We didn’t know how people would respond. It was a challenge, after all, and not everyone likes to be challenged.
But people from around the world quickly responded positively to our World Food Challenge. Starting this Sunday, thousands of people will be celebrating food and calling for the changes needed to fix the food system, with its increasing hunger, inequality and disregard for natural resources.
Growing across Canada and around the world
After our campaigns coordinator Bill laid down the challenge, chef Hunter Moyes, and the Food Bloggers of Canada quickly accepted – as did many of my colleagues, like Victoria. And many other people around the country. For example:
- In New Germany, NS, organic farmers Shannon Jones and Bryan Dyck are having dinner with other vendors from the local farmers market and with a gluten-free baker. “An especially important food issue to us is to encourage the idea that farming (especially small-scale, ecological farming) can be a viable and rewarding career choice and that we, as consumers, need to value our food as the important input for our lives that it is,” says Jones.
- In Ottawa, Courtney-Ann Craft and fellow servers at Oz Kafe are participating by donating their tips on World Food Day to Oxfam. “I am passionate about all issues in the promotion of a world without poverty, and a healthy planet,” Craft said. She predicts GROW week “will be a time of collective inspiration.”
- In Saskatoon, the University of Saskatchewan’s Oxfam Canada campus club is hosting a ‘hunger banquet’ and silent auction, with proceeds to help the people suffering from the food crisis in East Africa.
Our call resonated with people around the world, who told us they are planning many events, such as:
- An interactive session in Nigeria for about 25 people to discuss the challenge of hunger in Imo State and what can be done to improve the food system there
- A workshop in Balochistan, Pakistan to train people on GROW issues
- A workshop in Nairobi to discuss food security in the Horn of Africa
- A food security dinner for 100 people in Thoubal Manipur, India.
Inspired to hold your own event?
In countries all over the world, movements of people are calling for a future in which everyone always has enough to eat. The momentum can be found everywhere: from conversations over dinner, chats in the market and celebratory food festivals to communities seeking land rights, rallying governments to act on hunger and groups mobilizing to engage local politicians. You can join them.
In their many interesting variations, Sunday’s World Food Challenge events are grounded in one thing: caring about how our food reaches our plate and the plates of our children and grandchildren – and why it doesn’t reach the plates of others.
Sunday’s events are just the first course.