This post is brought to you by David H., a member of VisionTrust’s Food Security Team.
When our Food Security Team consults in VisionTrust countries, their first question is often, “Is the food source secure or insecure?” When we in the US think about food, it’s typically in terms of what restaurant we’d like to go to or what we have in the refrigerator to eat; rarely do we even think, “Do I have a way to get food?”
According to the WHO, “Food security is built on three pillars:
- Food availability: sufficient quantities of food available on a consistent basis.
- Food access: having sufficient resources to obtain appropriate foods for a nutritious diet.
- Food use: appropriate use based on knowledge of basic nutrition and care, as well as adequate water and sanitation.”
As we celebrate World Food Day this year, the theme is, “Family Farming: Feeding the World, Caring for the Earth.” While we picture big fields, large tractors and tall silos, many countries rely on small holder farmers who grow crops on small pieces of land, with no tractors, poor seeds and limited fertilizer. These limited inputs lead to poor diversity of crops and low production. The low production cannot sustain families throughout the whole year, causing families to be food insecure for several months of the year. This is often called the hunger season.
Many of our VisionTrust families experience the challenges of a hunger season.
The town of Cotui, Dominican Republic where VisionTrust has a Learning Center, has a very pronounced hunger seasons. Many farmers who do seasonal work in the rice fields have long periods of time where they’re not working and can’t purchase much needed food supplies for their families. Our Food Security Team is currently working to maximize the growing potential of the land around the project by bringing local farmers into the discussion and potentially into the work of cultivating the land and growing the crops for the school and the community.
Please join our Food Security Team in supporting our goal of zero hunger.