Monday, October 20, 2008

Taking Action on Hunger and Poverty

On Friday, October 17, 2008, the United Nations Association hosted a highly informative event at UNIC entitled, “Taking Action on Hunger and Poverty”, as part of the Stand Up and Take Action campaign. The panel was moderated by Anita Sharma, North American Coordinator of the United Nations Millennium Campaign and also included Michael F. Curtin Jr., CEO of DC Central Kitchen and Margot Hoerner, Vice President of Outreach for Friends of the World Food Program.

Ms. Sharma spoke mainly about the challenges in achieving the Millennium Development Goals, but also stressed the importance of doing so. Furthermore, she pointed out that it would take just 18 billion to accomplish the MDGs, a seemingly small number in comparison to the recent $750 billion dollar bailout plan adopted by the United States government.

Next, Mr. Curtin described the work of his organization, which works to address hunger with much more than just food handouts. While DC Central Kitchen prepares and distributes about 4500 meals per day, the organization also enrolls individuals leaving the prison system in job training courses, mainly in the culinary and hospitality industry. Mr. Curtin also developed The Central Kitchen Farm Co-Op, a program that benefits both local farmers and the DCCK.

Finally, Ms. Hoerrner gave an in-depth presentation of the invaluable work the World Food Program does, especially in the face of the current food crisis. Currently, 923 million people suffer from chronic hunger, killing more than malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS combined. Ms. Hoerrner described the multi-faceted approach WFP uses to combat hunger globally, highlighting efforts to improve maternal and child health, as well as sustainability and self-sufficiency.

Sponsor: United Nations Association
Date: October 17, 2008
Representative Attending: Sarah Shebby

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