16th October 2020
World Food Day is an international day that falls annually on the 16th October, founded in 1945 to mark the launch of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. The main principle of World Food Day is to raise awareness for food security, especially in times of crisis.
All over the world people suffer from starvation and hunger, while a huge portion of the population are privileged to have an abundance of food. Starvation is a massive problem in a number of countries, and we need to do more to raise awareness and combat this problem.
As we approach World Food Day we take this opportunity to hear from Sister Augustina Alozie in the Delta State Community Development Ministry on the work of the Religious Sisters of Charity in supporting the poor with in the communities with food.
“Life is a mixture of happiness and sorrow. In our contemporary society, Covid-19 has become part of our history across the globe. Covid-19 pandemic brought much socio-economic and health challenges to Nigeria.
The Ubuntu spirit quotes “I am because we are” this help us to understand our human connectedness. What affects individuals affect everyone. That is the state of Covid-19 pandemic in our country which led to lockdown of activities and functions.
The effect and impact created more problems on people who were sick before the arrival of Covid-19 pandemic. This contributed too many illness and death in the communities such as Ozoro in Delta State due to the restrictions of movement and poor access to health care.
The presence of Covid-19 also brought the advent of food scarcity in the community. There was little or no household income especially none civil servants. But the high class and middle class have the financial capacity to cope. While the poor families were the most affected.
This was a big challenge to families who feed from their daily income and abandoned people who depend on charity to feed and have no source of income. Due to social disorder, the close down of inter- state markets and other functions, low income in the families and increases in the price of goods.
The poor families were not able to provide three meals daily. One poor woman shared with me that because of lack of finance, she was feeding her children with less nutritious food such as rice with oil, tapioca and soup made with little ingredients.
Personal experience has shown that women especially experience more domestic workloads at this time of a pandemic and starvation. They struggle to provide food for their children despite the food scarcity.
Although, Local government distributed short term food such as rice, beans, yam and garri in order to sustain the people but many still face hardships and poverty.
Also, someone churches and charity organizations such as the Religious Sisters of Charity supported the poor with food items such as rice, beans, cooking oil, sachet tomatoes and indomie noodles.
During the distribution of food items in Ozoro community, the poor people were actually happy and appreciative. Even some families who can sustain themselves financially now ask for their own portion of food during the distribution. A good number of the poor benefited. Thanks to the RSC for their service to the most affected.
Thanks to almighty God for the privilege to be with the poor in the rural communities. We hope for the end of Covid-19 pandemic in our country as the activities and public functions are gradually resuming in the states and Nigeria at large.”