Nearly a Billion Do Not Have Enough to Eat
That means one in seven people do not get enough food to be healthy and lead an active life. Hunger and malnutrition are in fact the number one risk to the health worldwide—greater than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. Among the key causes of hunger are natural disasters, conflict, poverty, poor agricultural infrastructure and over-exploitation of the environment. Recently, financial and economic crises have pushed more people into hunger. As well as hunger resulting from an empty stomach, there is also the hidden danger of micronutrient deficiencies which make people susceptible to infectious diseases, impair physical and mental development, reduce their labor productivity and increase the risk of premature death.
Recently, financial and economic crises have pushed more people into hunger. As well as hunger resulting from an empty stomach, there is also the hidden danger of micronutrient deficiencies which make people susceptible to infectious diseases, impair physical and mental development, reduce their labor productivity and increase the risk of premature death.
Facts on Hunger
Hunger does not only weigh on the individual. It also imposes a crushing economic burden on the developing world. Economists estimate that every child whose physical and mental development is stunted by hunger and malnutrition stands to lose 5-10 percent in lifetime earnings.
Even in America, hunger is an all too frequent condition for so many. Although America is the land of plenty, for 1 in 6 Americans, hunger is a reality. Many people believe that the problems associated with hunger are confined to small pockets of society, certain areas of the country, or certain neighborhoods, but the reality is much different. Right now, millions of Americans are struggling with hunger. These are often hard-working adults, children and seniors who simply cannot make ends meet and are forced to go without food for several meals, or even days.
Chefs for Humanity is dedicated to reversing these devastating trends, both here at home and overseas. Understanding these conditions is the first step.
WFP Clean Cookstoves Initiative
Chefs for Humanity Addresses Hunger in Haiti with $100,000 Donation to the World Food Programme for Clean Cookstoves
In January 2010, Haiti was struck by a powerful earthquake that affected millions and left many Haitians without the basic necessities–food, water and shelter. The World Food Programme (WFP) was on the ground providing emergency food support and the recovery efforts weren’t only challenged by how quickly to distribute food to 4 million people, but also access to resources to cook and prepare it. With the support of Chefs for Humanity and Cat Cora, WFP started a pilot project that provides schools with cooking stoves fueled by briquettes made of recycled paper and cardboard. This initiative reduces charcoal consumption in the country, which improves school health and safety while also protecting the environment.
The stoves provide school meals to children across the country, which is vital to Haiti’s rebuilding. to be able to get good, healthy, nutritious meals is crucial to the future of these children and for the county. As one Port-au-Prince school principal put it, the school meals program is essential because “if the students don’t eat, they can’t see, they can’t hear, they can’t learn.”
With the donation provided by Chefs for Humanity, the cookstoves brought to Haiti will continue to allow students to learn and eat healthy meals in a safe environment.
Why Clean Stoves? What the Cooks Tell Us
The cooks tell us they really like using the stoves. Here’s why: they say they produce less heat and they have bigger pots so they can cook larger quantities of food at once. They are also very happy not to use charcoal anymore. Their hands are cleaner (and so is the kitchen), and they don’t have to breathe charcoal fumes. Everyone is aware that charcoal is not good for the environment, especially in Haiti, where deforestation is a big problem. Cooks mention it too. Finally and not least, the briquettes are cheaper than charcoal. Schools appreciate that.
A Cookstove Success Story
At École République, most of the cooks at the school are parents of students. Every day they prepare meals made with food provided by the World Food Programme. These meals provide an incentive for parents to send their children to school. “Sometimes, we don’t have enough food at home, it’s good to know that my child will find something good to eat at school,” says one parent.
Milfort benefits from WFP school meals at her school, Presbyterale Bon Berger in Haiti. Her father drives a taxa moto and her mother sells soft drinks on the street. Milfort has two brothers and one sister.
Thanks to Chefs for Humanity’s cookstove donation and food provided by WFP, kids like Milfort can proudly show their lunch plates, often the first meal they will receive that day. School meals help the children to concentrate, learn and grow. The meals also provide an incentive for poor parents to send their children to school and to keep them in school. Especially girls benefit from this extra incentive and get the chance to access education. Just 25 US cents will fill a cup with porridge, rice or beans and give girls a monthly ration to take home. $1.50 is enough to feed a child through school for one week.