With the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to be felt around the world, many people are struggling to meet their basic needs. Unemployment is at an all-time high and an alarming number of families are facing food insecurity.
To bring greater awareness to these struggles, particularly for those in under-developed and conflict-affected countries, a group of professional chefs are coming together to share their favorite recipes from across the globe this World Food Day (October 16).
"More Than a Meal" is a collection of recipes from around the globe developed in partnership by World Vision, a global aid and development agency, and The Chefs' Manifesto, a network of chefs advocating good food for all.
"Food really is life. It brings people together and importantly, good, nutritious food, and plenty of it, ensures children are able to survive and thrive," said Marcus Frost, World Vision's partnership leader for marketing and communications.
Recipes include those from both Michelin Star chefs and families living in many of the countries where World Vision works, and represent a wide variety of cuisines. Some examples are Macaroni Egg Soup from Indonesia and Imvungure, a traditional Rwandan recipe using maize.
"We hope these recipes and the stories behind them encourage people to look at places such as Syria as more than just humanitarian crises. These countries are children's homes, often filled with memories and traditions passed down through generations," Frost said.
Hunger and malnutrition are the "biggest risks to health worldwide," even more so than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined, according to the U.N. A new report estimates 690 million people in the world were undernourished in 2019 and COVID-19 could add between 83 to 132 million people to that figure.
While food insecurity affects people around the world, those in developing nations are hit particularly hard.
Around 250 million people in Africa are undernourished and the number is growing faster than in any other region of the world.
Thankfully, organizations like World Vision are doing their part to help ease food insecurity in these vulnerable areas.
"Since the pandemic was declared, thanks to the unwavering support of people and partners around the globe, World Vision has reached almost 6.2 million people globally with food security assistance," Frost said.
World Vision doesn't just provide food, it also addresses the root causes of food insecurity by increasing knowledge of proper nutrition and equipping parents with the tools they need to be able to provide nutritious foods for their families.
"Good food is a foundation for everything, providing the energy needed to fight for a better future for everyone, everywhere. But it is also vulnerable to disruption and not always a choice," says Paul Newnham, founder of The Chefs' Manifesto.
"Part of the solution to ensure good food for all is investing in livelihoods. That could mean buying fair trade or supporting organizations like World Vision which teaches farmers how to increase production, improve quality, secure a fair price and ensure sustainability," Newnham said.
To check out the recipes and learn more about how you can help, visit www.wvi.org/more-than-a-meal.
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