Every time I start a new campaign, I want to make the political personal. When I first joined ActionAid, I was really inspired by the supermarkets campaign. The aim is to get government regulation that forces the supermarkets to play fair overseas. The first thing I did was to look at how well the companies responded to our campaign. The second was to change where I shop as a result.
I’ve been working on HungerFREE for a while now, but it’s only just starting to go public. This exciting new campaign will be debuting in October with a focus on getting Gordon Brown to take hunger personally. All the work we are doing to get it ready has gotten me thinking. There are lots of changes we can all make in daily life to help tackle hunger.
Make no mistake, hunger is a political issue and it needs political action. There is enough food in the world to feed everyone, yet one billion people live with chronic hunger. The most important thing we need to do is pressure politicians here to take hunger seriously and do something about it. At the same time, people in developing countries are fighting to have their right to food respected.
But before I can ask politicians to respect people’s right to food, I want to make sure I am giving food itself the respect it deserves. Personally using less food here doesn’t translate directly into more food in Kenya. But wasting food does have an impact. Our society sees food as a throwaway commodity. It’s cheap, plentiful and easy to replace. We need to remember that food is actually an essential, one that a sixth of the world’s population doesn’t have enough of. And unless we make changes in the way food is produced, traded and consumed, the problem will get worse. Reducing the amount of food we waste is one piece of that puzzle.
I’ll let you know how my efforts go. In return, I’d love to hear from you what you think about how we can end hunger.