Today is World Hunger Day, a day to inspire people all over the world to show support for the women, men and children who are fighting towards ending their own hunger.
It’s about putting an end to the cycle of poverty and aid. It’s about celebrating those communities who are claiming their right to a full stomach, to dignity and independence.
It’s about standing in solidarity with the 795 million people worldwide who still need a hand-up to rise above the poverty line.
Launched by The Hunger Project UK in 2011, it has grown to be a global movement.
This year, the day is specifically targeted towards exploring the causes of chronic hunger, which affects over 90 per cent of the world’s hungry people.
Chronic hunger isn’t the result of famine, or of emergency crises. Chronic hunger is the day-in-day-out lack of vital nutrients that the body needs.
It’s a silent symptom of poverty and social inequities, such as child marriage, climate change, lack of women’s empowerment, lack of access to clean water and sanitation facilities, and lack of education and literacy.
But it has already been proven that between us, we have got the power to end chronic hunger.
Did you know that since 1990, world hunger has been cut almost in half? That progress is astonishing, and just goes to prove that if everyone plays their part, hunger can be a thing of the past.
The Hunger Project believes that the solution to hunger isn’t about hand-outs and a top-down approach, but a bottom-up approach that starts with women, works with local government and enables communities to take action on their own behalf.
Their vision is a world where every woman, man and child leads a healthy, fulfilling life of self-reliance and dignity, for good.
And you can help.
What You Can Do
1. Sign Up
This is an easy one. UPLIFT has created a film with The Hunger Project that meets some of the people around the world who are championing change and helping put an end to hunger in their own communities. UPLIFT is also committing $1 to every email sign-up to The Hunger Project.
Watch the film and then sign up, here.
2. Challenge Yourself
The Hunger Project has designed two food-related challenges, to help you fundraise and to help you understand what it really means to live without enough food.
A Day in Her Food
Hunger around the world has a disproportionate effect on women. This challenge aims to raise awareness of the fact that, of the 795 million hungry people in the world, 60 per cent are women and girls.
But The Hunger Project knows from their work that women and girls are the key to ending hunger. When a woman is empowered and supported, everyone benefits: communities become more resilient, families are healthier, more children go to school, incomes increase and agricultural productivity improves.
While it doesn’t completely recreate what the experience is like for a woman living in chronic hunger, this challenge gives you the opportunity to understand to a small extent what life might be like for her, and the decisions she may have to make.
For this challenge, you pick a menu from one of three countries where The Hunger Project works – Senegal, Bangladesh and Peru – and stick to that menu for the day.
The menus have been drawn up with advice from their in-country teams, and they represent an example of what a woman living in hunger in one of these countries might eat.
No Sugar Challenge
This one invites people to challenge themselves and fundraise by living without sugar for a week!
So, for one week in June, you can say NO to added, processed sugar and artificial sweeteners, in solidarity with those people around the world for whom treats are a rare occurrence.
For these people, food isn’t about enjoyment, it’s about staying alive. Many of us in the UK are privileged enough to use food as a leisure activity, but the No Sugar Challenge is a chance to experience food from another perspective.
But don’t fear, you won’t be alone. The Hunger Project will support you with tips and advice from professional health coaches as part of the challenge, like how to deal with sugar cravings, and new recipes for you to try.
All you need to do is pick any week between May 29 and the end of June, and set up a fundraising page on JustGiving so your friends and family can support you. And then it’s no more sugary snacks for you for a week! How hard can that be, right?
3. Tell your friends
Spread the word about World Hunger Day. The more people who know about it, the bigger the potential for change.
The Hunger Project has put together a Social Media Toolkit that you can access here, to help you share the message on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram most effectively.
And of course don’t forget to use #WorldHungerDay
Every penny raised by The Hunger Project goes to supporting their work across the world to sustainably end hunger.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure you get involved in some way with World Hunger Day. Together, we do have the power to end chronic hunger.
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