The Facts Behind Hunger
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a call to action led by the United Nations for collaboration among all countries to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. These goals are universal and aim to mobilize countries to work together to end all forms of hunger and poverty, fight social and economic inequalities, and tackle climate change.
SDG 2: Zero Hunger, highlights the importance of universal access to nutritious food, food security, and sustainable agriculture. Today, the agriculture industry is the largest employer in the world, yet one in nine people in the world (about 795 million) are undernourished.
Hunger and poor nutrition affects children more than any other demographic of people, with 45 percent of deaths in children under five being caused by poor nutrition. This percentage equates to about 3.1 million children each year worldwide.
Making a Difference Locally
As champions of the SDGs at Participate Learning, we are using the goals of SDG 2 to make a real impact in our local communities with the hopes of feeding children and families right here in the Triangle. During the month of July, we hosted a summer food drive at our office in Chapel Hill aiming to collect 750 individual items to be donated to the Inter-Faith Council in our local community.
About one-third of students in public schools qualify for free and reduced lunch programs during the school year, and our community is no exception. With many students being out of school during the summer, that also means that they are likely missing a meal or two and may not have access to fresh, nutritious food options.
We hope that our food drive efforts will create a ripple effect in the community by encouraging others to pay it forward and donate in whatever way they can. With education at the forefront of our mission, we understand that students need healthy food options and full bellies in order to reach their full potential and succeed academically and socially.
One in six children in the United States live with hunger, and it is no surprise that this problem disproportionately affects low-income families living below the federal poverty level. With such a significant percentage of children being affected by food insecurity, all communities are likely impacted by this widespread problem.
Here are some practical ways that you can help fight hunger in your own community:
- Volunteer with a local community garden. The fresh fruits and vegetables available from these gardens can help provide much-needed nutrients to combat malnutrition.
- Commit to reducing food waste. Try making new meals using leftovers from earlier in the week. For food that you can’t reuse, consider purchasing an at-home composter that can be donated to your community garden or used for plants in your own yard.
- Donate to your own food bank. For birthdays or holidays this year, ask for food donations in lieu of gifts that you can give to your local food pantry to help make someone else’s holiday brighter.
- Join a current hunger-fighting project. The US Post Office hosts an annual drive during which you can leave nonperishables by your mailbox that it will take and donate for you; this is an easy way to get involved without having to even leave home. There are many efforts across the country that are looking for volunteers to get involved.
As a proud B Corp, Participate Learning strives to make a positive impact on students, schools, and communities in as many ways as we can. Click here to read more about our journey to becoming a B corp. To learn ways to combat hunger in your school, read this blog post about getting your class involved in the fight to end hunger.