LDS Charities Updates

Church Leaders Give Statement on Global Hunger and Food Security at World Food Programme Meeting

Sacks of maize from the World Food Programme being weighed.

World hunger is a global issue that can’t be solved in isolation. LDS Charities partners with the World Food Programme (WFP), run by the United Nations, to end hunger worldwide. At the annual meeting of the WFP on June 13, 2016, leaders of the LDS Church released a statement addressing global hunger and food security.

The statement says in part, “In our efforts to follow the teachings and actions of Jesus Christ, we feel a keen responsibility to extend help as well as hope to the hungry and to the homeless, both at home and abroad.”[1]

The statement invites people “to open their hearts and minds to this growing need and make resources available to the effort of eliminating hunger where they live.”[2] Individuals can do this by supporting local efforts such as school nutrition programs and community and personal gardens, as well as by donating to organizations that provide food assistance.

Food aid is at the core of LDS Charities, which began in 1985 when members of the LDS Church came together to provide resources for famine victims in Ethiopia. This effort has continued, and in 2015 the WFP and LDS Charities worked together on a project to help Ethiopian farmers in areas of drought—an endeavor that benefited 560,000 people. Also in 2015, LDS Charities partnered with the WFP and Cambodia’s Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports (MoEYS) to create a sustainable school-meal system in Cambodia. This system helps not only the children who receive more nutritious meals but also the local farmers who supply the food.

In 1990 the number of hungry people in the world was over 1 billion. Since then that number has dropped to 795 million. However, approximately one out of every nine people still do not have enough food, and malnutrition in various forms affects half the people in the world.

LDS Charities has joined with the global community in supporting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 2, which is to “end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.”[3]

Many organizations such as the WFP and LDS Charities are working to alleviate worldwide hunger, but individuals can make an impact as well. In his speech at the WFP meeting, Pope Francis said, “We need true heroes capable of blazing trails, building bridges, opening channels concerned primarily with the faces of those who suffer.”[4] Likewise, the statement by LDS Church leaders emphasizes that “as so many of God’s children across the globe are praying for relief, may we each seek ways in which we can help bring about the answers to those prayers.”[5]



[1] In Voices of Faith: Statements from Religious Leaders and Actors (June 13, 2016), 20, bread.org/sites/default/files/religious_leaders_final_enlow.pdf.

[2] In Voices of Faith, 20.

[3] “Sustainable Development Goals: 17 Goals to Transform Our World,” un.org/sustainabledevelopment/hunger.

[4] “Address of His Holiness Pope Francis to the Executive Board of the World Food Programme” (June 13, 2016), 4, w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeches/2016/june/documents/papa-francesco_20160613_sede-programma-alimentare-mondiale.pdf.

[5] In Voices of Faith, 20.