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Presbyterian Hunger Program
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Jessica Maudlin
(800) 728-7228, x5832
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100 Witherspoon Street
Louisville, KY 40202

Food Week of Action and World Food Day

Sunday, October 12-19; October 16 (World Food Day)

Seeds for Life!

A woman with a baby farming

People in the U.S. and worldwide are taking back their food systems – fighting for their land and waterways, reclaiming vacant lots, teaching others how to grow food, and developing local distribution systems – while simultaneously creating jobs, providing fresh food, preserving the environment, building rural-urban connections, advocating for just policies, and revitalizing their communities. Local control of seeds—by farmers, gardeners and seed keeping groups—is crucial for food security and food sovereignty.

 The Food Week of Action is October 12-19, spanning the two Sundays on either side of World Food Day (October 16). The Week also includes the International Day for Rural Women (October 15) and the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (October 17). Find out what people and groups are doing around the United States and the world.

SEEDS for LIFE! is the focus for this year’s Food Week of Action. Access and control over natural resources, including defending and localizing seed keeping, is critical for viability of small-scale food producers, sustainable agriculture and, ultimately, for addressing hunger. Seed keepers not only save seeds but also the culture that seeds bring and embody.

Learn, act and be inspired through the World Food Day USA Coalition. Or join with others focusing on domestic food issues on October 24 to extend Food Week further.

Faith in Action!

World Food Day Logo

Help Bring Justice to our food system

1. With Farmworkers!  Stand in solidarity with farm workers and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and send a supermarket postcard or manager’s letter

2. With Family Farmers!  Push for transparency in the Trans-Pacific Partnership to make sure family farmers and people who eat are not hurt by this secretly negotiated international trade agreement.

3. With Food Workers!  Become an ally of employees behind the kitchen door. Request a raise to the tipped minimum wage of $2.13 an hour for restaurant workers.

Actions and Activity Ideas for the Food Week of Action

Let PHP, other Presbyterians and people in your area know what you have planned around hunger, food and seeds in October. Fill out this easy Google form to get the word out!


  • Organize a Food Sovereignty Prize Event:  Host a local action on October 15 followed by a Live Streaming celebration event for the Food Sovereignty Prize winners. How-To Guide
  • Defend Seeds: Gather your local traditional farmers and gardeners to build a seed bank in your local library by ‘checking-in’ your most successful breeds and ‘checking-out’ the champions among fellow breeders. For inspiration, see the partnership between Basalt Public Library and the Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute and learn how it’s done. 

  • Keep seeds: Launch a 'Seed Keepers' group. Contact the US Food Sovereignty Alliance’s Rights of Mother Earth Committee.
  • Learn & Act Glocally: Organize a community and/or faith group to study local plants and indigenous seeds. Locally: Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper to reinforce the need to safeguard these varieties. Globally: Take one of the three Actions above. 

  • Eat Good, Slow Food: Prepare a meal for your family using heirloom varieties and discuss the nutrient value of wilder species versus their domesticated varieties. For example,  Peruvian Purple potatoes have 171 milligrams of phytonutrients compared to the Yukon Gold variety (5.45 mg) or the standard white potato (1.03 mg). 

  • View: Host a screening and conversation about the film Seeds of Freedom.
  • Study: Start a short-term reading group to study the articles on Seeds and Peasant Sovereignty in the 2013 Right to Food and Nutrition Watch, which was released in time for World Food Day - October 16. 

  • Faith-Based: Organize a worship service during Food Week. For Christian groups, the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance provides worship materials on “Seeds for Life” (ready in September), or you can draw from past worship materials

Food Week of Action guide

2012 Action Resource Guide: The Promise of Agroecology
2-page info and action inserts for regions around the world, including the United States insert, are available here

2011 Action Resource Guide: Food and Land
(also PDFs in French, Spanish)

Worship and Theological Resources

Girls clapping

Food Week Liturgy
(From 2013, Word Doc for Editing)

World Food Day Prayer
(from the Presbyterian Hunger Program)

Food Week Liturgy
(from 2011; PDFs also in French, Spanish)

Food Week Worship Service from 2010
(Word Doc so you can modify; also in French, Spanish)

In the Beginning: A theological reflection on agro-ecological farming
By Rev. Werner Fuchs, National Council for Food Security of Brazil (CONSEA)

Sample Sermons for Inspiration
The page includes the winning sermon by Rev. Dr. Randall Bush, East Liberty Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh, PA, who was the guest preacher at the Food Week of Action worship service at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva on 17 October 2011. Read his sermon, “Fields of Gold” (Ruth 1:22-2:7).

Food for Life: A Theological Paper
Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance, 2011

The Daily Bread
Short reflection on food sovereignty by Rev. Werner Fuchs, National Council for Food Security of Brazil (CONSEA)

Turning the Tables: People First
One-page reflection on food sovereignty by Roberto Malvezzi, Pastoral Land Commission (Brazil).

Educational Materials

Girls eating vegetables

FEATURED 2013 REPORT:  Seeds of Success

The Hands That Feed Us: Challenges and Opportunities for Workers Across the Food Chain: The Presbyterian Hunger Program helped fund this new report by the Food Chain Workers Alliance. Based on nearly 700 surveys and interviews with workers and employers in food production, processing, distribution, retail and service, this well-illustrated report looks at wages and working conditions in this sector, which employs 20 million people in the U.S. -- 1/6th of the nation's workforce. The Food Week actions emerge from the reality of exploitation and hardships that our sisters and brothers in the food system suffer. Click here for a summary of the findings and to download the report for free. Also see the media coverage of this landmark report by NY TimesNPRGrist.orgMother JonesTimeHuffington PostFox TV and more.

 Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance - Nourishing the World Sustainably: Scaling Up Agro-ecology: This draft discussion document presents the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance’s views and recommendations for Rio +20 on the need for further recognition of the full range of benefits of agro-ecological methods of food production and the support that is needed to use them on a wider scale.

What is the Right to Food?: The Right to Food says that all people are entitled to adequate food that is sufficient, safe, nutritious and culturally acceptable. Learn about the history and current efforts to push for this critical human right on the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance website.

International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science, and Technology for Development:  IAASTD Fact Sheet: The IAASTD, a major international scientific report, concludes that in order to feed 9 billion people in 2050, we urgently need to adopt the most effective and sustainable farming systems, and recommends a shift towards agro-ecology as a means of sustainably boosting food production and improving the situation of the poorest people and communities.

Food Films from Community Economies: Several contributors list and describe their favorite food-related films. You can also view some short videos on food and sustainability at Media That Matters. 

World Foodless Day YouTube Video (2008): World Food Day in 2008 (October 16) was a day without much or any food for about one billion people suffering in the midst of the global food crisis. So grassroots communities, peoples' organizations and civil society groups observed the occasion as World Foodless Day, and carried out a "Day of Global Action" dedicated to people's struggle for food sovereignty and their resolve to change the root problems of hunger.

For home:

  • Waste Tracker: This handy download from EAA can be put on your fridge or near your trash. Pick a family member to be the Waste Buster, and record how much (if any) food was wasted each day. At the end of the week, your family could discuss ways to reduce waste and other options for disposal, such as composting.
  • Food Quiz: How much do you know about your food? Take this fun 10 question quiz from the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance and try it out on others.

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