Empowering Local Farmers to End Hunger

December 31, 2012 | By | 4 Replies More

Anna Hunt, Staff Writer
Waking Times 

Frances Moore Lappé, author of Diet for a Small Planet, is an avid believer that a democracy that can empower its citizens to become involved in providing the community’s life essentials may be just want society needs to address the urgent issue of hunger.

In Brazil, Belo Horizonte, the fourth largest city, is an example of a community that has involved its citizens in the design and implementation of a new food system. Motivated by statistics such as 11% of the population living in poverty and 20% of the city’s children going hungry, mayor Patrus Ananias launched a new “food-as-a-right” policy, which focused on food security for all. Initiatives such as allocating public space for the sale of fresh produce from local farmers helped address the interests of farmers as well as the public. Farmers were able to bypass costly wholesaler and distribution costs, while being offered prime retail space in urban areas. The public, in turn, has easy access to inexpensive, high-quality, locally-grown foods.

Today, 34 “ABC” markets – “food at low prices” – exist in Belo Horizonte. The city is involved in setting below-market prices for about 20 foods offered at these markets, presenting shoppers with low-cost options of locally-grown, healthy, fresh products. Vendors are allowed to sell all other products at market prices. In order to secure a spot at an “ABC” market, the farmers must also commit to transporting and offering their produce to poor neighborhoods outside of the city center.

Other initiatives that stemmed from the “food-as-a-right” policy were: the creation of “People’s Restaurants,” serving about 12000+ people each day with 50-cent meals made from locally-grown foods, facilitating the development of urban gardens throughout communities and schools, and educating the public about nutrition and food prices. Additionally, federal funds spent on school lunches are now allocated to local farmers, versus processed, packaged foods.

In most communities, public policy is currently ineffective in addressing issues surrounding the food supply and hunger, but Belo is an example that solutions exist when communities and government work together in mutual respect. Adriana Aranha, former manager within the Belo city agency that administers the “food-as-a-right” policy, states, “We’re showing that the state doesn’t have to provide everything, it can facilitate. It can create channels for people to find solutions themselves.” (Yes Magazine)

In Belo, the unified effort of the community has been a strong foundation for this public effort to end hunger. This concept of community and supporting each other’s food needs is innate in human nature, and it is only during the last few thousand years that we’ve converted to a more selfish disposition. The city’s initiatives now benefit about 40% of the city’s 2.5 million inhabitants, while costing it only 2% of its annual budget. Aranha adds, “Everyone in our city benefits if all of us have access to good food, so—like health care or education—quality food for all is a public good.” (Yes Magazine)

Here in the United States, the richest country in the world, in 2010, about 15% of households in the US, or 1 in 7, were “food insecure”, and almost 1 in 5 children are at a risk of hunger (worldhunger.org). In the US, the National School Lunch Program offers low-cost or free lunches to 31 million children each day (USDA). Yet, about 96 billion pounds of food is thrown out by retailers, restaurants and households in the US each year (USDA). And as the economy deteriorates and food prices rise, this will become an even more pressing issue.

In the complex and well-populated world that we live in today, it is difficult to find solutions to basic problems such as hunger, and even more difficult to balance private sector interests with government influence into ‘free’ markets. Perhaps an example can be taken from Belo Horizante where the government simply opened some doors and empowered local farmers to meet the needs of the community.

About the Author

Anna Hunt is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com and an entrepreneur with over a decade of experience in research and editorial writing. She and her husband run a preparedness e-store outlet at www.offgridoutpost.com, offering GMO-free storable food and emergency kits. Anna is also a certified Hatha yoga instructor. She enjoys raising her children and being a voice for optimal human health and wellness. Read more of her excellent articles here.

Sources:
http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/food-for-everyone/the-city-that-ended-hunger
http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/lunch/aboutlunch/NSLPFactSheet.pdf
http://www.dosomething.org/tipsandtools/11-facts-about-hunger-us#

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

~~ Help Waking Times to raise the vibration by sharing this article with the buttons below…

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Category: Activism, All Original Articles, Anna Hunt, Business, Community, Contributors, Earth, Evolution, Food, Governance, Ideas, Inspiration, Society

Comments (4)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Al Smith says:

    No one person or group has all the best solutions to Humanity’s ever growing list of issues. But, certainly, we all do. Nothing will ever change for the benefit of Humanity until We all start to regularly participate in a publicly owned system of real democracy, such as http://www.MajorityVoice.org or one like it. As long as We leave Our decisions in the hands of elected representatives, they will continue to be bought off or extorted into favoring the agenda of the elite banksters (pretend-Jews, Khazarian Zionists) who now legally, but unlawfully own their “free” world and Us.

  2. dimitri says:

    Democracy is a failed experiment. We don’t need and should not want any government, even an elected one, “facilitating”, in other words “permitting”, either food supply, education, health or any other social interaction. Allowing that to happen is a clear surrender of the liberty to do as the individual chooses. This puff piece about Belo Horizonte sounds a whole lot like of some weird kind of brotherly love is going on, but it’s not. What has happened is that the control of food there has been handed over to the state. The state will play nice for as long as it gets good reviews. As soon as the press leaves all sorts of regulations and fees and bureaucratic strangleholds will economically destroy the indigenous farmers. It happens every time. Thus this article can easily be relegated to the Propaganda File.

