Global Hunger and Food Security

Special Calendar Dates

An estimated 925 million people globally will go hungry today. By 2050 the world’s population is expected to increase to 9 billion people, putting pressure on global food capacity. And as more people adopt a high calorie, meat-based diet, the price of staples like corn used for cattle feed will continue to rise as a proportion of daily living expenses for the poor.

Environmental degradation and crop damage due to climate change, the rise of biofuels, and agricultural distortions due to export farming add to the instability of local food cultures, creating conditions of increased food insecurity, hunger and malnutrition. 

Learn about Hunger and Food Practices Around the World

You can search Global Ministries for stories that help illustrate the need to advocate for fair food policies and end global hunger, as well as ideas to celebrate food and eating customs around the world.

UCC Resources

In 2011, the United Church of Christ is uniting as a denomination to address hunger related issues. Nov. 1-11, 2011... ONE UNITED CHURCH on a shared mission for 11 powerful days to feed the hungry and confront food-related injustice. Learn more about Mission 1
The UCC Poverty Page is a site with resources and educational materials linking issues of poverty, economic justice, and hunger.
The UCC Collegium of Officers invites and encourages all conferences, associations and congregations to participate and engage in dialogue and discussion using the Just Eating Curriculum.

In 2011 the UCC General Synod 28 passed a Resolution for Mindful and Faithful Eating. It notes that "Our dietary choices can have profound implications for the environment, human well-being, and animal welfare." It goes on to call on all Christians to "explore and discuss how food choices can accord with Christian values and beliefs” and the Church to develop curricula to “explore ways that our food choices affect food 81 security and the equitable availability of food for all God’s children.”

In 2009 the UCC General Synod 27 passed a resolution on The Roles of Church and Government in Addressing the Global Food Crisis.  The resolution calls on the church “to advocate for strengthening sustainable agricultural and fishing practices.” There are several resources that can be used to learn and respond to hunger local and around the world.

In 2003 the UCC General Synod 24 issued a related pronouncement:  A Faithful Response: Calling for a More Just, Humane Direction for Economic Globalization

Find more information on UCC Hunger and Food Security resources

Disciples of Christ Resources

In 2007 the Disciples General Assembly passed a resolution Concerning a Movement to Reconnect with our Food and the Natural World, which “urges the members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), as a people of the table, to recognize the importance of our connection with the source of our food and begin participating in sustainable, local food systems;” as well as engage in local agricultural initiatives, like community gardens, and national campaign for food security.

In addition, the Disciples General Assembly has a record of historic resolutions addressing global hunger and food justice, such as Concerning Support for Farmworkers (1973); Concerning World Hunger and Development (1975); Concerning a Response to the World Food Crisis on the part of Congregations and Members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) (1975); Concerning Christian Stewardship of Food and Farm Land (1975); and the 1977 Report Concerning World Hunger and Response to 1975 General Assembly Resolutions 46, 47, and 61.

Return to the Garden
Return to the Garden is a comprehensive Disciples resource for creating and operating congregation-based community gardens. Hundreds have attended trainings based on the resource and helped begin ministries that provide local, sustainable food in their communities.

Green Chalice Program
One way local congregations can become involved in environmental ministries, including efforts to promote local and sustainable food practices, is to connect with the Green Chalice program. Green Chalice is the Disciples stewardship of creation ministry that began in Kentucky in 2007. Disciples Home Missions and the Region of Kentucky joined in partnership in May 2011 to expand the work of Green Chalice to the denomination.  Its mission is to connect Christian faith, spiritual practice and creation consciousness in order to demonstrate the fullness of God's shalom. An important step for congregations committing to live out their faith by caring for creation is to study and sign the foundation 1981 Disciples’ Alverna Covenant.

Find more information on Disciples Hunger and Food Security resources 

Calendar Dates

In October we have several opportunities to learn more about food, hunger, sustainability and agriculture.

World Communion Sunday
The first Sunday in October is an occasion to celebrate the sacramental act of breaking bread and pouring the cup that unite us globally as part of the one body of Christ. It is also an opportunity to recognize in worship the connections between the Holy Communion and the common meals that sustain people’s daily living all around the world. Global Ministries has a variety of bread-related and other resources for marking World Communion Sunday.

Churches’ Week of Action on Food
The World Council of Churches-related Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance sponsors the Food for Life Campaign. The Churches’ Week of Action on Food in October goes from Monday to Monday and incorporates the International Day for Rural Women (October 15), World Food Day (October 16) and the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (October 17).

