World Food Day

World Food Day is celebrated across the world every 16th of October.

And why should we care about it? Well, the right to food is a basic human right. Basic, yet our country suffers from chronic food emergency, where only 3 out of 10 Filipino households are food secure [1]. In 2015, more than 30% of children aged 5-10 years are underweight and stunted while more than 30% of Filipino adults, aged 20 and above are overweight or obese [2].

Still in 2015, 21.93 million Filipinos live in poverty with 8.23 million are unable to buy even their basic food needs [3]. As of the 2nd Quarter of 2017, 2.2 million families still experience involuntary hunger, of which, around 374,000 families suffer from acute hunger [4].

Ironically, farmers and fisherfolks – those who produce food on our tables – are among the poorest and likely to go hungry.

To help raise awareness and spark action for those who suffer from hunger and the need to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all, the Peoples Food Movement (PFM), the League of Organic Agriculture Municipalities and Cities (LOAMC), #IAmHampasLupa Ecological Youth Movement and Greenpeace Philippines will hold an event a week earlier. The event aptly dubbed, Sibol: The Journey towards Sustainable and Ecological Food Systems is scheduled on 6 October 2017 at Cinema Lobby, Trinoma Mall, EDSA, Quezon City.

“Sibol” means to sprout and grow. It represents the many efforts of groups and individuals, who are challenging the status quo and prevailing mindset by demanding healthy and nutritious food and promoting ecological agriculture to protect the environment.

From these efforts, spring hope that will lead to a healthy, safe and bountiful harvest, easily accessible, affordable and available to every Filipino.

Working together, Greenpeace and the PFM envisions the birth of a national food system that is inclusive and upholds Filipinos’ rights to choose how food is sustainably sourced and produced, free from harmful practices endorsed by a few corporations.

“Sibol” the event aims to showcase the initiatives and best practices of the food, agriculture, nutrition and environment communities towards the attainment of a sustainable food system that produces healthy and culturally appropriate food. An establishment of this system will uphold the rights of the people on food and nutrition, as it allows us to define our own systems through the use of ecologically sound and sustainable methods.

To speak on various topics are Ms. Hindy Weber and Ms. Melanie Go of Holy Carabao Holistic Farm; Ms. Luningning Caravana, licensed Nutritionist-Dietitian, Sports Nutritionist, and Lifestyle Coach; Mr. Ryan Bestre of #IAmHampasLupa Ecological Youth Movement, Vice Mayor Aidel Belamide, Silang, Cavite; Ms. Faye Ferrer of Healthcare without Harm; Ms. Nona Andaya-Castillo, Nurturers of the Earth; Mr. Manuel Francisco Bretaña IV of Qubo.PH.

Other speakers to talk about best practice and governance initiatives are Mr. Ramon Padilla of the UAAP.Net; Ms. Irish Baguilat of the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR); Mr. Angelo Hernan E. Melencio of Tuklas Innovation Lab; Ms. Leonora Lava of Greenpeace Philippines; and Mayor Rommel Arnado of Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte.

Ms. Cathy Untalan-Vital, Miss Earth 2006 is the featured story reader in the Story Telling for Children session while Ms. Laila Monera Pornel-Espital of the Elements of Tomorrow will show how to dish up a simple yet nutritious baon for kids.

This is an opportunity for LGUs, civil society, people’s organizations, networks, social movements and individuals who are practicing, advocating, and campaigning for a sustainable/ecological food system to come together and exchange thoughts and experiences.

So, why should be care about World Food Day? Because food issues are people issues, and it should concern every one of us.

Join the movement now, register early at #letsSiboltogether.

[1] Food and Nutrition Research Institute. 2015. 8th National Nutrition Survey, Food Security Survey.

[2] [1] FNRI. 2016. The Double Burden of Malnutrition in the Philippines.

[3] Philippine Statistics Authority, 2016. 2015 Full Year Official Poverty Statistics of the Philippines.

[4] Social Weather Station 2017. Second Quarter 2017 Social Weather Survey: Families experiencing Hunger fall to single-digit for the first time since 2004.

[5] Philippine Statistics Authority. 2017. “Farmers, Fishermen and Children consistently posted the highest poverty incidence among basic sectors”. Reference Number 2017-50. June 30, 2017.

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