Finding hunger a seat at the table

What do the seven most powerful countries in the world have in common? They are all supported by national food bank networks to help feed and sustain the most disadvantaged members of their societies. The Group of Seven This week, leaders from the Group of Seven (G7) will convene at the annual summit hosted by Canada in Charlevoix, Quebec to discuss gender equality, economic and job growth, the threat of climate change and how to secure a more peaceful world for all. The G7 consists of the leaders from countries with the largest advanced economies in the world, representing more than 62 percent of the global net wealth. These countries include Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Last year G7 leaders met in in Taormina, Sicily, Italy. Photo: G7 2017
Although the G7 are among the most powerful countries in the world; hunger, food waste and malnutrition are still very real problems faced by many in these countries. In the past decade, the G7 has provided effective solutions for food security and agricultural development, setting the tone for action on hunger issues bringing together donors and mission driven organizations to work together. Action by G7 on hunger related issues is critical to ending hunger and malnutrition, and the food banking can function as a unique solution. Why food banking is important to the G7 Summit Currently, thirteen percent of the G7 Summit host country’s population lives in a state of food insecurity, meaning they do not have access to safe and nutritious food. According to The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN) member Food Banks Canada Annual HungerCount Report, the main cause of hunger in Canada is low income, which affects more than four million Canadians annually.  “Food insecurity in Canada is a very real problem. Each month, over 850,000 people turn to food banks for help; more than one-third of which are children and youth,” said Chris Hatch, chief executive officer of Food Banks Canada. “We collaborate with a network of over 550 food banks and provincial associations across the country who work to relieve hunger today and prevent hunger tomorrow.” GFN currently works in over 30 countries with more than 800 food banks, including the UK and Canada, and partners alongside the European Food Bank Federation (FEBA) and Feeding America, the US food banking network to provide food and nutritious assistance to the 815 million people suffering from hunger worldwide (FAO). How can food banking help the environment?  In emerging market countries, global hunger is often not a food problem, it’s a logistics problem. Each year, billions of pounds of food goes to waste. The food banking model functions by acquiring donated food, much of which would otherwise be wasted, from farms, manufacturers, distributors, retail stores and consumers, and makes it available to those in need through an established network of community agencies. These agencies include school feeding programs, food pantries, soup kitchens, substance abuse clinics, after-school programs and other nonprofit programs that provide food to the hungry. Reducing the gender disparity, improving economic and job growth, building a more peaceful world and especially achieving a more sustainable future go hand in hand with ensuring the people of the world have enough to eat.
Bancos de Alimentos Diakonia in Ecuador
According to the Farmers Talk Food Waste Feedback Report, reducing food waste is the third most effective solution to fighting climate change. Currently, one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year is wasted. Food loss and waste amount to a major loss of resources, including water, land and energy and produce greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to climate change. “Food Banks are an effective way to re-direct food loss into social impact to feed hungry people,” explained Lisa Moon, GFN chief executive officer and president. “Even if just one-fourth of the food currently lost or wasted globally could be saved, it would be enough to feed all of the people suffering from hunger.” Interested in learning more about how food banks are feeding the world? Visit