Global food and hunger

More than 790 million people face hunger globally today out of a world population of 7.3 billion. A complex array of reasons, including inaccessibility to food, food waste and unjust food systems have resulted in malnutrition and hunger.

At the UN level, countries have committed to work toward “zero hunger” as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. The commitment includes ensuring that people not only have enough food, but access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.

In July 2016 the Global Food Security Act was signed into U.S. law to provide increased funding for food security. While increased funding is welcome, the law relies largely on partnerships with multinational corporations as part of an overall framework of profit-oriented trade.

The Food for Peace Reform Act did not move through Congress. The bill would have reformed U.S. food assistance programs to make them more efficient and effective by allowing more food to be purchased locally and regionally. This would greatly reduce the delivery time and increase the reach of various food assistance programs without additional cost.

Our office worked to increase support for the Food for Peace Reform Act and helped to raise awareness about agroecology, which aims to conserve natural resources like soil and water. The fall/winter issue of the Washington Memo, “Be fruitful: Ending global hunger,” focused on the issue on the occasion of World Food Day, providing informational and worship resources. —Charles Kwuelum