October 16 is World Food Day. According to the World Bank upwards of 70-million people are facing extreme poverty.
But it’s not just people living in other areas of the world that are facing life-threatening food shortages. Right here in Canada, nearly 900-thousand people relied on Food Banks in March 2010. That’s an almost 20% increase since 2000.
Most of the people who turned to food banks were families with kids. In fact, according to Food Banks Canada, 38% of of those fed were children and youth under 18 years old.
It’s startling to me how we can let this happen. I’m lucky enough to work in a field surrounded by good and high quality food and wine; yet in a house next door or down the street, there’s a very real possibility a child has gone to bed hungry. That’s just not right.
The statistics are grim and sad — but they don’t have to be. Dozens of organizations are helping make a difference, and they’re making it easy for you to help, too. Oxfam Canada, for one, is challenging Canadians from now until October 22 to share a meal with friends or family made from organic, local or fair trade ingredients. The idea is to get people talking.
Of course, talking alone won’t solve the problem, but it’s a good way to understand where that can of soup you just just dropped in the food bin is going and who it’s helping.
For more information check out these websites:
Food Banks Canada
Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations