Good nutrition is essential to lead a healthy life and for normal growth and development. A lack of regular access to adequate and safe food may result in hunger and food insecurity. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations established the World Food Day, observed every year worldwide on October 16th to raise awareness and fight against hunger and poverty around the world.
“We as individuals can help our communities be free from hunger by being more responsible in our choices and actions” says Dr. Sumathi Venkatesh, an Extension Health Specialist with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.
As a community, we can celebrate World Food Day by choosing one or more of the following ways:
- Donate money or healthy, non-perishable foods to a local food bank. You may also give your time and energy by volunteering at your neighboring food pantry or shelter. Involve your friends and family to organize a food drive. Schools, churches, and community organizations are great places to host one or collect funds through a virtual food drive.
- Start your home garden to get instant access to fresh produce. Gardening is a great form of physical activity that improves your mood and overall health.
- Recycle your food waste by putting your kitchen scraps to use and composting them. Composting is a cost-effective method that can increase yield by nourishing the soil and may reduce the need for chemical fertilizers.
- Eat healthy even on a tight budget. Plan your weekly meals and try to cook at home as often as possible. Look for seasonal recipes and plan your meals around produce on sale. Regularly take an inventory of your pantry, refrigerator and freezer items and use the items before they go bad.
- Make a shopping list so when you are at the store, you buy only what you need. Avoid going to the grocery store on an empty stomach to prevent impulse purchases.
- Eat leftovers. Safely handle and store foods to avoid contamination and food spoilage. Keep food at safe temperatures and be sure to eat them within the safe time frame. Do not leave perishable food out for more than two hours.
- Practice mindful eating. Listen to your hunger cues and eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. Serve appropriate portions, focus on your food and eat slowly without any distractions. Mindful eating allows for portion control and would help to adhere to an overall healthy diet.
For more information on Texas A&M AgriLife Extension health and nutrition programs, contact your Ellis County Extension Office and Family and Community Health Agent, Danae Hicks at 972-825-5175 or [email protected]