Thursday, June 28, 2012

Forked Up - The Farm Bill

On June 21st, the full Senate passed the 2012 Farm Bill, signaling an important bipartisan effort that ultimately defines all the rules for how our food system functions here in the United States. It determines everything from what farmers need to grow to how agriculture effects the environment. As you can imagine, the Farm Bill is ENORMOUS and can be difficult to understand. Luckily, Good (the quarterly magazine), has created this super handy interactive infographic explaining the Farm Bill without making your head spin. Check it out! They have a neat series of articles called "Forked Up - Let's fix the food system ourselves" that is definitely worth the read.

Be sure to check out Oxfam America's official response to the Senate version of the 2012 Farm Bill. In summary, while Oxfam America was pleased to see many steps taken in the right direction (that can save millions of lives), there is still work to be done.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Farmer's Market: Take #1

One of the many great ways to spread Oxfam's message about supporting international small scale farmers is by reaching out to those who support local small scale farmers - such as those at farmer's markets!

Yesterday, we tabled at Southridge Mall on the south side of Des Moines and collected petition signatures while spreading information about the GROW campaign: a campaign to sustainably feed 9 billion people by the year 2050. We met some wonderful people who came out to support their local farmers despite the extreme heat and high winds (we had moderate difficulty keeping the table cloth and papers on our table!). If you weren't able to make it out to Southridge or your local farmer's market is in another part of town, don't panic! It's very likely that we're coming soon to a farmer's market near you!

Check out these "action shots" from yesterday!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Investing in Women to Make a Better World

Fact: The majority of the world's small-scale food producers are women.

Fact: The U.N. estimates that in 2005, small-scale food producers represented 50% of the world's undernourished.

By these two statistics alone, the logical conclusion shows us that women make up a large swath of the world's impoverished and hungry. But, women are not statistics - they're people! And in too many parts of the world, they face discrimination and exclusion due to gender bias. In too many parts of the world, their voices go unheard in important matters such as political decision-making and education.

But, so many remarkable women are making a difference! Check out this great post on Oxfam America's national blog - women in South America are taking leadership roles and leading projects for the betterment and empowerment of women all across their communities. Powerful stuff!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Crisis in the Sahel

A food crisis is now gripping the Sahel region of West Africa. A host of factors–including erratic rainfall, increased food prices, meager harvests, and the lingering effects from an earlier food crisis in 2010–have put more than 18 million people (including more than 1 million children) at risk of hunger. After months of warning, governments, including the United States, are not acting swiftly enough. Meanwhile, more people are experiencing hunger as a daily reality with no end in sight.

Here's what you can do to help (and save lives!):

We ask that you sign an online petition to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, urging her to schedule an emergency aid conference for the Sahel. The online petition doesn't take long to fill out and costs absolutely nothing.


Donate to Oxfam America! Oxfam and partners are providing emergency aid to provide clean drinking water, improving access to food resources, supporting the health of livestock, and providing aid to refugees. Donating also takes very little time to complete and you can choose your amount. Whether its $5, $10, or even $25 - you can rest assured that your donation is focusing on practical, long-term food security solutions.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Couldn't Agree More...

Ahead of the G8 Summit last month, U.S. President Barack Obama announced $3 billion in public-private partnership funds aimed at alleviating hunger and boosting food security, particularly on the African continent. Check out the short video on YouTube (less than 2 minutes long) and pay extra close attention to 1:05 to 1:30.

"True development involves not only delivering aid, but also promoting economic growth. Broad-based inclusive growth that actually helps nations develop and lift people out of poverty. The whole purpose of development is to create the situation where assistance is no longer needed, where people have the dignity and the pride of being self-sufficient." 

Somebody get Mr. Obama an Oxfam America t-shirt! That message has only ever been at the center of Oxfam America's campaigns - that enabling the impoverished to lift themselves up creates a more just society for all of us to live in.