6th World Hunger Summit

Okay, so it was actually 4 months ago. But we’ll see what stuck with me.

First of all, what are you talking about Sophie?
It is an annual summit about solving world hunger, and happened to be hosted at the University of Guelph when RLS (Housing staff) decided they would send a few people like me. They had different seminars focused around themes such as the role of NGOs, role of businesses, getting involved in your community etc.

I noticed the same themes coming up a lot of the time, and made a few notes at the time.

  • Poor nutrition is often the actual problem, not just hunger. Lack of protein or vitamins will do a lot of damage, especially to growing children.
  • Education. Feeding school children nutritious meals means that they are getting proper nutrition when they need it most, and that they will be getting education to help pull their family out of poverty. Small cost for long-term impact
  • Respecting local tradition and initiatives – NGOs not intervening unless a contract has already been drawn up about what the community values, and what the community wants.
  • Distribution. From distributing the food we have, to finding markets for farmers trying to make a living, it’s a problem.
  • Not Just Africa. This came up in the opening conversation. Lots of people in north america aren’t properly fed, and it truly is a global problem.

It was an intense couple of days, with late night fancy dining on local foods. Michelle Jean gave an opening speech, which was pretty neat. Campbell unleashing their “soup”Nourish – really interesting. And it was really good – I finished my bowl, and was not really hungry by the time dinner came around. It was a simple, tomatoey flavor, that left room for a lot of different types of spices.

That said, I felt a little lost all weekend. The optimism that went around was infectious, but volunteering and awareness still seem like limited endeavors. I spoke to a man who worked for World Vision, and we agreed that one of the biggest challenges is just getting everybody on the same page and working along side each other. It was a little strange to think he worked with people committed to the same giant, admirable goal, yet facing the same silly problems as me and my staff team.

For curiousity’s sake, I tried to find an infographics around hunger. I found two, both focusing on “Wow, this is a big problem.”
One. Two.

I don’t think I’ll be attending the summit next year – I don’t think I got enough out of it compared to other people my age that seemed to be fully entrenched in it all. I’m always going to be thinking on it though, and doing my best as an individual to affect things directly around me.

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