top 10 hunger quotes

Globally, around 795 million people lack access to adequate food resources. This equates to approximately one in nine hungry humans who do not have enough to eat. As these quotes about hunger will illustrate, hunger and malnutrition are self-perpetuating issues that affect a person’s mental ability, health, work and productivity. They constitute the world’s greatest public health risk, more pressing than AIDs, malaria and tuberculosis combined.

The good news is that hunger is preventable; the earth produces more than enough food to provide for all of its citizens. The problem lies in food access and apathy from developed nations. Solving world hunger involves investing in smallholder family farmers, healthcare, financial services and increasing women’s access to resources. The following are 10 of the greatest, most thought-provoking quotes about hunger that bring various perspectives to this complex issue.

  1. “If we can conquer space, we can conquer childhood hunger.” –Buzz Aldrin
  2. “It is an eternal obligation toward the human being not to let him suffer from hunger when one has a chance of coming to his assistance.” –Simone Weil
  3. “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.” –Dwight D. Eisenhower
  4. “There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.” –Mahatma Gandhi
  5. “We know that a peaceful world cannot long exist, one-third rich and two-thirds hungry.” –Jimmy Carter
  6. “The war against hunger is truly mankind’s war of liberation.” –John F. Kennedy
  7. “Hunger is not a problem. It is an obscenity. How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” –Anne Frank
  8. “If you cannot feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” –Mother Teresa
  9. “It is important for people to realize that we can make progress against world hunger, that world hunger is not hopeless. The worst enemy is apathy.” –Reverend David Beckmann
  10. “You pray for the hungry. Then you feed them. This is how prayer works.” –Pope Francis

For anyone moved by these quotes about hunger, there are many ways for individuals to get involved. Advocacy is essential, and contacting representatives is an easy and effective means of citizen involvement. Supporting hunger initiatives and awareness over social media is another simple option. On a local level, communities can provide meals for the hungry among them.

In the last 26 years, the number of hungry people worldwide has fallen by 216 million. With enough public determination, this amount will continue to drop until no one in the world goes to bed hungry.

– Anna Parker

Photo: Flickr

Hunger in France
France is known for having a high standard of living and a population with richly diverse roots. However, despite the many major developments that have improved the country, hunger in France is an ever-constant concern for the citizens and its political leaders.

According to a 2013 poll from the Pew Research Center, 20 percent of French citizens reported that they struggled to afford enough food — a troubling statistic given that the 2012 GDP per capita in France was estimated to be $35,548. Approximately 6.1 percent of the French population lives under the poverty line, with 15 percent of French citizens making less than $1,130 a month.

The most predominant areas of poverty in France are accounted in Seine-Saint-Denis within the Greater Paris region. Despite these numbers, governmental officials and citizens are making tremendous strides to reduce hunger in France.

In 2004, efforts from the Association Francaise pour la FAO (AFFAO) formed the French Alliance Against Hunger in order to pull resources from humanitarian institutions, trade unions, political organizations, local groups, private sectors and agricultural and environmental associations in order to combat hunger in France and in the rest of the world.

The French Alliance Against Hunger aims to educate, coordinate and exchange ideas in order to form one unified voice in the battle against effectively ending world hunger. Moreover, the French Alliance Against Hunger is a key player in the International Alliance Against Hunger that was formed in 2002 during the World Food Summit.

A further commitment to end hunger in France has been made by government leaders in partnership with the United Nations. In 2015, France was one of the countries that vigorously supported the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to end extreme poverty, hunger and inequalities while protecting the overall integrity of the environment.

Effective cooperation between French leaders and French citizens has also been crucial in reducing hunger in France. French Municipal Councilor in Courbevoie, Arash Derambarsh and other officials have made incredible efforts to reduce hunger in France by limiting the amount of food wasted in the county which totals 8 million tons a year.

By rallying public support, Derambarsh was able to unanimously pass legislation that forced supermarkets to donate untampered, safe food to local charities.

