HungerFree: The solutions manifesto

Wafts of sweet strawberries mingle with the earthy tones of potatoes as I walk beneath an awning covering a bustling sidewalk. I’m completing a weekly tradition of mine, shopping at the local farmers market. And, to be honest, taking in a bit of people-watching.

On this bright Saturday afternoon in Washington, D.C., I see the happy faces of families and friends enjoying the day. Each person is carefree as they wind through overflowing crates of produce.

But here’s the irony: Although I work on behalf of children who have much less than I do, I walk through this market on the weekends sometimes just for fun.

Here, there is a sense of plenty. Even though the recession has affected many people, it’s difficult to see it in places like this. Sometimes, I purchase produce, just to complete my weekly ritual.

My head begins to spin with the images I am so well acquainted with: starving babies, infertile land, and mothers’ empty faces. Even within a block of this market, there are more than three other grocery stores. I am thankful to be blessed with plenty, but I cannot help struggling with the truth that the availability of food in other places is so restricted.

What’s worse, it’s claiming lives.

Where is the solution? When our world is becoming increasingly smaller because of technological advancements, you would think that a simple equation would exist.

It does.

Affordable Food + Nutritious Food + Locally Grown Food = HungerFree World

  • Affordable food is needed to overcome the burden of ever-increasing food prices, which were difficult for some to afford even before the economic crisis began.
  • Nutritious food is crucial to the development of children, especially during the first 1,000 days of life, and leads to more productive communities.
  • Locally grown food is pivotal to helping families become food-secure and gives them confidence to live independent lives.

If these three concepts are used to inform policy and commitments at the upcoming G8 and G20 summits, it will result in more strawberries and potatoes for those who could really use them.

Now is our time to act. If we engage our leaders from around the world, using the technology we are blessed with, we can dream, pray, and act to create a HungerFree world.

Although hunger is a large issue to tackle, let's remember Mother Teresa’s words: “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”

This is my dream for a HungerFree world. What’s yours?

Read related posts on the World Vision Blog about HungerFree, a campaign to end world hunger by creatively engaging world leaders on the topic.

Here are ways to tell the world about your vision for a HungerFree world:

HungerFree Art Challenge: Connect your Facebook profile or create art that express your vision for a HungerFree world. Here’s your chance to have your inspiring artwork delivered to the G8 leaders and featured in the HungerFree art exhibit at Union Station in Washington, D.C. Find out how!

Tweet Your Leaders: Global leaders are meeting at the G8 and G20 summits this May and June. We have an opportunity to make sure our leaders hear that hunger must be on the agenda and that bold, achievable commitments must be made to prioritize nutrition and food security.

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