What is food justice?

Blog post by the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

Food justice would exist if all people had access to adequate food at all times. It’s the idea that everyone in the world should have access to sufficient food to lead a healthy and active life.

Villagers in Bihar, India discuss their right to food with a Foodgrains Bank study tour group. Photo: Canadian Foodgrains Bank

Villagers in Bihar, India discuss their right to food with a Foodgrains Bank study tour group. Photo: Canadian Foodgrains Bank

Unfortunately, that’s not the case. 870 million people in the world—the majority of them in the developing world—don’t have enough food to eat, even though there is enough food in the world for everyone.

man with fishGive a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day…

So the saying begins. And for many people, food assistance is exactly what is needed when a drought, flood, conflict, or other disaster disrupts their lives. Governments must make sure there are systems in place to meet immediate food needs for people.

 

fishermanTeach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime…

The long-term vision is food security, which means that all people have access to adequate food at all times. Programs and policies are designed to help the most vulnerable–many of whom are small-scale farmers throughout the world–should uphold the goal of people being able to feed themselves.

 

woman fishingTeach a woman to fish, and the whole family will eat for a lifetime…

In many developing countries women are both food providers (farmers) and food preparer. Women are responsible for household nutrition, and so striving for gender equity delivers benefits to the whole family.

 

But what if they don’t have access to the pond?

Or what if the water is polluted by others? The rules about how food and other resources are shared often make things more difficult for the many people who experience chronic hunger. We can speak up and influence decision makers to ensure that trade and aid policies don’t make it harder for others to feed themselves. Often these decision makers have the power to create or change policies that could have a positive impact on many people.

family at pond

 

The Food Justice Network

Groups like Canadian Foodgrains Bank are addressing these issues through various programs and projects, [and] you can be an advocate for people in the developing world.

Learn more about how you can support the Food Justice Network and read the full post hereIllustrations by Roberta Fast. Excerpted with permission.

 

This post does not reflect the views or opinion of the Zero Hunger Challenge, and does not imply endorsement by the United Nations.