This law went into effect as of July 2016 and so far has received positive acclaim from French citizens and the global community.

Supermarkets that are larger than 4,305 feet are now required by French law to sign formal documents with charities to ensure that they will donate any leftover food. Large supermarkets that do not sign these agreements face fines in excess of $83,000.

Furthermore, this legislation not only requires spoiled food to be used in composts of animal feed but also protects against food bleaching. Food bleaching is a practice by supermarkets to deter people from eating the food that they throw away in dumpsters.

As a result of French governmental action to reduce hunger in France, many individuals hope that these initiatives will inspire other nations to adopt similar policies.

Shannon Warren

Photo: Flickr

Farming First

Organizations such as Farming First understand the important role sustainable agriculture plays in lifting people out of poverty in developing countries.

Farming First is not a single organization, but instead it’s a coalition of multiple organizations that advocate for more sustainable agriculture worldwide.

With an estimated 1.3 billion more people on Earth by 2030, it is necessary to find creative ways to feed the global population while protecting the natural environment. This involves giving farmers the opportunity to take an active role in the governing process. This includes female farmers, who are often not consulted at all despite producing 90 percent of the food in Africa.

Farming First also hopes to be better prepared to tackle some of the Sustainable Development Goals proposed by the United Nations.

One of the SDG’s aims to “end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.”

Like Farming First, the United Nations understands how agriculture can be used to end poverty and hunger. In this case, it is not only about farmers growing enough crops to feed themselves in their families, but also about increasing income and availability to markets.

As a result, farmers can access a greater variety of foods to create a healthy diet, even in situations where their yields may be less so than usual. This is a problem particularly endemic to sub-Saharan Africa, where farmers’ yields are only a fraction of those of their American counterparts.

According to Bill Gates’s 2015 Annual Letter, these injustices will soon change. He wrote, “The world has already developed better fertilizer and crops that are more productive, nutritious and drought- and disease-resistant; with access to these and other existing technologies, African farmers could theoretically double their yields.”

Gates says education in agricultural trends is becoming more and more accessible to farmers thanks to advances in technology (such as cell phones). This will be a key component in changing the way farmers in Africa and other developing countries do their work.

By reaching as many farmers as possible with new information regarding food growth and storage, they will be better equipped to deal with the challenges of population growth and climate change. Furthermore, as countries build better roads, it becomes cheaper and cheaper to transport food locally, as opposed to importing from other countries.

In the meantime, organizations like Farming First will continue to advocate for more sustainable and accessible farming practices worldwide.

Sabrina Santos

Photo: Farming First


Ethiopia is currently facing its worst drought in 30 years leaving 7.5 million hungry each year. Researchers are attempting to popularize the Enset plant amongst farmers in order to address hunger in the region.

The Enset plant is known as the ‘false banana’ as it resembles the banana tree but is taller and fatter. The crop is a staple in the highland areas of southern Ethiopia. However, in the midlands, non-indigenous and soil-depleting crops like maize are farmed.

While other crops like coffee and grains wither, the Enset plants withstand both droughts and heavy rains. In fact, it can survive up to seven years without rain by storing water in its leaves.

“One of the unique qualities of the Enset is that it will always be around as a backup plan,” said Gebre Ynitso, an associate professor who studies the plant in the Department of Social Anthropology at Addis Ababa University. “It’s like money in the bank.”

All parts of the Enset plant are edible. The root of the Enset is boiled and served with meat, while the trunk and stalks are fermented and eaten with bread or porridge. The root of the plant can even be made to last a number of years by placing it in a 2-meter deep pit, with yeast and starch to ferment it.

The Enset plant can also feed livestock, allowing families a form of protein during famines and droughts. The leaves that fall from the Enset plant also improve soil fertility.

The Enset plant is only a staple to 20 percent of the Ethiopian population, as most see the plant as inferior and harder to cultivate than grains.

However, researchers have created outreach programs to foster increased awareness of the importance of the Enset plant. The Arba Minch Univeristy in southern Ethiopia built an “Enset Park” to provide local farmers with seeds and other materials needed to plant Ensets.

