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Support World Food Day with a virtual ‘Living Wall’

15 October 2010
Not everyone can rely on three meals a day. Photo DFID via Flickr

Not everyone is privileged enough to receive three meals a day. Photo DFID via Flickr

Tomorrow is World Food Day. Think about going to bed hungry every night. Think about waking up in the morning and knowing that you’ll remain hungry.

Think about relying on your own small garden for your survival.

Think about what it would mean if you could no longer grow your food due to drought, or having to leave your home because of armed conflict. Think about not being able to feed your children.

This is a reality for over 1 billion people on earth. One sixth of the world’s population suffers from food insecurity, the vast majority of whom live in the world’s poorest nations. This impacts on their overall health and their ability to sustain themselves – a starving person cannot travel long distances to find work, and a starving child cannot concentrate in school.

The UN states that ‘food is a requisite for human survival and well-being and is a fundamental human necessity’ (Resolution 35/70 of 5 December 1980). Unfortunately, the global economic crisis, coupled with rising food costs, not to mention the impacts of climate change, have created major difficulties in ensuring that all people have access to food security.

Food security is an inalienable human right. Photo: Steven de Polo

Food security is an inalienable human right. Photo: Steven de Polo

In light of the recognition that food security is an inalienable human right, World Food Day was launched in 1979 by the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organisation, and was endorsed by the UN the following year. The aim of World Food Day is to ‘heighten public awareness of the world food problem and strengthen solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty’.

World Food Day 2010 is based on the theme of ‘Unite Against Hunger’, and unite is indeed what the world has done. There are 150 events taking place globally to commemorate World Food Day, concluding with a symbolic world-wide flag-raising against hunger.

You can give school nutrition programmes a boost. Photo: Ariztravel via Flickr

You can give school nutrition programmes a boost. Photo: Ariztravel via Flickr

You can be involved and make a difference in one very easy way – through registering for the Woolworths ‘Living Wall’ free online initiative.  You can click here, select an empty plant container on the online wall, and choose your plant – you have the options of strawberries, tomatoes, basil or spinach, all of which are fast-growing and nutritious (and delicious!). Woolworths will then donate a real plant to one of the many underprivileged schools in South Africa which have permaculture projects. By participating in this initiative, you will be contributing a much-needed boost to school nutrition programmes in South Africa, and helping the youth of our country to develop their full potential, as an empty belly severely impacts your ability to concentrate and learn!

Remember, World Food Day is just one day, but there are one billion people, every day, who go to bed hungry. Remember them, contribute to feeding schemes, get involved in permaculture projects, start a community food garden. Protest climate change and start greening your own life. The number of hungry people in the world will only grow unless everyone recognises the necessity of changing our consumption patterns. Go Green! Support World Food Day!

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