By Past District Governor Una Hobday, Chair of Food Plant Solutions Rotarian Action Group
The Food Plant Solutions Rotary Action Group creates science based, educational materials that explain what nutritional food is, why human bodies need it and how to grow and use it.
We know that hunger is on the rise. We care that every minute of every day, 5 children under 5 years of age die from malnutrition and malnutrition related causes. The World Food Program has estimated that the number of people facing acute food insecurity will increase by 130 million in 2020, as a result of COVID-19.
COVID-19 has affected us all in some way. Some of us are lucky and we have not had anyone in our family get the virus. The pandemic has affected people’s livelihoods, making it difficult for families to find the means to support themselves. In some parts of the world, just getting enough to eat each day; to feed children and families has become even more important.
Now more than ever, local food plants have a key role to play in our diet. Now more than ever, we need to be able to feed ourselves nutritious food. Gardening and growing your own food not only gives you food security, but also has positive effects on our mental health.
Perhaps you might consider what role you could play in helping your community at this time. It seems that for all of us, life as we know it has changed and it could be quite some time before it returns to anything resembling our past ‘normal’. In response to COVID-19, we have been designing a ‘Brief Gardening Guide’, specific to a region upon request. We also provide it in soft format so that it can easily be printed and distributed.
- 15 edible plants, three from each of the major food groups, that are known to grow easily in your region and are high in beneficial nutrients
- Key points to cultivate each edible plant
- Nutritional information
- Guidance on how to start a garden
The guide can be translated in the language of the region and allows anybody to start their own garden, whether in a pot, a trough or a large garden. A club or district can also work with schools, health clinics and community centres and assist people in the community to use them to start their own gardens.
In one district in India, the district governor has distributed a guide to each clubs and requested they work with local people to assist them to begin the process of providing nutritious food, thus enabling food security in their area.
During this time, we must help everyone access nutritious food. Please contact us for more information.