World Food Day, October 16
Dedicate your Sunday dinner as a World Food Day meal on October 16. Join in broadening the conversation about where our food comes from, and how we can make the food system more just and sustainable.

We are all tied to a global food system. In a world facing the challenges of a growing population, skewed resource distribution and an erratic climate, one of the best ways to combat global food insecurity is to invest in small producers – especially women farmers – and remove the barriers that limit their productivity and ability to market their produce.

Creating this awareness is what a World Food Day dinner is all about. Use the resources from our partners at Church World Service and OxFam below to host a fun, educational and engaging conversation about food justice.

Hunger Placemat
While supplies last, these are available free from CWS’ distribution center for those hosting a Share A Meal or another hunger education event. Order online or call 1-800-297-1516 and ask for resource EA 1237.

Celebrate World Food Day
Bulletin insert educates about the issue of hunger and offers three ways you can make a difference.

Share A Meal "How To" Instruction Sheet
Answers to questions, inspirational ideas for engagement and links to available resources.

Sample Hunger Prayers
Three prayers that may be used in worship services, study times and as part of special Share A Meal events.

Discussion Guide
At the most basic level, focus your Share A Meal conversations on the food you eat and where it comes from. How do your choices connect your well-being with the well-being of people, plants, animals – communities and the ecosystems they are a part of all around the world?

Hunger Sermon Notes
Scripture passages that can be used alone or in combination in a sermon. One theme that links all of these passages is that we are called to work together to be good stewards of creation and ensure everyone’s basic needs are met.

Share a Meal: Recipes
A collection of recipes celebrating foods of the world – and those who make them! Download the list of recipes.

"Share A Meal" Event Reporting Form
Help CWS track the impact of our collective efforts to educate and inspire action to address hunger and food security. In order to satisfy funders’ reporting requirements and to help us gauge the usefulness of various types of materials we produce, please complete this form and return.

National Food Day
It's time to eat real! Observe National Food Day on October 24. This nationwide campaign promotes delicious, healthy, and affordable food produced in a sustainable way. Join with advocates around the country to inspire Americans to improve our diets and fix our food system! Get more information about Food Day and Download the Food Day Organizers Guide.

Partners in Hunger Advocacy and Food Assistance

  • Ecumenical Advocacy Days – Hunger issues are often considered, and the 2013 EAD theme was At God’s Table: Food Justice for a Healthy World
  • Fairness for Farm Workers connects you with the people who make food security possible – both locally and on large farms.
  • The UCC One Great Hour of Sharing and the Disciples of Christ Week of Compassion connect you and your congregation with a variety of hunger assistance and sustainable development opportunities.
  • Church World Service provides resources, advocacy and partners with churches in development projects and emergency assistance. CWS Crop Walks are opportunities for local communities to raise awareness and money for hunger programs. The CWS Enough for All Campaign raises awareness about connections between available food and water resources and issues such as climate change, and the impact on vulnerable populations around the world. Printed and online resources highlight the work of CWS and its partners in addressing these issues.
  • Bread for the World conducts research and policy advocacy on food and aid, and promotes other anti-hunger programs.
  • Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance Food for Life Campaign is a global campaign to overcome hunger and to improve livelihoods in harmony with creation and social justice. Resources for study, worship and advocacy are available for congregational use. Resources that examine the important links between food security, nutrition and HIV are also highlighted.
  • Asian Rural Institute in Japan provides training for international grassroots rural leaders, including courses in organic farming and the use of appropriate technologies to promote food security.
  • Amity Foundation in China promotes projects related to food and integrated community development. They include the improvement of river embankments and arable land, education about better seeds, more access to safe drinking water, and agricultural skills training for peasants.
  • Foods Resource Bank is a Christian, non-governmental humanitarian organization committed to programs of sustainable agriculture. FRB helps to achieve food security by forming coalitions of landowners, mission-minded farmers, agricultural businesses, caring individuals, churches, and communities to provide needed food security resources through growing projects supported by Christian denominations, church agencies, and faith-based hunger organizations. UCC and Disciples are members of FRB.
  • Alliance for Fair Food is a network of human rights, religious, student, labor, and grassroots organizations who work in partnership with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW).

Other Resources

Food Week of Action and World Food Day Resource (September 2016)

Public-Private Partnerships: Working to Reduce Global Hunger - Global Ministries contributed to this faith community discussion paper produced by the Maryknoll Office on Global Concerns

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