Schools in Action: London School of Economics

As part of the cooperation between LSE SU United Nations Society and the World Food Programme, a group of inspired students at the London School of Economics hit the streets of London on the occasion of World Food Week and World food Day 2009, for a week-long campaign to raise awareness about hunger, and funds for World Food Programme.

 
 Armed with a couple of red cups, a banner, brochures and great determination to end world hunger the group of LSE students raised the total of £800, enough to feed almost 5,000 hungry children.
 
It’s all about raising awareness… don’t have time to run a campaign? Make your own video for World Food Programme's hunger bytes! competition and tell us what you think about  hunger! 
 
Read the story written by WFP Student Ambassador Isabella Hayward and watch the video to see LSE students fighting world hunger.
 
                                                                                                    
 
 
LONDON - Whether rushing in between classes, scrambling for change to buy a bacon sandwich in Wright’s bar, or impatiently standing in line for stir fry in the 4th floor café at lunch time, it is easy to take food for granted and forget that millions of people do not know where their next meal is coming from. Last Friday (16th October) was World Food Day. The date marks the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and now serves to heighten public awareness about hunger, malnutrition and poverty. This year, World Food Day focuses on ‘achieving food security in times of crisis’ and it is indeed a time of crisis -for the first time in history more than 1 billion go hungry.
 
World Food Day also marked the beginning of the LSE SU United Nations Society’s cooperation with the World Food Programme (WFP). On Friday, the Society hosted Caroline Hurford, Senior Public Affairs Officer WFP, who gave a personal account of her work with the WFP, and spoke of the development aid coordinated by the organisation and the problems they face.
 
With the UN Conference on Climate Change COP15 approaching, climate change’s effect on the poor ought to be paramount, but the interests of big states tend to get in the way. For 44 years the WFP has helped mitigate the impact of climate change in the developing world, providing protection against erosion, desertification, flood, drought and natural disasters in order to establish food security.
 
The age of the food surplus is over, however. While there is currently enough food for every man, woman and child on the planet, reserves are depleted and the cost of nourishment remains stubbornly high in the developing world, pushing even more people into hunger. Why is it that we need to be reminded that hunger is one of the greatest threats to humanity and that for some, a meal is something you might come by every three days? Why is the issue so often disregarded in the media in favour of announcing sports scores, latest stock rates and celebrity scandals? Those who cannot feed themselves suffer in silence and it is only when huge natural disasters strike that the naked truth becomes crystal clear.
 
Food is not just a human right, but is also essential to building a better future for millions. Providing food aid is not just temporary relief from a larger problem – it is a vital first step towards a long-term solution. Without proper nutrition, people with chronic diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis don’t stand a chance. If children eat a good meal at school (one of the WFP’s prime projects), they are more likely to stay in education; investing in this generation allows them the possibility of changing their countries for the better as adults.
 
Why has the UN Society decided to work with the WFP? When asked, UN Society President, Tomás Guilherme da Costa, commented: “next year is the revision of the Millennium Goals, of which eradicating poverty and hunger are central aims. As the largest humanitarian organisation, providing food to 100 million people in 80 countries each year, the WFP is a natural partner in raising awareness of these issues.”
 
This week the UN Society, aided by eager ambassadors, will be out in force around the LSE campus raising awareness and funds for the ‘UN’s frontline agency’ in the fight against hunger. They will be promoting the WPF’s “Fill the cup” campaign – featuring the red plastic cup, which is widely used to serve children hot school meals in the developing world. The WFP relies exclusively on voluntary contributions – that’s where you come in! It costs WFP just 16p to provide a child with a school meal, demonstrating how little it takes to make an enormous difference.
 
So before you buy your lunch today, think of all those people who won’t be having any!
 
Article by Isabella Hayward, 2nd year undergraduate student at LSE, published in the Beaver LSE newspaper on  October 23, 2009
 
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