Updated 16 October 2014

World Food Day – more than just feeding the hungry

Family farming is the focus of World Food Day on 16 October 2014, coupled with the theme: 'Feeding the world, caring for the earth'.


Food insecurity needs to be approached in several ways, one of which is being concerned with sufficient income with which to purchase food that is healthy and wholesome and which contains sufficient calories and nutrients.

Affordable food

Another takes a broader perspective and emphases the inability of a county or region to provide affordable food to its population.

Read: South Africa's 'hidden hunger'

This can be due to constraints on the physical environment limiting the production of food such as water scarcity, poor soil quality and climate change. Weaknesses in the economic environment can also prevent the importation of food or investment in the infrastructure, such as roads, dams and agricultural extension, needed to exploit available natural resources.

A third approach focuses on individual attributes such as biological constraints leading to a predisposition to nutrition related illnesses, as well as the choices and behaviours that increase the risk of non-communicable disease.

Food insecurity and malnourishment are serious issues in South Africa. Co-director of the Centre, Prof Sheryl Hendriks uses data from Statistics South Africa to estimate that 13 percent of the population face chronic hunger, some of whom experience starvation.

Family Farming is the focus of World Food Day 2014 coupled with the theme: “Feeding the world, caring for the earth”.

Family farming to eradicate hunger

The topic has been chosen to raise the profile of family farming and smallholder farmers. It focuses world attention on the significant role of family farming in eradicating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment, and achieving sustainable development, in particular in rural areas.
As the leaders in thinking around Food Security, UWC are hosting the game “Second Life” which will be used as a tool to combat the threat of hunger. It will be live-streamed to the Missouri University and other partners who would like to view as well.

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Live broadcast of Second Life, the largest-ever 3D virtual world created entirely by its users, will see students take the role of a farmer wanting to increase their agricultural output (Role Play). Each student will present their "conservation planning including water and food security project based on a South African municipality" and use our Environmental & Agriculture Sustainability Information Portal (EASI Portal).

Read: UN says eradicating hunger is possible

The learner experience will be extended to all programme leaders and research collaborators in universities database and the findings could have exponential effects on agriculture and hunger. A pre-recorded 6 minute video will be screened and this looks at the converse side of world hunger, “Obesity in the time of food insecurity”.

1000 meals will be plated up by Peninsula School Feeding Association (PSFA) in the student centre after the talks, videos and the Second Life virtual farming experience.

R10 feeds a needy pupil for a week

Thereafter, PSFA will address the media, students and dignitaries with a short talk about caring for each other by sharing a meal. They will also elaborate on the PSFA sticker campaign whereby R10 feeds a pupil for a week. PSFA has been providing meals to hungry school children across the Western Province, including distant rural areas, since 1958.

Completely self-sustainable, 100% of all donations are directed exclusively to the actual cost of school feeding. Each child receives a nutritious cooked breakfast and lunch while at school. Each meal provided meets at least 30% of the learner’s Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA).

Once children begin to receive regular, nutritious meals, their ability to learn improves as does their school attendance. Visit their website to read more about the work the PSFA are doing or donate online at PSFA.

Read: Feast and famine in South Africa

Not only will you change one or many lives should you adopt a child or class/school, you will be contributing to the success of our future leaders. There are numerous BEE incentives and tax benefits as PSFA is a registered NPO and affiliated to the department of Social Development.

Perhaps if active citizens and business leaders, academia and organisations like Peninsula School Feeding Association stood together, local and global hunger can be something only written about in history books!

Read More:

Playing musical instruments sharpens kids' brains
More underprivileged SA families to receive healthcare at home
West Africa faces famine due to Ebola outbreak


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