UN World Food Day: October 16, 2014
Augustinians of the Midwest are encouraged to mark the United Nations' World Food Day, October 16, 2014, in their communities and ministries. The Augustinians invite and encourage all who identify with Augustinian spirituality and traditions to do likewise.
“For I was hungry and you gave me no food.” -Mt. 25: 14
These words of Jesus enable us to understand the deep significance in God’s eyes of meeting the fundamental needs of every man and woman. Care for the hungry and needy is an essential part of the Christian message and of traditional Catholic moral teaching.
2014 Theme: Family Farmers: Feeding the World, Caring for the Earth
With the Slogan “Family Farmers: Feeding the World, Caring for the Earth”, World Food Day for 2014 focuses on the important contributions of family farmers to eliminating poverty, feeding the hunger, protecting the environment and improving nearly everyone's quality of life in many other ways.
Family farmers work on a significant portion of the world’s farm land. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, in the United States, family farmers work on 78 per cent of all farm land. In Europe, this number falls to 68 per cent. In Africa it is 62 per cent. In South America, family farmers work on only 18 per cent of the farm land.
Many challenges confront family farmers. These include rising and, at times, unpredictable costs of equipment, supplies and fuel; difficulty in getting loans; government restrictions, quotas and regulations; scarcity of water for irrigation; the effects of wholesale market infrastructures at harvest time, and the cost penalties on small-scale enterprises.
This year’s World Food Day meshes well with the declaration of 2014 as the “International Year of Family Farming.” Four family farming objectives have been set:
Support the development of policies conducive to sustainable family farming by encouraging governments to establish the enabling environment (conducive policies, adequate legislation, participatory planning for a policy dialogue, investments) for the sustainable development of family farming.
Increase knowledge, communication and public awareness of the benefits of family farming.
Attain better understanding of family farming needs, potential and constraints and ensure technical support.
Create synergies for long-term sustainability.
World Food Day 2014 is an opportunity for learning, reflecting, praying, and acting against hunger. It is also an occasion to learn more about the benefits which family farmers bring to all people, both in rural and in urban settings, and the challenges which they face. World Food Day also invites all people to inform themselves about family farming and to support policies which favor sustainable family farming.
World Food Day Prayer
More Information and Resources from FAO
- World Food Day: Information from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization
- Family farmers, feeding the world, caring for the earth: Two-minute YouTube video
- Feeding the World Iconographic: FAO graphic about how family farmers feed the world
- The Human Right to Adequate Food: Helping to build a food-secure world for present and future generations
- How to Feed the World in 2050: High Level Expert Forum - October 12-13, 2009
- F.A.O. - Hunger Portal: Statistics, Interactive hunger map, Frequently asked questions
More Information and Resources from Other Sources
Act Against Hunger
- Play "Free Rice" the world's only vocabulary game that actually feeds the hungry
- Petition the President. Write to Congress: Ask politicians to make defeating hunger a priority