Augustinians of the Midwest are encouraged to mark the United Nations' World Food Day, October 16, 2016, in their communities and ministries. The Augustinians invite and encourage all who identify with Augustinian spirituality and traditions to do likewise.
These words of Jesus enable us to understand the deep significance in God’s eyes of meeting the fundamental needs of every man and woman. Care for the hungry and needy is an essential part of the Christian message and of traditional Catholic moral teaching.
2016 Theme: Climate is Changing. Food and Agriculture Must too.
Charity – giving food to those who need food – is a necessary element of caring for the hungry. But, equally important is justice – working to change the causes of hunger. As St. Augustine observed, "You give bread to a hungry person, but it would be better if no one were hungry." (Tractate 1 John 8:8)
World Food Day 2016 focuses on the justice aspect of caring for the hungry.
With the Slogan “Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too,” World Food Day for 2016 focuses on the need to adapt farming practices to changes taking place in the world’s climate.
Warmer temperatures and weather-related disasters are hurting food production, even as the world’s population continues to grow, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) notes.
Farmers and fishers will need to adapt sustainable practices which will produce more food with less, and which will use natural resources wisely. Those who transport and process food will need to reduce food losses, FAO said.
“FAO is calling on countries to address food and agriculture in their climate action plans and invest more in rural development,” FAO’s web site states. “By strengthening the resilience of smallholder farmers, we can guarantee food security for the planet’s increasingly hungry global population.”
World Food Day 2016 is an opportunity for learning, reflecting, praying, and acting against hunger. It is also an occasion to support policies which favor sustainable food production in the face of the challenges of a changing climate.