Why the world is hungry — and how to help
All of us can play a small part in a big — and shockingly, growing — problem: Every night 9% of the world, 700 million people, go to bed hungry.
Why it matters: Hunger is spreading in our modern world. It has been exacerbated by the pandemic, and experts say it's set to get even worse.
- Hunger in America was at an all time low pre-pandemic, according to Feeding America. Then it came roaring back.
- Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned today that rising food prices could push 10 million more people into poverty globally.
- Food prices are surging. Take in the chart above. Inflation and supply chain chaos have driven up the price of groceries, and they're not falling anytime soon, supermarket executives say.
- Food waste is rising too. Every year we waste a third of produced food — about 1.6 billion tons. As the world keeps industrializing, we're projected to waste 2.1 billion tons by 2030, according to Yale research.
- Food banks are understaffed. Need is increasing, while supply and staff is short.
- Crises are starving humans. The war in Ukraine and the tight COVID lockdowns in China are starving entire cities of people.
Food is a powerful force for good, Chef José Andrés told us at Axios' What's Next Summit. (Watch the video.)
- And providing hot meals with dignity is one of the most admirable humanitarian acts.
Here's how you can help fight hunger at home and in the world.
- Donate. Consider your local food bank, No Kid Hungry, Care International and World Central Kitchen — Andrés' organization, which is providing fresh, gourmet meals to Ukrainian refugees. Check out our tips on how to verify a charity's legitimacy.
- Volunteer. There are food banks, pantries and homeless shelters in your backyard that need support. Even a couple hours on a Sunday to help stock shelves or pass out meals helps.
- Be sustainable. Watch how much food you buy at the store or order at a restaurant. And freeze uneaten food for future meals.
- Pay attention to innovation. A slew of new companies are working to combat food waste and hunger:
- Imperfect Foods and Misfits Market rescue misshapen and ugly produce that grocery stores throw out and deliver it to takers.
- Too Good To Go, a new app operating in the U.S. and Europe, connects users with extra food that eateries would typically dump at closing. You can get restaurant-quality food for super cheap prices.
- Sanku is fighting malnutrition in Africa by providing local millers with cutting-edge tech that adds essential, missing nutrients to the flour they're producing.
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