scarce and the poverty gap has never been more prominent. Over 2 billion people worldwide do not have regular access to safe, healthy and sufficient amounts of food, which exacerbates the issue of Food Security within our communities.
“World Food Day is calling for global solidarity to help all populations, and especially the most vulnerable, to recover from the crisis, and to make food systems more resilient and robust so they can withstand increasing volatility and climate shocks, deliver affordable and sustainable healthy diets for all, and decent livelihoods for food system workers”
Everyone can play their part in helping in any small way they can, here are some tips from the FAO:
How You Can Help and Take Action:
- Choose healthy and diverse – a healthy diet supports a healthy life, a diverse diet supports biodiversity
- Influence positive will – promote healthy eating, promote healthy buying #WorldFoodDay
- Join initiatives – we can all be #FoodHeroes by joining initiatives which promote awareness
- Choose local – support locally grown fresh foods
- Choose seasonal – by buying fruits & vegetables which are in season, you support local but also helps you reduce your carbon footprint
- Grow food at home
- Support development initiatives – by supporting local initiatives to support access to safe and healthy food to affected communities
- Support food-related businesses and retailers
Other small ways you can help:
- Donate to charities which help provide safe, healthy and nutritious meals to those who need it
- Volunteer and various organizations to help prepare food
- Give food to those who need it most
- Cut down on food waste
To read more on:
World Food Day: http://www.fao.org/world-food-day/home/en/