Yes we can: all eat enough, all eat healthy!

by Mary Marete last modified 15 October 2015 04:06 PM
Yes we can: all eat enough, all eat healthy!

Child at St Francis Care Centre Rainbow Cottage, Johannesburg. Photo: Paul Jeffrey/EAA/WCC

15 October 2015

The right to food is an inalienable human right. Every man, woman and child has the right to eat a healthy, varied and affordable diet. This concerns not just the quantity, but also the quality of food. The benevolent creator has provided abundance of food to all (Psalms 104: 13-15). In the old testament he leads his people to a good land, a land of abundance, a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey (Deuteronomy 8:7–10).

The Lord has provided not just enough food, but diversified crops for our balanced diets. Recent studies show that there is enough calories produced to fees everyone just fine.

Advances since 1990 show that making hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition history is possible. The root cause of hunger and malnutrition is largely believed to be poverty. Two things are evident; first there are no hungry people with money and second; there is no shortage of food.

Most people who suffer from hunger usually say “I don’t have the resources to produce my own food”, or “I don’t have money to buy my own food”. Hunger and malnutrition is not about agriculture, it is about economics, about inequality, and about justice.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), inclusive growth provides opportunities for those with meagre assets and skills, and improves the livelihoods and incomes of the poor, especially in agriculture. It is therefore among the most effective tools for fighting hunger and food insecurity, and for attaining sustainable progress.

The good news is that overall, the commitment to halve the percentage of hungry people, that is, to reach the Millennium Development Goal 1 by 2015, has been almost met at the global level. The unfortunate news is that 795 million people are still starving and mostly as a result of a broken food system.

An unregulated and unjust food system that is about making money, not feeding people compounds the problem of hunger. Deliberate actions of some create the unjust food system that takes land and displaces them to plant cash crops, which at times reduces them to hungry laborers. In addition, diversification of diets is often lost as farmers lose their food sovereignty.

As faith based community we have been and will continue to be at the forefront to bring our unique faith based unified voice to advocate for the vulnerable groups living in hunger and poverty. We will continue to join efforts of other their organizations and other stakeholders to make hunger and malnutrition history through the Zero Hunger Challenge, and the post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda.

The call to give the to give to poor does not leave us in want as we serve the Lord with our various gifts and in various ways including advocacy, informing and engaging the public in social protection related activities. As with the five loaves and two fish, the Lord multiplies what we offer him to feed the hungry (Mathew 14:19).

The Lord upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry (Psalm 146:7).

Our Lord who sets prisoners free: let those who hunger have bread, and let those who have bread hunger for justice!


The impressions, hopes and ideas expressed in this blog are the contributions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or policies of the World Council of Churches.

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