Service Introduction

World Food Day was founded by the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 1945, in Quebec City. It has been observed annually, every October 16, since 1981. More than 150 countries participate as a way to raise awareness of world hunger and poverty; and to strengthen solidarity and inspire solutions in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty.

It is based on a belief that access to food is a basic right; and global food systems should ensure that everyone has enough to eat, no matter where they live and how they produce food—from subsistence plots to large-scale farms.

Unfortunately, erratic weather patterns caused by climate change, conflict, and growing inequality around the world, and now the world-wide pandemic, mean that accessing food is becoming increasingly difficulty for the most vulnerable.

In our “Thanks-living”, we are all called to do something about that—Let’s do it!

Progression of Responses to Hunger


Traditionally, our first response to hunger is charitable giving; a valid and compassionate one in meeting people’s immediate needs. Our food banks demonstrate this well, as do humanitarian responses to disasters like famines.

    Food Security

However, as the popular proverb states, “If you give a hungry person a fish, you feed them for a day, but if you teach them how to fish, you feed them for a lifetime.” With this sentiment, food justice advocates progressed toward the idea of food security, which means having reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.

    Food Sovereignty 

In one sense, food sovereignty affirms the idea of the right to food and food security. Yet it goes further and features the right of peoples:

    As well, food sovereignty recognizes

Added note:

Back to the Land” program

At Hazelton Secondary School of Gitxsan and Kwakwaka’wakw descent, Virginia Morgan, as the Indigenous culture teacher, provides students with traditional Indigenous experiences such as

Food sovereignty centres on the idea that broken relationships must be rebuilt, including relationships between people and the land, as well as those between producers and consumers. At the same time, it calls us to transform our perspective on food—from food as a commodity; to food as source of life and a right for all.

Reflection: “Answering the Call”

Around the world, more than enough food is produced to feed the global population—but more than 690 million people still go hungry. Many agencies and organizations are set up to answer the call to end world hunger.

For example,

Added note: The United Church and Anglican Church are among those churches, through Mission and Service (M&S) and Primates World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) respectively.

Feed the Hungry.”

Grace Shine Down on You

The call for us to care for those in need is found throughout the scriptures. In Matthew 25: 31-46, Jesus makes it quite clear that we are to care for the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the unclothed, the sick and the imprisoned. In fact, Jesus is so identified with the needy that he says,

Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’

Thus, if we want to call ourselves true followers of Christ, we must show compassion and spring into action for those who might be considered ‘the least important’—those often looked at as ‘insignificant’.

We worship a God who

When we join with Jesus in caring for others, miracles can happen. The story of feeding the thousands illustrates this

It was now quite late in the day—and the disciples interrupted, saying: “We are a long way out in the country, and it’s very late. Pronounce a benediction and send these folks off so they can get some supper.”

37 Jesus said, “You do it. Fix supper for them.”

They replied, “Are you serious? You want us to go spend a fortune on food for their supper?”

38 But Jesus was quite serious. “How many loaves of bread do you have? Take an inventory.”

That didn’t take long. “Five,” they said, “plus two fish.”

39-44 Jesus got them all to sit down in groups of fifty or a hundred—they looked like a patchwork quilt of wildflowers spread out on the green grass! He took the five loaves and two fish, lifted his face to heaven in prayer, blessed, broke, and gave the bread to the disciples, and the disciples in turn gave it to the people. He did the same with the fish. They all ate their fill. The disciples gathered twelve baskets of leftovers. More than five thousand were at the supper. (The Message version of Bible)

[parallel miracle of feeding the multitude with 5 loaves in all 4 Gospels; and a second miracle with 7 loaves later in Mark 8 and Matthew 15]

In this story, the disciples realized it was getting late and suggested that Jesus send the crowd away to find food in nearby villages. Jesus responded by telling the disciples to feed the crowd themselves. Imagine what they must have been thinking!

Jesus then had the disciples organize the crowd into groups and to prepare them for supper, seated on the grass. Jesus gave thanks for the five loaves and two fish and gave them to the disciples to distribute. Not only was the entire crowd fed, there were leftovers—twelve baskets full.

What does this mean for us?

When we see a need, we must attempt to meet it.

Limited resources plus Jesus equals more than enough

We are called to work with Jesus to follow the bidding of Isaiah 58: 7-8)

Share your food with hungry people.
Provide homeless people with a place to stay.
Give naked people clothes to wear.
Provide for the needs of your own family.
Then the light of my blessing will shine on you like the rising sun.

We are Called