COVID19 is deepening the hunger crisis, which for many living on the edge of poverty is the straw that breaks the camel’s back. According to Oxfam’s latest report, 12,000 people per day will die from hunger caused by the pandemic – potentially more than the COVID death toll.
Hunger crisis and chronic hunger might be rare in urban environments such as Hong Kong but unequal access to resources means that malnutrition amongst the poor is much more common place. Food security – which looks at availability, access and use is the state “when all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life” (FAO 1996).
The pandemic has revealed vulnerabilities in our food system – from the dependency on imports to the just-in-time logistics of global food supply chain; industrial food production to the oligopolistic ownership in global commodity markets, our food system needs to diversify if we were to become more sustainable and resilient.