  3. hp says:

    Another perfect lesson for all the kids and young people to hear about and know and talk among themselves about.

    Is there anything the government or pretend authorities do which is helpful?

    Practically everything is illegal, or pending.

  4. Peter Burmeister says:

    There is virtually no reason for people to be “food insecure.” Even in the inner city people can raise their the majority of their own food. It is already being done, but not on a sufficient scale. Instead of programs like the one described, we need initiatives to teach people how to take care of their own food needs. governmental setting of artificial prices for food is never going to work. People need to understand that healthy food comes with a price. Either they have to pay the price, or grow their own food. Any other scenario is contrary to nature and ultimately is doomed to fail.

Leave a Reply

Must Watch Videos

Open Source Plans for Modern Tesla Free Energy Generator Released to Public

Open Source Plans for Modern Tesla Free Energy Generator Released to Public













Terence Newton, Staff Writer
Waking Times

In a world of problems and solutions, few ideas spur both immediate hope and skepticism as the idea of free energy, and, on the brink of ecological disaster, nothing may be of greater importance to the human race.

The story of Nikola More

April 14, 2014 | By | 13 Replies More
Neuroscientist Exposes Dangers of Electromagnetic Fields

Neuroscientist Exposes Dangers of Electromagnetic Fields













Kevin Samson, Guest
Waking Times

Neuroscience has come under scrutiny for its involvement in an array of mind control initiatives and other ethically questionable research. But at least one neuroscientist from Sweden has gone on record to caution against the increasing dangers of Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) on human beings … More

April 14, 2014 | By | Reply More
On the Eve of Construction

On the Eve of Construction













Zen Gardner, Guest
Waking Times

I love the sound of construction. I always have. Not the industrial sound from the kind of massive, offensive structures made with other-worldly looking machines, but the intentional, gentle kind. Small structures going up, improvements on homes, road repairs, even tending to gardens whether … More

April 13, 2014 | By | 2 Replies More
Are You Inadvertently Investing in Monsanto’s Toxic Legacy?

Are You Inadvertently Investing in Monsanto’s Toxic Legacy?













Brandon Baker, Eco Watch
Waking Times

Monsanto didn’t achieve $11.8 billion in sales and 404 facilities in 66 countries all on its own.

The company is valued at $60 billion in the marketplace with 525 million shares outstanding, but the three largest mutual fund shareholders, Vanguard, Fidelity and State Street, … More

April 10, 2014 | By | Reply More
7 Ways Our Children Are Being Brainwashed

7 Ways Our Children Are Being Brainwashed













Gregg Prescott, M.S., In5D Guest
Waking Times

From birth, virtually all of us have been brainwashed through various outlets that encourage materialism, ego, subservience, control and conformity. But where do the origins of mind control begin and what can we do about it?

1. Religion

As children, the brainwashing begins … More

April 9, 2014 | By | 5 Replies More

Activism Works

The Truth About Fluoride Becoming More Widely Known

The Truth About Fluoride Becoming More Widely Known













Dr. Mercola
Waking Times

Fluoride is a poisonous substance added to many municipal water supplies across the US, Canada, and elsewhere without the permission of the residents. Is there a model that communities can follow to remove it from their water supply? The short answer to this question is yesMore

April 1, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
6 Crimes Against Nature Perpetrated By The Food Industry

6 Crimes Against Nature Perpetrated By The Food Industry













Martha Rosenberg, AlterNet
Waking Times

While many procedures on factory farms are cruel, breeding animals into mutants and violating mother/offspring bonds are truly crimes against nature.

The horrors of factory farming are multifold. Treating animals like heads of lettuce—”forget it’s an animal” says one farming magazine—has created institutionalized ruthlessness toward … More

March 28, 2014 | By | 5 Replies More
Our Respective Journeys Into the Valley of Reason

Our Respective Journeys Into the Valley of Reason













Michael T. Winter, Contributor
Waking Times

The Internet awakening has given birth to a worldwide multitude of people that are disengaging from the programmed paradigm created for us, and awakening to the reality of the dangers we face. The web has supplied a platform for writers to take a crack … More

March 26, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
13 Ways Foodies Are Changing The Food Industry

13 Ways Foodies Are Changing The Food Industry













Heather Callaghan & Jeffrey Green, Guests
Waking Times

A major shift in the consciousness of food consumers is forcing the industry into a competitive race to become more natural.  The market is telling food producers that they no longer want so-called factory food because of its many harmful effects on … More

March 25, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
American Agriculture May Eradicate the Monarch Butterfly Unless Swift Action Is Taken

American Agriculture May Eradicate the Monarch Butterfly Unless Swift Action Is Taken













Dr. Mercola
Waking Times

You may be aware that bees are dying in large numbers across the globe, courtesy of the ever-increasing presence of toxins in our environment. But did you know that the monarch butterfly is also becoming endangered, and for the same reason?

As reported by the New More

March 22, 2014 | By | Reply More