Archived News Item

World Food Day: October 16

“Achieving Food Security in Times of Crisis” is the theme for World Food Day on October 16. Do you know that more than 1 billion people in the world are malnourished? This means almost one in every six people are hungry. How can this be? The Institute’s Specific Issues Committee, Eco-Justice, draws your attention to this critical issue and calls on all people to take further action towards sustainable and equitable development.

Having the theme “Achieving Food Security in Times of Crisis”, World Food Day, October 16, 2009 will mark the thirtieth anniversary of this event. This year we will undoubtedly be challenged to continue the awareness raised by Caritas Australia through its Lenten Project Compassion statement, “An Environment to Grow.”

In focusing again on the appalling global crises associated with hunger, we recall how passionately Caritas Australia is pushing for the United Nations to declare that access to food be a fundamental right. To this end, Caritas Australia is devising a strategy to keep on track the Millennium Goals of the United Nations – outcomes impossible to achieve whilst food is considered merely as a commodity.

In setting a context for World Food Day, 2009, we are reminded also of Pope Benedict XVI’s address in November 2006, "A Plea to End World Hunger".

On that occasion, the Pope acknowledged the serious environmental work of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. However, our personal responsibility is also a ‘must’ – as he stated: “… every person and every family can and must do something to alleviate hunger in the world by adopting a lifestyle and consumption compatible with the safeguarding of creation and with criteria of justice for those who cultivate the land in every country.”

  • How may I/we respond… we who can open the fridge or kitchen cupboard and make ready choices about what to eat and when…?

REFLECTION: A Celtic Prayer, by David Adam

Be gentle
When you touch bread,
Let it not lie
Uncared for – unwanted.
So often
Bread is taken for granted.

There is so much beauty in bread:

Beauty of sun and soil,
Beauty of patient toil.
Wind and rain
Have caressed it

Christ so often blessed it.

Be gentle
When you touch bread.


  • Eat locally! Try shopping at a local butcher, fruit shop or bakery instead of doing all the shopping at a large supermarket. Why? Because food from supermarkets has often been transported thousands of miles to the detriment of the environment.
  • Why not plant some herbs and vegetables for your own use? It is easy and they can even be grown in pots or planter boxes.
  • Look for Fair Trade labels on chocolate, coffee and tea to check whether they are grown sustainably and with a fair return to growers.

From: Institute Specific Issues Committee, Eco-Justice (Sisters Claudette Cusack, Mary Dennett, Marie Farrell and Kate McGrath). The Committee warmly invites your response to the article or the issue.
Contact: Carmel Heagerty RSM, Institute Justice Co-ordinator