World Food Day 2012 - Raising Awareness of Food Security and Strengthening Solidarity in the Struggle Against Hunger

Woman smallholder farmer

Today, October 16th is World Food Day, a day which aims to heighten public awareness of world food problems and strengthen solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty. 

The theme for World Food Day 2012 is 'Agricultural cooperatives – key to feeding the world', which seeks to highlight the role of cooperatives in improving food security and contributing to the eradication of hunger. 

The HGSF initiative directly adheres to this theme; highlighting the role of agricultural cooperatives in improving food security, not only does it create jobs and profits for smallholder farmers, by it also increases the sustainable livelihoods for those involved in the transportation, processing, and preparation of food along the school feeding supply chain. 

HGSF promotes local agriculture and benefits rural farmers by using locally-sourced food, providing regular orders and a reliable income for local farmers, the majority of whom are women who deliver food to be used in school feeding programmes, at the same time this improves the education, health, and nutrition of children. 

The Vital Need to Improve School Health and Nutrition

Child eating in school

Without adequate food and nutrition it is far more difficult for a child to learn. It is a crucial factor for learning and education.

Disadvantaged children –the poor, the marginalized, girls, children in fragile states– often suffer the most from ill health and malnutrition and therefore benefit most from school health programmes and school feeding. 

• Across the developing world, 66 million primary school-age children go to school hungry, 23 million of these children live in Africa alone. 

• 1 out of 4 children – roughly 146 million – in developing countries is underweight

A daily school meal helps children learn better and it provides a strong incentive for poor parents to send their children to school. It allows children to focus on their studies, rather than their stomachs and can also contribute to enhancing a child's nutrition. 

Reducing malnutrition is a cornerstone of poverty reduction. Deficiencies such as iron deficiency, iodine deficiency and Vitamin A. These deficiencies negatively impact on children’s physical growth and mental development leading to stunting, poor cognitive function and poor school performance.

Key Documents and Further Information 

Rethinking school feeding: Social Safety Nets, Child Development and the Education Sector

Read more on HGSF Sourcing from local farmers, how HGSF helps those involved along the School feeding supply chain and how it aids School Health and Nutrition.  

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