Addressing Food Security Globally and Locally
Being food secure means having enough nutritious food for a healthy and active life.
Across the world, nearly a billion people face food security challenges. This can be because nutritious food isn’t always available in communities, people can’t always afford it, or people do not consume an adequate variety of foods to stay healthy.
In the U.S. and in the world, food security advocates—including many Peace Corps Volunteers—are working with government programs, nonprofit organizations, and local communities to improve food security.
You will research food security in your community, in the U.S., and in the world.
Using what you've learned, you will work with a team to host a live food security forum (where you invite actual experts) or a mock food security forum (where you and your classmates play the roles of experts).
You will carefully identify four panelists whose perspectives you’d like to include in a discussion about food security. It will be your responsibility to plan how you will conduct the forum and what you will ask your panelists.
Use the information collection worksheet to the right to record information as you work through the activity.
What is food security?
There are three components of food security:
- Food availability: Having enough food present in a region to feed everyone
- Food access: Having enough money to buy food
- Food utilization: Consuming a balanced diet, with enough variety to keep you healthy
View the video Science for a Hungry World to learn about factors that can affect food security.
Food security in your community
There are many ways to support community food security.
Search for resources near you that can help people buy locally-produced food.
Then, read real stories of hunger in your community. Find out about the types of programs and services available to families suffering from hunger.
Food security in the U.S.
Read about three models of food assistance provided by the U.S. government. How do you think each one helps to promote better food security in our country?
- The Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the Food Stamp Program)
- National School Lunch Program
Food security in the world
View the world map: Prevalence of undernourishment in the total population. What global trends do you notice?
How are Peace Corps Volunteers addressing food security?
View the video below to learn how Peace Corps Volunteers are working with communities around the world to address food security.
How can improving agriculture, business, health and nutrition education, and the environment help to improve food security?
Planning your food security forum
Using what you’ve learned, you are ready to begin planning your food security forum. You will begin by identifying three panelists to participate in a conversation about food security. Remember that you want diverse perspectives on the issue, as well as a local and global expertise.
For a local perspective, you might consider inviting someone who...
- manages a local farmers market or food bank
- makes their living in agriculture
- works for your school district’s school meals program
- helps people in your community apply for federal food assistance
For a global perspective, you might invite someone who...
- has worked in agriculture, nutrition, or food security overseas
- has lived in a country dealing with food security challenges
- has served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in another country
Once you identify four people you'll invite, write a one paragraph summary of the expertise they could provide.
Next, create a list of five interview questions for your panelists. Remember to ask questions related to improving food access, food availability, and food utilization both locally and globally, as well as questions that allow them to share their individual expertise.
Conducting your food security forum
Share your list of panelists with your classmates. Pooling everyone’s ideas, decide on the top four panelists you would include.
- Live forum option. If it’s feasible, invite the panelists you selected to participate in a real discussion. This could happen in person, on the phone via conference call, or online via videoconference, live chat, or email. The audience could be your class, or a larger part of your school community. You will need to organize your discussion questions in advance and designate someone to moderate the conversation.
- Mock forum option. If it’s not feasible to invite the panelists for a real discussion, conduct a mock food security forum with groups of students representing the perspectives of your selected panelists. As a class, organize your discussion questions in advance. Then work with your team to develop responses from the perspective of the panelist you are representing. The discussion may be moderated by a student or a teacher.
Reflect on your experience by writing about or discussing:
- How do food security issues affect families, communities, countries, and the world?
- What do you anticipate will be the world’s major food security challenges in the next decade? The next century?
- What can we do to improve food security in our community and in our world?