#Hungerto Support: Social Safety Nets and Hunger Relief
By Lily Michelson

World hunger is a solvable problem, but it will not be solved without teamwork and collaboration. The 870 million individuals who are fighting hunger, the individuals who relinquish their battle every 3.6 seconds, rely on each one of us to make a difference. Remember, even small things make great changes.

We need social safety nets to serve as foundations for implementing change. Social safety nets are extensive and varied support systems, and can be divided into four major aid groups: indirect transfers, direct transfers, microcredit, and community-centered support systems.  Indirect transfers are government programs that assist individuals without giving them direct aid. Examples of indirect transfers include job training, minimum wage laws, price controls, and any public sector work. In contrast, direct transfers are government programs that provide the needy with direct food or financial aid. In the United States, a good example of a direct transfer program is FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which provides immediate relief to disaster-stricken areas. Microcredit support systems provide budding entrepreneurs who are unqualified for traditional bank loans with smaller, low-interest loans so they can implement their business and kick-start the local economy. Finally, community-centered support systems include charities, non-governmental organizations, and local service groups. Community-centered support systems are especially effective in areas that have limited public funding.

Today’s PERSPECTIVES essays discuss the importance of social safety nets in the fight against hunger. The contributors are diverse, and posit different positions on the most effective support systems for fighting hunger. Jeremy Everett, Director of the Texas Hunger Initiative, argues for the continued funding of indirect social support systems in the United States.  On the importance of community-centered safety nets in hunger-prone communities, Fabretto Children’s Foundation highlights the multipurpose role of school gardening programs in Nicaragua, MANA Nutrition explains the importance of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF), and Stop Hunger Now describes the role of meal packaging to assist school feeding programs.

#Hungerto get involved?

Go to ACT!

Do you like this post?

Be the first to comment