It's April Food Day! That's With a D Not an L
Bloggers Fighting Hunger join forces on April Fool's, I mean, April Food Day.
Today is the third annual April Food Day, an initiative launched by a bunch of bloggers as a hunger awareness campaign. It's a worthy way to shift the focus from foolishness to something worthwhile, and a good excuse to look at how to feed the world - and ourselves. April Fools is fun for a laugh but there's certainly nothing funny about 925 million hungry people - or 13.1 percent in the world -- and of course, it's not reserved for one day. So skip the stunts and indulge in this effort. Here's how:Blog about it with this logo and link back to April Food Day, link to Feeding America, Food Banks Canada, the UN's World Hunger Programme, Meals on Wheels, your local food bank or other worthy food-related cause. Donate money to the effort, donate food and time to a food bank. Start an edible community garden and donate the excess. Go meatless on April Fool's -- no joke.
There are a bounty of food issues: food waste, food used for fuel for vehicles, energy consumed for food production, our own malnutrition from poor eating, the impact of GMOs, the benefits of urban gardens, and the slow food movement.
It's about poverty and climate change, silly
The world produces enough food to feed everyone, as Hunger Notes explains: agriculture produces 17 percent more calories per person today than it did 30 years ago, despite a 70 percent population increase. This is enough to provide everyone in the world with at least 2,720 kilocalories per person per day according the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization. Among the problems with food distribution, poor soil and lack of education, it often comes down to poverty. Climate change is magnifying the problem with drought, flooding, and contaminated water to create food shortages. Super weeds caused by herbicides are choking farms.
But there are sustainable ways to apply innovative solutions to agricultural problems, as the organization Nourishing the Planet shows. For instance, Seattle-based Village Volunteers helps a community in Kenya harvest invasive water hyacinths and turn them into handmade products, from baskets to chairs, as a means to keeping the fast-growing plant from choking Lake Victoria's fish habitat.
April Food Day was launched by the editors of The Easy and Elegant Life, a blog that covers "the art of living well." They've posted facts and figures for the U.S, such as 50.2 million Americans lived in food insecure households, with children and seniors being particularly vulnerable. Their effort has grown into more than 200 bloggers posting last year and hopes to get more momentum - and more food on plates.
Another example, photographer Michael Nye put a face on hunger with 50 portraits of the "newly hungry" in his exhibit, "About Hunger & Resilience" at San Antonio's Witte Museum as described on NPR recently.
So pull a prank on hunger today. What are your good ideas?
More on hunger initiatives:
Can Excess Fruit Fight Urban Hunger?
Small-Scale Dairy Production Fights Hunger
Two Brothers with Two Buckets Take on World Hunger
How Organic Agriculture and Sustainable Food Systems Can Feed the World