Hunger is a term which has three meanings in the Oxford English Dictionary 1971
*The uneasy or painful sensation caused by want of food; craving appetite. Also the exhausted condition caused by want of food
*The want or scarcity of food in a country
*A strong desire or craving
The world produces enough food to feed everyone. For the world as a whole, per capita food availability has risen from about 2220 kcal/person/day in the early 1960s to 2790 kcal/person/day in 2006-08, while developing countries even recorded a leap from 1850 kcal/person/day to over 2640 kcal/person/day.
The causes of poverty include poor people’s lack of resources, unequal income distribution in the world and within specific countries, conflict, and hunger itself.
A principal problem is that many people in the world still do not have sufficient income to purchase (or land to grow) enough food or access to nutritious food. This is an element of “food access”. The FAO defines four dimensions of food security, all of which must be fulfilled simultaneously, for food security to exist. The four dimensions are:
1) physical availability of food,
2) economic and physical access to food,
3) food utilization, and
4) the stability of those other dimensions over time.
LOCAL HUNGER: ORANGE COUNTY & CALIFORNIA
California produces nearly half of the nation’s fruits and vegetables, yet 1 in 8 Californians currently struggle with food insecurity.
In Orange County alone, 32, 000 school-age children are homeless or housing insecure. 129,000 kids may well be going to bed hungry on weekends and during summer vacation.
A quarter of California’s children under the age of six are living in poverty, more than 750,000 children. In Orange County, 27 percent of children under the age of five live in poverty.
Today, nearly 350,000 Orange County residents struggle to get their food needs met on a regular basis, and the number is growing. This isn’t for lack of available food in our community but for lack of access to affordable, good food options for low-income residents. 400,000 people in OC are officially poor.
The 2017 federally mandated snapshot, taken every two years in Orange County, recorded 4,792 homeless people, more than half living without shelter. 357 were homeless military veterans. The central part of the county — including Santa Ana, Huntington Beach, and Costa Mesa — had the bulk of the unsheltered homeless population.
NATIONAL HUNGER: UNITED STATES
Even in the world’s greatest food-producing nation, children and adults face poverty and hunger in every county across America. In 2015:
INTERNATIONAL HUNGER: THE WORLD
From the refugees in Syria to children in Africa & Asia to low-income families in your own city, the experience of not having enough to eat is present today for nearly 800 million people around the world.
The majority of the world’s hungry reside in developing countries, twenty of these having one quarter of their population suffering from malnourishment, including Haiti, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Yemen Republic, Zambia, & Sudan.
Significant progress is being made to diminish the number of hungry in the world. According to José Graziano da Silva, the Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), “The near-achievement of the MDG hunger targets shows us that we can indeed eliminate the scourge of hunger in our lifetime.” This is only achievable, however, if we are all taking part in aiding the 800 million.