Connect Blog

  • Members of the GNRtFN, representing 23 organization and 16 countries, convene for their 4th international meeting in Viota, Columbia
    Members of the GNRtFN, representing 23 organization and 16 countries, convene for their 4th international meeting in Viota, Columbia
  • Jorge Mani Stanley, from the Kuna Nation and Food Sovereignty Program Consultant for the International Indian Treat Council,
    Jorge Mani Stanley, from the Kuna Nation and Food Sovereignty Program Consultant for the International Indian Treat Council, reports back from his working group with a plan of action for future convenings among GNRtFN members.
  • Members of FENSUAGRO studying agroecology at the Maria Cano Institute for Agroecology in Viotá, Columbia, where the 4th International Convening of the GNRtFN was held
    Members of FENSUAGRO studying agroecology at the Maria Cano Institute for Agroecology in Viotá, Columbia, where the 4th International Convening of the GNRtFN was held
  • The working group on gender and the right to food depict the struggles of women in the food system and the strategies and values that will propel women’s movements to resist and dismantle patriarchy
    The working group on gender and the right to food depict the struggles of women in the food system and the strategies and values that will propel women’s movements to resist and dismantle patriarchy
  • Columbian network members depict the life of campesinos and the struggle for to access land and control their own food systems in rural areas
    Columbian network members depict the life of campesinos and the struggle for to access land and control their own food systems in rural areas
  • Gloria Ochoa from the International Baby Food Action Network depicts the pressures breastfeeding mothers the world over experience from companies like Nestle to feed their babies formula
    Gloria Ochoa from the International Baby Food Action Network depicts the pressures breastfeeding mothers the world over experience from companies like Nestle to feed their babies formula
  • Youth students at the Maria Cano Agroecology Training Center, where the GNRtFN meeting took place, give a tour of the center’s farm
    Youth students at the Maria Cano Agroecology Training Center, where the GNRtFN meeting took place, give a tour of the center’s farm
  • WhyHunger’s Alison and the Kuna Nation’s Mani pose in front of the mistica that was constructed on the first day of the meeting
    WhyHunger’s Alison and the Kuna Nation’s Mani pose in front of the mistica that was constructed on the first day of the meeting

WhyHunger is a proud, new member of the Global Network for the Right to Food and Nutrition (GNRtFN) and we were present when GNRtFN held its 4th global meeting in Viotá, Colombia. These gatherings are an important element in deepening ties and developing common principles among network members to strengthen the struggle for the right to food globally.

Notably, this meeting took place in the midst of ongoing negotiations in the Columbian Peace Process which, as one of its outcomes, will put measures in place to guarantee the right to food for the Columbian people.  With 23 organizations from 16 different countries represented at the Viotá meeting, the timing of the presence of the network in Columbia underscored that the results of the Columbian Peace Process will reach far beyond its borders, resonating with and amplifying the struggle by all social movements and indigenous peoples around the world for food sovereignty.

The Global Network for the Right to Food and Nutrition was launched in 2013 in Vienna as an outcome of a long journey of peoples, social movements, civil society organizations (CSOs), human rights defenders, experts, academics, and research institutions struggling for the full realization of the human right to adequate food and nutrition (RtAFN).  The Network is an initiative of public interest CSOs and social movements (peasants, fisherfolk, pastoralists, landless people, consumers, urban people living in poverty, agricultural and food workers, women, youth and indigenous peoples) that recognize the need to act jointly for the realization of the RtAFN.

WhyHunger’s theory of change resonates deeply with both the structure, processes and goals of the Network.  As a global network, it is unique in its commitment to providing support to social movements as they interact with and influence the United Nation’s and their own government’s obligations to protect human rights, in particular the right to food and adequate nutrition.  And the Network’s membership is composed of both social movements and CSOs, who share the leadership (CSOs can make up no more than half of the coordinating committee).  Finally, the Network understands that the right to food and nutrition is indivisible from all human rights and people’s sovereignty.  The Network operates within a holistic framework, understanding the ways that food intersects with multiple issues:  land, water, women’s rights, climate justice, peasant’s rights, migration, conflict, race, and more.

The 4th meeting of the GNRtFN ended with a written declaration summarizing the unified commitments of the network members to a global struggle for human rights within the current political and social context. In particular, the members and supporters of the Network pointed with concern to the shrinking commitment by States and institutions to safeguard the right to food, as well as to the increasing corporate power over people’s diets and lives. As false solutions to hunger and malnutrition are on the rise, it is in unity where the strength of the struggle lies. Below are key focus areas that came out of the meeting and are reflected in the declaration.

Rights of People before the Rights of Corporations: Highlighting increasing corporate concentration in the food system and the deepening influence on governments the world over, the network declared that these practices must be monitored and governments must use legal mechanisms to fulfill their human rights obligations, including their obligation to regulate business activities. “We are rights holders, not merely interested parties, and as such we demand an end to the impunity of those who violate human rights. The rights of people should come before the interests of corporations,” reads the declaration.

