Growing local solutions to fight hunger and malnutrition

By Past District Governor Una Hobday, Chair of the Food Plant Solutions Rotarian Action Group

In 2015, 2.6 million children under the age of five died from malnutrition linked causes. The first 1000 days from conception are critical in a child’s development.  If children do not receive adequate quantities of key micronutrients, they can be irreparably impaired for life. These statistics always leave me shocked, which is why I’m serving as chair of the Food Plant Solutions Rotarian Action Group. Together with our RAG members and partnering clubs and organizations, we are working to change this fact.

One solution to malnutrition is as simple as growing the right food plants in the right places. In 2011, the Food Plant Solutions Rotarian Action Group was recognized to support clubs with their efforts to help grow the most nutritious and viable food plants in their local environments.

The action group focuses on addressing malnutrition, hunger and food security through the use of readily available local food plants. This self-sustaining solution empowers people to understand local food plant resources and allows them to feed themselves and their families.

The main obstacle people face in taking advantage of local food plants is a lack of knowledge about their importance and true nutritional value. The Food Plant Solutions Rotarian Action Group helps clubs and districts identify the most appropriate local food plant options with the most nutritional value by creating resources and advising on related projects.  These resources help people, particularly women, understand the connection between plant selection and nutrition, and empowers them to grow a range of plants with differing seasonal requirements and maturities.

All projects (whether they be housing, water, schools, maternal health, etc.), could be further enhanced by adding a food plant solution component to them. Most people in dire situations require a sustainable way to grow and access nutritious food. The results are impressive: our partner in Vietnam has seen malnutrition reduced by as much as 95% through the implementation of a school garden

In 2015, approximately 2,600,000 children under the age of five died from malnutrition-related causes. Hunger and malnutrition is preventable. Through extensive partnerships, the Food Plant Solutions RAG can make a difference.

You and I can make a difference. Learn how you can start a program in your region and visit our website for more information. Let’s take action against hunger today, and commit to eradicating malnutrition within our lifetime.

Browse Rotary Showcase for inspirational Rotary projects addressing hunger and malnutrition. Join the discussion group on hunger in Rotary’s online community.


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