Tanya Weinberg, Director of Media and Communications
October 12, 2011
Pop Quiz! This coming Sunday is:
A) A good day for brunch
B) World Food Day
C) Blog Action Day
D) All of the Above
I’m going with D. Like so many of us, I’m working hard this week, and I’m looking forward to a nice Sunday brunch with friends. But, October 16 is also World Food Day, a time to reflect on food and hunger issues around the world.
It’s very cool that this year, Sunday is also Blog Action Day – a chance for thousands of bloggers to rally around an important cause. Special thanks to our friends at Oxfam for organizing this year’s Blog Action Day around an issue affecting hundreds of millions of children around the world – hunger.
Save the Children has produced an embeddable World Food Day Quiz for the occasion. It’s an interactive way to share some surprising information about hunger. By posting it, bloggers can do more than spread critical awareness, they can offer readers a easy way to make a real difference. The quiz ends with the option to send an urgent message to Congress: Don’t slash foreign aid! It’s no time to abandon efforts to fight hunger.
Here’s the quiz and below some context around why its ultimate message is so critical right now:
The good news is that the world has made great progress on reducing child hunger. The United Nations reports that child malnutrition rates in the developing world have dropped from 30 percent to 23 percent between 1990 and 2009. That means millions of children have escaped the permanent physical and intellectual stunting that malnutrition causes, and the deadly disease that can often follow.
But there’s also some really bad news. Just at a time when economic crisis, food price volatility and more severe weather are threatening to reverse gains in fighting global hunger, the U.S. Congress is considering massive cuts to foreign assistance programs that help hungry children around the world.
If these cuts go through, the United States will have to pull back the kind of help it can now offer to desperately hungry children in the Horn of Africa. And we’ll also have to slash food security programs that have helped pull many out of hunger over the years. Did you know that the “Food for Peace” program established by President John F. Kennedy has helped around 3 billion hungry people in 150 countries?
Although surveys have shown many Americans think as much as 25% of the U.S. budget goes to foreign aid, the truth is only about 1% does. And only half of that goes to humanitarian and development programs that fight hunger and disease and offer impoverished children a chance for a better future. Let’s not cut the very programs that offer the best chances for building a healthier and more prosperous world!
Whether or not we have the option for a nice Sunday brunch this week, that kind of progress benefits us all.