Food Wastage is Contributing to Global Hunger Problem – Hope 103.2

Food Wastage is Contributing to Global Hunger Problem

According to research conducted by the United Nations, 25,000 people including 10,000 children die from hunger and related causes every day.

By Amy ChengFriday 15 Oct 2021Social JusticeReading Time: 4 minutes

World hunger isn’t caused by a lack of food but rather a wastage of food, the CEO of an international aid organisation has said.

Ben Evans of Feed the Hungry said there is an inequality of food distribution around the world.

“There’s an idea that here in the West we have plenty to spare, but what we end up doing is throwing it away,” he told Hope 103.2.

“The UN estimates that about a third of the food that’s produced in the world is actually wasted. Some of that is wasted at the dinner table and some of that is wasted in the way that it’s gathered.

“If we were able to reduce that wastage, we would have more food to feed hungry people around the world.”

Tomorrow, World Food Day – October 16 – is an opportunity to recognise that we have things to spare and should share it, he said.

“If we were able to reduce that [food] wastage, we would have more food to feed hungry people around the world,” – Ben Evans, CEO of Feed the Hungry

According to research conducted by the United Nations, 25,000 people including 10,000 children die from hunger and related causes every day. In 2019 alone, an additional 161 million people lost access to adequate food.

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Mr Evans said our first response when we hear these facts is usually that it’s too big and someone else’s problem, however, as a Christian, he always looks to Jesus for inspiration.

In particular, he has found the story of Jesus feeding the 5000 in Mark 6:30-44 inspiring.

In the story, Jesus asks his disciples to feed the hungry and they respond by saying it would take a small fortune to feed everyone.

“Then Jesus said, ‘What do you have?’, and when we look at the world’s problems, I think that is the key as a Christian and in how we respond; not what do we need, but what do we have,” Mr Evans said.

“I think that is the key as a Christian and in how we respond; not what do we need, but what do we have,” – Ben Evans, CEO of Feed the Hungry

Avoiding food wastage

On a practical level, Mr Evans said we can begin by being good stewards and more thoughtful about what we buy at the shops.

“I think often we have to be a bit more considered, I would say, in how we consume, there’s nothing wrong with what we consume, it’s just a bit more thought into it,” Mr Evans said.

“I think often we have to be a bit more considered, I would say, in how we consume, there’s nothing wrong with what we consume, it’s just a bit more thought into it,” – Ben Evans, CEO of Feed the Hungry

For example, he avoids going shopping when he’s hungry because he knows he will buy too many things that he doesn’t need.

“When you’re overeating and over ordering and all that sort of stuff, you end up just throwing it into the bin, or you shop too much and it goes past its expiry date, this is all part of that cycle,” Mr Evans said.

“They’re all small cogs but it’s part of that cycle of waste, so we just have to take small steps and eat what we buy and try and buy better.”

Impact of pandemic

Feed the Hungry has done a lot of work in Uganda. The country has had a similar amount of COVID-19 cases to Australia and also went into lockdown when cases spiked.

However, Mr Evans said this took a toll on the country because it doesn’t have the same support network that exists in Australia.

“When you send someone who’s living in that hand-to mouth-lifestyle – whatever they earned today is going to go into tonight’s meal – when you lock them up, when you put them in a quarantine or an isolation period, what is an inconvenience for us is really a death sentence for them,” he said.

“Because there’s just no way for them to get support, no way for them to get food or to provide for their families, so it creates desperation.

“And so COVID is having that impact on the production and the distribution of food because these people cannot perform their necessary daily life.”

“We just have to take small steps and eat what we buy and try and buy better,” – Ben Evans, CEO of Feed the Hungry

Last year, Feed the Hungry fed more than 330,000 children, reached 23 nations, sent 116 shipping containers of food and provided more than 34 million meals.

“For us to be Christ-like, we must follow His actions and care about our neighbours and look after them and feed the hungry,” Mr Evans said.

“For us to be Christ-like, we must follow His actions and care about our neighbours and look after them and feed the hungry,” – Ben Evans, CEO of Feed the Hungry

Feature image: Feed the Hungry Australia Facebook