The Dilla University hosted “Enset on Wheels” food carts, and prompted other food festivals to take place. For example, a festival in Gadeo showed local farmers the versatility of Enset by presenting 32 different meals using the plant.

Wolde Tadesse, a visiting researcher at the African Studies Department at Oxford University in the UK said: “What’s important about the Enset is that it keeps the family alive. It’s the backbone of the family and community.”

Marie Helene Ngom

Sources: Permaculture, DW
Photo: Flickr

Feed_the_FutureA Nov. 5 event on Capital Hill co-hosted by NGO alliance InterAction announced the progress of Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative.

In 2014 alone, the organization reportedly reached nearly 19 million households and helped nearly seven million farmers gain access to new tools and technologies.

New data demonstrates that through Feed the Future and other U.S. government efforts, childhood stunting rates have declined in Ethiopia, Ghana and parts of Kenya. These rates have dropped between 9 and 33 percent in recent years while areas in Uganda have seen a 16 percent drop in poverty.

In Honduras, Feed the Future is helping to reduce both poverty and stunting for its program participants.

Led by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the organization is working towards pioneering a comprehensive approach to ending hunger and creating global change. Feed the Future draws on the resources and expertise of 10 other U.S. government partners.

The organization currently focuses on small farm holders, particularly women, across 19 countries globally.

“Through Feed the Future, the United States is partnering across borders and across sectors to unlock the transformative potential of agriculture,” Eric Postel, the Associate Administrator for USAID, said.

“This global effort is empowering rural farming families to lift themselves out of poverty and hunger, and the results are clear. From Asia to the Caribbean to Africa, Feed the Future is helping raise crop yields and incomes, reduce stunting and poverty, and improve child nutrition.”

With nearly 800 million people suffering from chronic hunger, and with the world’s population projected to increase to more than nine billion by 2050, ensuring that everyone has enough nutritious food to eat will require a 60 percent increase in agricultural production without adversely affecting the environment.

According to Postel, “Going forward, USAID and our partners will continue working to ensure everyone has the nutritious food they need to lead full, healthy lives.”

Kara Buckley

Sources: Feed the Future 1, Feed the Future 2, USAID
Photo: Flickr

The UN and other aid organizations are working to address food security in the world’s poorest countries. According to the UN Development Program’s (UNDP) African Human Development Report, food security is key to improving the lives of many of the world’s poorest people.

At the heart of eradicating extreme poverty is addressing the widespread hunger and malnutrition that kills hundreds of children every day. Food production is a determining factor in the achievement of other human development goals such as education and health care. Without adequate nutrition, people lack energy to pursue economic activities.

A productive approach to addressing food security is more complex than simply growing more food. The chief economist for the UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa, Pedro Conceicao, argued that economic growth does not necessarily reduce poverty and food insecurity. This suggests that accessibility, empowerment, and purchasing power drive change, and that a strategic, interdisciplinary approach is necessary to address food security. The Report focused on four ways to address food security:

  • Food production: investments in agricultural research, infrastructure, and inputs will increase food production. This will improve food security, especially for agricultural communities.
  • Adequate nutrition: improving food security does not necessarily improve nutrition. Efforts to alleviate malnutrition should be coordinated with developments in sanitation, clean water, and health services.
  • Resilience: building resilience is key to decreasing the need for emergency aid. Systems such as crop insurance and employment guarantees strengthen communities and reduce vulnerability.
  • Empowerment: gender equality, access to good land, technology, and information on good agricultural practices are necessary for achieving food security.

Sustainable progress does not happen overnight. As the Millennium Development Goals demonstrate, long-term coordinated efforts in multiple sectors are needed to improve food security. In order to achieve sustainable rather than short-term food security, development organizations also need to address environmental conservation, natural resource management, and the often opposing influences of big agribusiness and local ecology.

– Kat Henrichs

Source: IRIN News
Photo: Security and Sustainability Forum