World Food Day: Apples, Potatoes and Chickens

Woman in Ethiopia watering in tree nursery.

World Food Day is celebrated every October 16 in honor of the formation of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in 1945. It’s a day for everyone to pause…take a breath…and notice the work being done to end hunger worldwide.

This year’s theme is: Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition.

In the past years, many organizations launched approaches for creating access to food. Some have worked. Some have not worked. But the solutions that achieved positive results are amazing. Such as Food for the Hungry (FH) programs in the Amhara region of Ethiopia, where FH staff and Ethiopian farmers are creating reliable food production.

Ethiopia’s Food Insecurity

Did you know that 2.48 million Ethiopians are still suffering from acute food insecurity? This fact sort of shocked me.

In 2011, Ethiopia was a part of the Horn of Africa food crisis that affected 13 million people, which included Somalians and Kenyans. It was all over the news. Then it just disappeared from the airwaves.

But today, the Horn of Africa food issues continues with 8 million people suffering from food instability. This fact isn’t in the news anymore—but to me, that’s still a newsworthy number of people who need our help.

Apples, Potatoes and Chickens

FH started working in Ethiopia 1984, and through drought-resistant programs created sustainable food systems, such as apple orchards. In 2011, during the big food crisis, farmers harvested thousands of nutritious apples. And recently, through partnership with USAID, FH gave 30,000 apple tree seedlings to 4,000 Ethiopians.

This means in several years, there will be another reliable food source for Ethiopians.

Another program includes drought-resistant potatoes being grown on terraced fields, producing up to 2.6 metric tons of potatoes in one harvest! Using new watering techniques, Ethiopian farmers are now producing large quantities of food for their country.

Then there are the chicken farming programs. One chicken lays up to 259 eggs a year. These farmers now have thousands of chickens, so we’re talking lots of good protein being produced.

Solutions that Sustain

Why am I sharing all of this with you? Because on every World Food Day—you should pause and realize that you are a part of ending worldwide hunger.

When you partner with FH, you’re not giving money that helps temporarily feed a hungry child or family. You’re investing in ending poverty. Once impoverished farmers learn skills for crop production, and then teach their children, and those children teach their children…that’s permanent change. It’s just gets better and better from that point on.

So this World Food Day, take a moment to pause, tell a friend and praise God that you’re a part of a great work in ending poverty.

About Renee Targos

Renee is a former journalist and editor for national arts and business publications. As a writer for Food for the Hungry, Renee explores and reports on the work and relationships of partners, FH staff and impoverished communities.

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