Imagine A World Where No One is Hungry
Editor: This week ushers in two UN Observances - World Food Day (16 October) and the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (17 October). It also sees the launch by Caritas Internationalis of its Week of Action (12-19 October) in its 'One Human Family, Food for All' campaign, a campaign supported by Pope Francis.
Although global food production has tripled since 1946 and the prevalence of undernourishment has dropped from 18.7 to 11.3 per cent globally, an estimated 805 million people are still chronically undernourished according to the latest Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO) estimates.
While the idea of eradicating world hunger by 2025 —Pope Francis' goal— may at first seem unimaginable, UN figures demonstrate that the hunger target of the Millennium Development Goal – of halving the proportion of undernourished people in developing countries by 2015 – is within reach.
At the Gathering Place in Newfoundland serving a noon meal to 80 to 150 guests per day; in the kitchens set up in the many small pueblos where Mercy Sisters minister in the Andes of Peru or on the Pacific coast; in feeding programs in Kenya; with students in the US Mercy schools programme — the Mercy Girl Effect—raising money to provide the children of the Nuba with much needed food; at the 'food for families' programme focussed on healthy eating in Te Waipuna Puawai Mercy Oasis in Ellerslie, Aotearoa New Zealand; serving meals at Mary's Table at Mary's Mercy Center in San Bernardino California; supplying nutritious meals for patients at an Anti Retroviral Clinic in Winterveldt, South Africa; partnering with VITA (an Irish NGO) for its work in Ethiopia; on meeting candidates for national and state offices in the US mid-terms to get a sense of where each candidate stands on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programme, formerly known as Food Stamps .... in all parts of the Mercy world, Sisters of Mercy and our partners-in-ministry feed the hungry and give drink to the thirsty through direct action and through our efforts to change unjust practices.
May we continue to respond to the hungers of our time in ways that are creative, compassionate, respectful, life-giving and life-changing and which 'contribute towards attacking the structural causes of extreme poverty.' (Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Address to the UN, 8 October, 2014).
Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA
Many Slices of Stale Bread. iStock. Used under licence
Pile of Brown Rice Isolated on White Background. iStock. Used under licence