COUNT DOWN TO FEEDING TEN THOUSAND MARGINALIZED ON WORLD FOOD DAY!Sarel Ferreira
The count down to the cooking marathon aimed at serving at least 10 000 meals to the most vulnerable and marginalized needy members of society has begun. Ably termed “Cook-A-Thon”, the event is scheduled for the 16th of October 2019. This is the day declared by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) as the World Food Day (WFD). The WFD is dedicated to highlighting the plight of hunger and poverty across the world. Parallel to this, generate global partnerships and activities towards building a “Hunger Free World”.
Meals on Wheels Community Service South Africa (MOWCS) is championing the South African drive against malnutrition and hunger agenda, and the activities around the WFD. Similarly, MOWCS seeks to realise a “Hunger Free South Africa.
MOWCS will celebrate the 2019 World Food Day celebrations over two days, beginning on the 15th of October, culminating in the Cook-A-Thon (cooking marathon) on the 16th of October 2019.
On the 15th, MOWCS will host a mini conference and gala dinner with a variety of policy and decision makers, both with the public and private sectors. This will be a short knowledge and information sharing session on several interrelated issues on healthy living through proper nutrition, and appropriate lifestyle.
Some of the issues to be addressed include the following:
- The state of hunger; malnutrition and poverty in South Africa. This discussion session will paint a picture of levels of and impact of malnutrition and poverty on the health index in South Africa. It will examine the various interventions initiated by both the government, and the Non-Governmental Sector in South Africa.
- Global efforts against hunger, malnutrition and poverty. This session will be led by a representative from FAO. It will present some of the key global programmes and projects undertaken by the FAO in addressing the scourge of poor nutrition, and its impact on the health of individuals, communities, and societies at large. This will enable various institutions and organisations to determine how they can participate and join partnerships through MOWCS in driving this global agenda.
- The Forgotten Headline: malnutrition and poverty – the role of the media. As the WFD seeks to heighten awareness and consciousness on the drive against malnutrition, and poverty, the media ought to play a major role in this regard. Therefore, this discussion session will examine how the media can play its role in this regard.
The above is in line with the UN’s theme for the 2019 WFD celebrations (www.fao.org/WFD): “Healthy Diets for a Zero Hunger World”. The FAO states that this theme emanates from the following: the rise in global obesity due to a combination of unhealthy diets and “sedentary lifestyles”. This is the case in both developed and underdeveloped countries. The UN provides the following global dire statistics in this regard:
- Over 800 million people suffer from hunger globally;
- Over 670 million adults and 120 million girls and boys (5-19) are obese.
- Over 5 million children under the age of five, are overweight.
The UN seeks to achieve “Zero Hunger” globally by the year 2030. Thus, it calls for partnerships across sectors of society to “make healthy and sustainable diets affordable and available to everyone”.
In line with this global initiative, MOWCS has adopted the following theme for this year’s celebrations: The charity of health provision through nutrition and self-sustainability. This theme highlights the importance of nutrition as the basis for good health; and the empowerment of individuals and communities to produce own food and be self-sustainable. This feeds directly into the Vision of the organisation which seeks to achieve a “Hunger Free South Africa”.
The 16th of October will see MOWCS showcase its ability to mobilise various sectors of society into partnership to fight against malnutrition, hunger and poverty. Mobilized by MOWCS, several corporate institutions, government departments, media houses, non-governmental organisations, schools, and community based organisations, will converge at Nasrec in Johannesburg to cook at least 10 000 meals. These will be fed to beneficiaries that come from poverty and underprivileged backgrounds.
This event, ably called the “Cook-A-Thon” will demonstrate that MOWCS’s vision of a “Hunger Free South Africa” is possible through partnerships across sectors of society. Secondly, it will demonstrate that indeed there is food in South Africa to feed everyone. That no one should suffer the indignity of malnutrition, hunger, and poverty in this land of plenty.
These initiatives are non-simply once off events. They are an integral part of MOWCS strategic programme, and projects that seek to deliver a Hunger Free South Africa. For this noble dream to be realized, MOWCS has assume the role of stakeholder engagement for a collective drive for a healthy society through nutrition and healthy lifestyles.
#BePartoftheSolution #HungerFreeSouthAfrica #ZeroHungerWorld
Article written by: Dumisani Hlophe