World Food Day celebrates the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. This year’s World Food Day theme is “Agricultural Cooperatives- key to feeding the world.” One particular strength of the cooperative lies in connecting farmers and members to one another and to the market. Connections allow farmers to benefit from greater access to goods and pooled resources. Cooperative members are more likely to be invested community members and seek sustainability in their work.
The FAO has a few examples of how agricultural cooperatives work: (A great line around 4:00 the woman talks about the forest as “the children’s heritage”).
The ELCA engages in global mission through accompaniment, a way which sees us (the ELCA) and our partners as mutual participants in the body of Christ. Working through partner church bodies, provides a way for our work to be deeply effective. The connections with church bodies in other countries mean that we are well positioned to support local and sustainable work.
The Lingson Family story illustrates a commitment to the local cooperative approach and reminds us that this approach to fighting hunger and poverty works in transformative ways.
Best of all, this is work we can all be involved in. On this World Food Day, think of how you can best respond to ending hunger in the world.
Henry Martinez, ELCA World Hunger Education