We are called to transform our perspective on food—from food as a commodity to food as a right for all.
What We Believe
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.
—Isaiah 58:7-8 (NIRV)
Access to food is a basic right, and global food systems should be about ensuring 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 means that accessing food is becoming increasingly difficulty for the most vulnerable.
In 2013, the United Church adopted a commitment to food sovereignty as a framework to help foster more just food systems in Canada and around the world (search “food sovereignty” on United Church Commons). 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 a right for all.
What You Can Do
Observe World Food Day and World Food Sunday
World Food Day is observed on October 16 and World Food Sunday is celebrated on the third Sunday in October. Download the bulletin insert Addressing Global Hunger (below) for a prayer and more information for your congregation. Complete worship services, prayers, and other related materials are available on the Food Worship Resources page.
Celebrate Food in Worship
Reflect on food and food sovereignty through worship and prayer on World Food Sunday and at other points in the church year, including
- Creation Time (celebrated beginning on the second Sunday in September for six consecutive Sundays)
- Thanksgiving (second Sunday in October)
- International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (October 21)
- Rural Life Sunday (third Sunday in May)
- Donate to Mission & Service to help support global partners working in international relief and development, as well as those addressing hunger eradication.
- Gifts with Vision allows you to provide extra support for specific Mission & Service partner activities. These gifts go above and beyond the regular core funding these partners receive. There are several food-related gifts available.
Reflection and Learning
- United Church policy:
- Report: Toward Food Sovereignty for All
- Video from Moderator Richard Bott: a message of thanks for supporters of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank
- Farming Partnership: learn about how Mission & Service partners are helping smallholder farmers in Kenya
The Work of Partners
Many United Church global partners work to address issues of food security. Here are some of the ways partners are involved.
- Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB): The United Church collaborates with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank to address global hunger by providing food during humanitarian emergencies, as well as helping farmers feed themselves and their families through conservation agriculture.
- ACT Alliance: The United Church works through Mission & Service partner ACT Alliance to provide food assistance to people who have been affected by natural and human-made disasters, conflict, and violence.
- The National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK): In collaboration with this partner and the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, the United Church supports a conservation agriculture project in rural Kenya. The project works with smallholder farmers to increase their crop yield by using and promoting sustainable farming methods.
- The Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC): The United Church is working with ZCC following Cyclone Idai’s destruction in Southern Africa to provide food assistance, psychosocial support, non-food items, and shelter.
- ECLOF International
- Asian Rural Institute (ARI)
- Peoples Action Forum (PAF)
- Women for Change (WfC)
For more information, contact:
Teetering on the Brink of a Global Hunger CrisisYGM 2022: October 16. The pandemic as well as wheat shortages resulting from the war in Ukraine have catapulted us to the brink of a massive hunger… continue reading
Agricultural Training in a Year of Unprecedented HungerYGM 2022: September 11. Your Mission & Service gifts are working to address hunger by supporting agricultural training centres like the Asian… continue reading
Millions Face Food Shortages in AfghanistanYGM 2022: April 10. Mission & Service partner the Asian Muslim Action Network has been working hard to provide food packages to internally… continue reading
- Addressing Global Hunger (Bulletin Insert) (623.92 KB) (PDF)