Hunger and malnutrition, and its root causes, have no borders:  Hunger is not limited geographically but manifests in various forms across the world, including in North America, with “technical” fixes, charity and food aid as predominant solutions.  The Network called for these false solutions to be refuted and the “true” solutions, that include agroecology, and that address the social conditions that determine access to nutritious food, must be scaled out.  They stressed that human rights are interdependent and indivisible and therefore the systemic violation of other rights, such as to land, water and other natural resources and livelihoods, leads inevitably to communities experiencing hunger and malnutrition.

Deep-rooted patriarchy persists: Such indivisibility of rights is particularly relevant when it comes to women and girls. The Network lifted up the obstacles women and girls face in each and every phase of their lives due to the persistence of patriarchal systems. “We are especially concerned that women, who are largely responsible for feeding the world, continue to live with violence, both physical and structural, having their rights continually violated in multiple forms simply because they are females.” Gender equity must be achieved in order for women to fully and authentically participate in inclusive and democratic decision making. 

To learn more visit www.righttofoodandnutrition.org

Idaho Foodbank provides 63,000 food backpacks annually and over 46,000 summer meals for kids within the state. Kyle Silverman is the Nutrition Services Manager of the Foodbank, directing their children's and nutrition education programs. Kyle sees these programs as ways to help working families “stretch their dollars,” enabling them to spend their limited money elsewhere. The science and technology sectors are expanding in Idaho, but low-wage jobs are prevalent. Idaho ranks second in the country for children living in foster care or away from their parents and 42nd in higher education attainment. A recent report from the United Ways of the...
This article was originally written by Ilene Angel and published by the Huffington Post. To see photos from the event click here and to read the official 2017 WhyHunger Chapin Awards press release click here. Tuesday night, WhyHunger hosted its annual Chapin Awards dinner at the Edison Ballroom in New York City. This year’s honorees included Jon Batiste, musical director and bandleader for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, as well as WhyHunger’s grassroots partner, Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger. Founded in 1975 by the late singer/songwriter Harry Chapin and his friend, radio DJ Bill Ayres, WhyHunger, now in its 42nd year, was created...
New Food Justice Voices issue out now! Our Food Justice Voices series is intended to amplify the voices and experiences of grassroots leaders that aren’t heard enough, while creating awareness and educating readers on various issues connected to hunger and poverty. In Pathology of Displacement: The Intersection of Food Justice and Culture, storyteller, healing practitioner and food justice organizer Shane Bernardo tells his story about how displacement has affected his ancestors and family within the Philippine diaspora, and how he is working to reclaim ancestral subsistence practices that connect him to land, food and his roots. In this piece Shane...
Stories of WhyHunger ally the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement (NAFSO), and fishing communities in Sri Lanka. This is the 3rd in a 3-part series of articles on NAFSO and the communities whose rights it defends. Read Part 1 and Part 2. Part 3: Why WhyHunger Supports Communities Struggling for Food Sovereignty A few years ago, tens of thousands of Sri Lankan fishermen and their families took to city streets across the four corners of Sri Lanka to protest the Sri Lankan government’s decision to cut a vital fuel subsidy for small-scale fishers, and, more importantly, to remember a fisher leader killed by...
While politicians recklessly propose cuts to destroy many of the basic living standards that help working and middle class families get ahead when times are tough or wages aren’t enough, anxiety rises for the already struggling families questioning their safety across the country. Now that summer is here and school...

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Mr. Tanner Q & A

HALEY KAYE , MAY 31, 2017 tagged as harry chapin children fundraising
Last month, Ripple Grove Press released their latest children’s book, Mr. Tanner, an illustrative adaption of Harry Chapin’s iconic 1973 song, “Mr. Tanner”, with a portion of proceeds benefitting WhyHunger. Harry Chapin was originally inspired to write the song after seeing a mediocre review of a baritone singer in the...

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The White House announced today that the President’s new budget calls for roughly $2.9 trillion in cuts to essential anti-poverty and nutrition programs over the next 10 years that will directly affect the ability of millions of struggling families, low-income workers, children, elderly and disabled Americans to meet their basic...

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When Patrice Chamberlain met with local police chiefs to explain why they should care about summer meals, she steadied herself for a “big sell.” To her surprise, their immediate response was, “How can we help?” It’s one of the many unlikely partnerships that Chamberlain initiated to help more kids get...

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World Fair Trade Day: Why It's Important

CATAYDRA BROWN , MAY 11, 2017 tagged as fair trade agriculture
In honor of World Fair Trade Day, we spoke to Erika Inwald, the National Coordinator of the Domestic Fair Trade Association (DFTA). DFTA works to build relationships based on principles of fairness amongst farmers and farmworkers in the United States and Canada’s sustainable agriculture movement. Below, we have included information...

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