The World Summit on Food Security

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is hosting the World Summit on Food Security November 16-18 in Rome, Italy.

Heads of state and government ministers from around the world have come together to discuss how the scourge of global chronic hunger can be eliminated. Even though we have the capacity and knowledge to produce more than enough food for everyone in the world, roughly one billion people - that’s one of every six people on the planet - suffer from chronic hunger. Amongst those that suffer the most from food insecurity are children. For example, one baby dies every six seconds due to hunger and nearly six million children die every year as a result of hunger.

FAO has created a special website for the event which provides background, agendas, reports and live streaming of the event. You can access it here.

In conjunction with the World Food Summit FAO launched a “1 Billion Hungry” petition. Watch FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf’s call for all to join and sign the petition through this website.

This is an ideal time to focus on issues of hunger in your classroom. In addition to the resources coming out of the World Food Summit, FAO has abundant relevant information provided in the FAO hunger portal. You’ll find important facts, figures and accessible graphs on the issue of global hunger and malnutrition. A particularly interesting tool is the interactive hunger map that shows the prevalence of hunger in different parts of the world and offers country-specific data on hunger.
In addition to these resources, FAO recently released the 2009 State of Food Insecurity in the World (SOFI) report. The SOFI report raises awareness about global hunger issues, discusses underlying causes of hunger and malnutrition and monitors progress towards hunger reduction targets established at the 1996 World Food Summit and the Millennium Summit.The 2009 report examines the impact of the economic crisis on world hunger. As a result of the global economic crisis, developing countries are facing declines in remittances, export earnings, foreign direct investment and foreign aid, leading to a loss of employment, income and access to food. In combination with the persistent effects of the global food crisis, the global economic crisis has led to a sharp increase in the number of hungry and malnourished people around the world.

You can download a free copy of the SOFI report here. Please contact if you’d like to receive the report in hard copy.

We hope that you’ll be able to take advantage of these free resources to help your students and communities understand the complexity of hunger issues, but also to emphasize the importance of their work and participation in the solutions promoted by The Growing Connection.

Jill Wrigley, The Growing Connection's New Coordinator in Baltimore

Monday, November 9, 2009

We are proud to announce that Jill Wrigley has joined our team as The Growing Connection’s new Coordinator for Baltimore, Maryland. Jill received a scholarship from the Open Society Institute (OSI) to develop a garden project that will benefit communities in Baltimore and we’re delighted that she has chosen to work with TGC to achieve this goal.

As TGC coordinator Jill will set up the TGC demonstration garden at Great Kids Farm, Baltimore City Public Schools’ (BCPS) new organic production and teaching farm. Among other things, Jill intends to use the TGC demonstration garden as a teaching platform, as a tool to recruit Baltimore City schools to join TGC and to coordinate the training of teachers and staff of already participating schools.

Jill will also be working with the TGC garden at The Baltimore Montessori Public Charter School by teaching a class to engage students in a deeper understanding of where our food comes from, why it is important to our health and how food can connect all people around the world. Jill hopes the school’s TGC program can be used as a model for other Baltimore schools.

Jill’s ultimate goal is to help to revitalize the Baltimore City School’s food culture with an emphasis on local foods in school lunches and a return to on-site cooking in school cafeterias.