The feeling of hunger affects everyone. It respects no geographical location or boundary. It does not discriminate between race, occupation, public status or gender.
Hunger is a common language known to all humans. You can only drown its voice by filling your stomach with a healthy meal. But in a narrower sense, hunger (starvation) is accustomed to some persons than others. And unlike poverty, it can be eradicated. What to eat (or food) shouldn’t be a luxury item; the quality of what is eaten may be a luxury.
Though it is recommended that a person should have a 3-square meal daily, having not to sleep on an empty stomach is appreciable. The burden of having food on the table gets tougher for poor families with many mouths to feed. In many places, hunger has been biting hard on the poor and vulnerable. Therefore, something must be done to make food a commodity that does not come at an extreme cost. It should be a fundamental human right to have what to eat.
Globally, World Food Day has been accepted as a veritable tool, and a necessary one at that, at creating awareness regarding food shortage in homes across the globe. The prevalence of negative climatic conditions such as droughts and floods have threatened productivity on the farms, and agriculture in general. Also, wars and communal crises in most agrarian settlements have transferred many into the uncaring hands of starvation.
And as people in some economies can barely earn a dollar wage in a day then having a decent meal becomes a tall order. Therefore, acknowledging hunger, an effect of all the above causes and more, is welcoming.
The World Food Day is marked on the 16th of October every year. In the year 2019, “the focus was on making healthy and sustainable diets available and affordable to everyone”, (source; Food and Agriculture Organisation of The United Nations, FAO). As good as the theme for the 2019 celebration was, it leaves many questions unanswered. When considering a healthy and sustainable diet it may seem an ambiguous idea. As important as nutrition is, having a balanced diet or attempting to be selective on what to eat will likely be a tough discussion or decision for the poor and vulnerable. Really, beggars can’t be choosers.
What most households do require is just a healthy (not harmful) meal that can sustain energy. Most people eat what will sustain them for the tedious jobs they do engage in. There are staple foods that most families can afford; foods such as rice, millet, cowpea, cassava, etc.
Therefore, the advocacy should be for the governments to ensure that such crops are given priority in their respective agricultural master plans. While we look forward to a time when quality (processed) food will be less costly, let us in the now produce crops in abundance so that the poor and vulnerable can always have a meal on their tables.
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