The Super Bowl is a tradition that many Americans welcome as a high point in February after the memory of holiday celebrations has faded. And, as with many celebrations in the United States, family and friends gather and food features prominently—from tables to tailgates.
Food and community are common themes in celebrations around the world. And yet nearly 800 million people go to bed hungry every night around the globe. This isn’t just a moral outrage; it also puts global stability and security at risk. The United States has taken a leading role in rallying the world to change this statistic—and the many lives it represents.
Through Feed the Future, we’re working to ensure that delicious and nourishing food is available and accessible every day of the year, particularly for rural families in developing countries like Nepal, where I recently served as USAID Mission Director, who do not experience the abundance many of us in the United States will enjoy around the big game this weekend.
Lineup Against Hunger
How do we do this? By bringing the best and brightest from around our country and the world together to find and share solutions to global hunger, poverty and malnutrition. Many of these solutions revolve around specific foods that are important to rural livelihoods and diets, such as the four highlighted below.
We’ve drafted a winning team from across governments, nonprofits, businesses, universities and more to tackle challenges faced by farmers, with the goal of improving agriculture as a source of nutritious food and income.
This game plan against hunger is working.
Farmers like Ram Prasad Chaudhary in Nepal are breaking out of recurring cycles of poverty and hunger. With Feed the Future’s help, he tripled his income last year and can now afford to cover both the cost of food for his family as well as his children’s education. This Feed the Future program has helped as many as 52,000 farmers like him, with similar results. And this is just in Nepal! Across Feed the Future’s 19 focus countries we made a difference in the lives of 19 million rural families last year. The most exciting part is that their stories are adding up to impact.
And while we’ve proved progress is possible, we still have yards to go. Read the headlines in the news and you’ll see how devastating the cycle of hunger and poverty is to global stability and security.
We can break this cycle. We have an approach that works, we’ve mobilized billions in public and private resources to support it, and momentum is strong to continue this focus on food security for years to come.
Take the Field
Help spread the good news this February that forward progress in the fight to end hunger is not only possible, but happening.
Scroll down to learn more about four of the foods that appear on Feed the Future’s roster as well as game day snack tables. As you open that jar of salsa or while you’re heaping beans and cheese on your nachos this weekend, consider how closely connected we are to others around the world through the foods we eat. It may be much closer than you think!
Opponent: Invasive pests and diseases have been threatening the world’s tomato supply and impose constraints on alleviating global poverty and improving nutrition.
Forward Progress: Feed the Future has teamed up with Virginia Tech to address pests and diseases that hurt vegetable crops, including tomatoes, in Africa and Asia using integrated strategies and technologies.
As Seen On Snack Menus: Spice up your snacking with some hot salsa (did you know we help grow chilies, too?).
Milk & Other Dairy Products
Opponent: Producers’ lack of access to advanced technology, adequate facilities, and reliable markets decreases milk production and the income they make from it in developing countries.
Forward Progress: Feed the Future is partnering with businesses to help smallholder farmers in the dairy sector use innovative technology and connect to reliable markets. Together, we’re also providing technical and financial support to local enterprises.
As Seen On Snack Menus: Get creative with a cheese dip.
Opponent: Environmental stresses, such as heat and drought, make black bean production around the world more difficult and reduce yields.
Forward Progress: Feed the Future has teamed up with the Pennsylvania State University, Michigan State University and the University of Puerto Rico to integrate new scientific technologies with traditional breeding approaches to develop heat- and drought-tolerant, high-yielding bean varieties that farmers want to grow.
As Seen on Snack Menus: Chili, anybody?
Opponent: Climate change hinders the growth of wheat in many of the world’s growing regions, threatening global food security and exacerbating poverty.
Forward Progress: Feed the Future has teamed up with Washington State University and Kansas State University to develop wheat varieties that are better at tolerating high temperatures and are climate-resilient in most of the world’s growing regions.
As Seen on Snack Menus: You can never go wrong with pizza!
Does your spread feature any of these ingredients? Share a photo of your game day snacks on social media using the hashtag #feedthefuture this weekend!