Feeding the 5,000 was a huge success. Undeterred by snow and cold, we fed thousands with yummy food that would otherwise have gone to waste.
ActionAid was there asking people to sign our petition. I also gave a short speech. In case you missed it, here it is again (with some photos of the event):
A billion people will go to bed hungry tonight. A child dies every 10 seconds simply because they don’t have enough food. These are huge challenges but they can be solved with some tiny changes.
It’s surprising just how small these solutions are. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation has calculated that the average person needs just 250 more calories a day to lift them out of hunger. That’s two thick slices of bread or a small bowl of rice. That doesn’t sound like an impossible task?And it isn’t. Humanity actually produces enough food to feed ourselves. We grow enough for every man, woman and child to eat what they need. The problem isn’t how much food we have, but what we do with it.
In a world where one out of every six people lives with chronic hunger, it is a tragedy and a scandal that so much of our food ends up in the bin. The energy and resources that went into producing that food could have been put to much better use.
If we all made small changes to the way we shop and eat, we could free up these resources. Hopefully, today’s event will inspire people to think about little things, like making a list before going to the supermarket, that will collectively make a big difference.
Food waste must also be tackled in developing countries. Up to half of all the food grown in these places is lost after the harvest. This waste is completely preventable. Handing out metal bins to store grain in Afghanistan brought losses down to less than 2%.
As I said, many of the solutions to world hunger are truly tiny.
In India, for example, ActionAid works with fisherfolk who need just a small investment to be able to feed their families. Totamma is a mother of two children who isn’t able to put enough food on the table. A 500 litre tub costing just 30 pounds would allow her to safely store fish so they could be sold to people a few days after they are caught. This small change would hugely increase her income. As a result the family would be able to eat three meals a day.
Farmers, fisherfolk, rural workers. These people know how precious food is. They know how safeguard it and reduce waste. But so often their food goes to waste for want of small, simple and inexpensive technology.
To help farmers in poor countries feed themselves, their families and their communities, the world needs to invest more in agriculture - containers to store grain safely, better quality seeds and simple farm tools all make a big difference. That’s why ActionAid is calling countries rich and poor to give them a helping hand.
Please help us create a HungerFREE world.
Photos: Mark Chilvers/ActionAid.