Food for the Future
Millions of people both around the world and right here in Nashville are locked in a vicious cycle of hunger and poverty. Poverty means parents can’t feed their families enough nutritious food, leaving children hungry and malnourished. Malnutrition leads to stunted development and shorter, less productive lives. Less productive lives prevent an escape from poverty. We have to break this cycle, and we can.
There is no Miracle-Grow solution to end world hunger. It is admittedly complicated, but we do have a tried and true plan with tremendous opportunity to make a difference. Through country-owned investment plans and proven nutrition solutions we could lift 50 million people out of poverty and prevent stunting in 15 million children due to chronic malnutrition. The ONE Campaign and its 3 million members around the world called on the G8 last month to focus on 30 of the poorest countries with smart agriculture and nutrition plans. While president Obama announced The New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition during the G8 summit, programs like this still need to be put into practice and funded. If foreign assistance from the G8 mirrors the ups and downs of the global economy, then we are leaving the world’s poor on a roller coaster of hunger and poverty. Country-led agriculture and nutrition programs have the potential to end these cycles once and for all.
At the same time, local groups are using some of these same methods to fight hunger and promote healthy eating right here at home. Programs like Plant the Seed are using community gardens around East Nashville as classrooms to educate kids on healthy eating and empower them to grow their own food.
The Nashville Food Project is also growing food to feed the area’s homeless population. Combined with food from Second Harvest they create and deliver meals from their community gardens to feed Nashville’s undernourished populations.
And there are ways you can help! Agriculture is the number one way to fight poverty world-wide. So whether you volunteer to get your hands dirty yourself in one of NFP’s community gardens, support Second Harvest by attending their Culinary Arts Lunches (today and every Friday) or sign a petition to support funding for country-led farming programs in Africa, we can all work to provide food for the future.
The specter of heredity has lurked in the darker corners of Cheryl Perkins’ mind for as long as she can remember.
Her mother died of colon cancer four years ago, and nearly all of the women on her mother’s side of the family had hysterectomies between age 45 and 50 because of cancer diagnoses.
To read this and other Her Well-Being stories, click here.