Using Sport to End Hunger and Achieve Food Security

By Brewer, Jack | UN Chronicle, September 2016 | Go to article overview

Using Sport to End Hunger and Achieve Food Security


Brewer, Jack, UN Chronicle


Sport can serve as a catalyst for achieving all 17 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It is poised, however, to make a unique impact on Goal 2, which aims to "end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture". Sport programmes associated with nutrition and agriculture can complement programmes that tackle hunger and support education. Beneficiaries can be educated and engaged in sustainable food production and balanced diets. The spirit of sport is linked to the nutrition and wellness of a community or individual; this connection between sport and health can be used to highlight inefficiencies in the global food supply chain.

Within a growing global population of 7.4 billion people, 793 million still suffer from chronic hunger. The world currently produces more than enough food to feed everyone. Up to one third of food produced for consumption is wasted each year, however, due to spoilage; recovering just half of what is lost or wasted could feed the planet. Worldwide, an estimated 161 million children under 5 years of age are chronically malnourished. Micronutrient deficiencies affect more than 2 billion people, hindering human and socioeconomic development and continuously contributing to the cycle of malnutrition. Along with those suffering from malnutrition are the 500 million people globally who are overweight and obese. Both of these issues present complex problems and inhibit the productivity and well-being of populations across the globe.

Vulnerable countries, communities and individuals are able to connect to community services through sport-based outreach programmes, which instil a sense of hope in situations that may otherwise seem hopeless. Sport and recreational activities provide a release for people struggling with day-to-day challenges, allowing them to take their minds off of what they are facing. A sense of pride can be felt when a country that is facing hunger, food insecurity or other turmoil comes together to support its athletes and team. This creates a common voice and a common denominator for the country, which can transform into a global common denominator.

The core mission of The Jack Brewer Foundation (JBF Worldwide) is to provide relief to communities around the world suffering from extreme poverty and hunger, using sport as its catalyst. JBF Worldwide has raised funds to send meals to those in extreme famine areas--over 300,000 meals have been shipped to date--and assists in providing clean water, food, medical care and education to children around the world. Local partnerships have also enabled JBF Worldwide to bring food and shelter to those closer to home. The Foundation's ongoing mission is to provide communities with the resources they need to maintain children's safety and ensure their healthy upbringing.

Since its inception in 2006, the Foundation has been mobilizing professional athletes to bring awareness and recognition to the issues of hunger and food insecurity, among others. The JBF Worldwide Global Ambassadors Program connects influential people, including current and former professional athletes, artists and entertainers, to philanthropic organizations. The Global Ambassadors, an ever-expanding network of over 100 members, travel the world to make a positive social impact in communities through sport. Their ongoing efforts in every community have strengthened food security and improved quality of life through medical aid and disaster relief, education programmes, cultural exchanges, and sport-for-development initiatives, while striving to "empower from within". Bringing these Global Ambassadors to areas and communities in need, including some of the most impoverished States in the world, such as Haiti and Malawi, creates a dialogue between organizations, fans and others through an influential individual.

The first-ever Global Ambassadors delegation arrived in Malawi in 2008, providing an opportunity to capture the attention of the country's youth and educate them about nutrition. …

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