FOOD programs

Ensuring Children and Adults Have Access to Nutritious Meals

The One Positive Change Food Program (OPCFP) is a global program that provides reimbursements for nutritious meals and snacks to eligible children and adults who are enrolled for care at participating child care centers, day care homes, and adult day care centers.

 

OPCFP also provides reimbursements for meals served to children and youth participating in after school care programs, children residing in emergency shelters, and adults over the age of 60 or living with a disability and enrolled in day care facilities. OPCFP contributes to the wellness, healthy growth, and development of young children and adults around the world.

 Venezuelans Crisis

 South america migration

This Colombian woman shelters 150 Venezuelans every day

Every day, the economic and political crisis in Venezuela forces hundreds to abandon their homeland. The most common destination is Colombia due to the proximity and the size of its shared border with Venezuela. 

Many refugees, about 1.5 million, have chosen to remain in Colombia, but others have continued on to Ecuador, Peru, Chile or Mexico. As the crisis has worsened, most refugees leaving Venezuela today do not have enough money for a bus ticket and are forced to travel on foot.

To get from Cucuta to the next nearest town, these "caminates", or "walkers" must travel 195km, climb mountains 3,200 metres above sea level and then back down. Various NGOs and Colombians living in the region have set up camps to help the desperate Venezuelans endure the harsh conditions and freezing temperatures during the journey.

Maria del Pilar Figueroa lives at the most difficult point along the route, in La Laguna, Paramo de Berlin. After she witnessed the procession of Venezuelans passing by her home, she decided to open up her home as a refuge. Now, she's running a shelter. Along with her two children, Maria dedicates her life to helping the refugees fleeing her neighboring country. Their lives have changed completely, as have those of the Venezuelans they have met.

There are now nearly 3.5 million Venezuelan refugees and migrants worldwide, according to the United Nations' refugee agency (UNHCR).

 

15 kids and their grandmother

South america argentina

For the third consecutive year, South America slid backwards in the global struggle to achieve zero hunger by 2030, with 39 million people living with hunger and five million children suffering from malnutrition.

“It’s very distressing because we’re not making progress. We’re not doing well, we’re going in reverse. You can accept this in a year of great drought or a crisis somewhere, but when it’s happened three years in a row, that’s a trend,” reflected Julio Berdegué, FAO’s highest authority in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The regional representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations said it is cause for concern that it is not Central America, the poorest subregion, that is failing in its efforts, but the South American countries that have stagnated.

“More than five million children in Latin America are permanently malnourished. In a continent of abundant food, a continent of upper-middle- and high-income countries, five million children … It’s unacceptable,” he said in an interview with IPS at the agency’s regional headquarters in Santiago.

“They are children who already have scars in their lives. Children whose lives have already been marked, even though countries, governments, civil society, NGOs, churches, and communities are working against this. The development potential of a child whose first months and years of life are marked by malnutrition is already radically limited for his entire life,” he said.

What can the region do to move forward again? In line with this year’s theme of World Food Day, celebrated Oct. 16, “Our actions are our future. A zero hunger world by 2030 is possible”, Berdegué underlined the responsibility of governments and society as a whole.

Governments, he said, must “call us all together, facilitate, support, promote job creation and income generation, especially for people from the weakest socioeconomic strata.”

In addition, he stressed that policies for social protection, peace and the absence of conflict and addressing climate change are also required.

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