One big challenge, one little word
Can a 100+ agency coalition to tackle hunger generate enough public outrage to force the G8 to take notice?
It felt like a significant moment. Well, I say felt, to be truthful after more than 60 minutes outside in Somerset House's imposing courtyard in the January freeze, I'd lost touch with most of my extremities.
But joining the hundreds from more than 100 aid agencies, development charities and faith groups at the launch of Enough Food for Everyone IF did leave a warm glow that with the passion on show, the sheer weight of numbers and focus of a key opportunity, up and coming generations might just make significant progress in the challenge of feeding the world.
It was Mahatma Gandhi who said "Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed", and that's been the perennial problem. There is enough food, but only if those who make huge profits at the expense of the poor stop doing, only if the huge amount of waste is cut down, and only if governments start seeing it as a collective problem rather than someone else's. We'll see how much of a head of steam has been built up by the time the G8 jet in to the UK in June.
I'm as sceptical as the next about the value of wheeling out celebrities in support of a cause, but Lauren Laverne (above) did an excellent job in anchoring the launch and interviewing the conveyor belt of celebs, faith leaders and worthies who were in attendance. She also seemed genuinely passionate about the whole enterprise, as was actor Bill Nighy who brought his clipped British charisma to proceedings in assured style.
We also had swimmer Mark Foster and Harry Potter actress Bonnie Wright popping up in person, along with singing superstar Baba Maal, plus video of Bill Gates (left), One Direction, Orlando Bloom and more.
There is momentum, and a sense that change really is possible. But it will take more than just signing up to email newsletters (although you can join up to the campaign here) and tweeting with the campaign hashtag (#IF) to feed the world.
Maybe a start is getting genuinely familiar with the four key 'if' strands of the coalition's agenda for change: you'll find them at enoughfoodif.org – and then praying, working and talking about these issues until those in power get the message.
They may be big 'ifs', but God's bigger. And he wants the hungry fed, up to now rather more than we do. Maybe that's about to change.
- You can also read our main story on the launch here, and watch the IF animation
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