Thriving Mothers. Thriving World.

28 May is World Hunger Day, an opportunity for all of us around the world to play our part in ending world hunger, for good.

More than 1 billion adolescent girls and women suffer from malnutrition today. The effects are passed down from mother to child. Malnourished mothers give birth to malnourished babies. These children suffer irreversible impacts on their brain development and futures.

It creates a cycle of chronic hunger.

Every country in the world is affected by malnutrition. It  has developmental, economic, social and medical impacts for individuals and their families, for communities and for countries.

42%

of people globally cannot afford a healthy diet (SOFI 2023)

1 billion

girls and women globally face undernutrition (UNICEF 2023)

149 million

children under 5 are stunted (WHO 2023)

The good news:

We can end malnutrition. 

This World Hunger Day, we’re shining a light on nutrition for new and expecting mothers. By investing in women, we can break the cycle of hunger and create a world where we all thrive.

What Can We Do?

Women and children, particularly those living in poverty, are most vulnerable to malnutrition. When nutritious food is scarce, families must make hard choices. Girls are fed last and least. Mothers eat after the rest of their family is fed. 

In many places around the world, to reduce the burden on their families, girls are married at a young age. They are not fully developed and they begin having babies early. Malnourished girls give birth to malnourished babies. Malnourished babies face delayed development cognitively and physically. These delays prevent them from reaching their full potential. 

Thankfully there are many proven interventions and organizations taking action to break this cycle of malnutrition.

The heart of this work is ensuring that mothers have access to information and nutritious foods for themselves and their babies. 

8 common practices to ensure that mothers and their child thrive. 

Nutrition Education

Providing education to women about the importance of proper nutrition, particularly during the first 1000 days of pregnancy and early motherhood, is essential. This includes understanding which foods are rich in essential nutrients and how to incorporate them into their diet.

Access to Nutritious Foods

Ensuring that pregnant and lactating women and young toddlers have access to various nutrient-dense foods is key. This may involve improving access to fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and dairy products through subsidies, food assistance programs, or community gardens.

Prenatal Care

 Encouraging regular prenatal check-ups allows healthcare providers to monitor the nutritional status of pregnant women and provide appropriate guidance and interventions.

Supplementation

In cases where women may not be able to obtain all the necessary nutrients from their diet alone, supplementation with vitamins and minerals such as folic acid, iron, calcium, and vitamin D may be beneficial.

Encouraging and supporting breastfeeding

Breast milk provides essential nutrients and antibodies that help protect infants from illness and malnutrition. Breastfeeding also reduces the risk of potentially deadly diarrheal diseases in infants, particularly in regions where clean water is scarce. 

Community Support and Empowerment

Creating supportive communities where women feel empowered to make healthy choices during pregnancy and lactation can be beneficial. This may involve mother support groups, community centers, or peer-to-peer networks where women can share experiences and knowledge about nutrition and motherhood.

Addressing Socioeconomic Factors

Addressing underlying socioeconomic factors such as poverty, food insecurity, and lack of access to healthcare and education can help alleviate barriers to proper nutrition for pregnant and lactating women.

Policy and Advocacy

Advocating for policies that prioritize maternal and child nutrition, such as maternity leave policies, support for breastfeeding mothers in the workplace, and programs that provide access to nutritious foods, can help address systemic issues contributing to maternal malnutrition.

Take Action Today.

Invest in Mothers

Access to nutrition education can be one of the most powerful interventions to prevent malnutrition.

Share Your Story

Breastfeeding and ensuring children have good nutrition is hard work. Share your story and words of encouragement for women around the world!

Inspire Nutritious Eating

Share your favorite nutrient-packed recipe today on social media - and remember, even the simplest recipes can make a big impact! Use the hashtag #WorldHungerDay2024 and tag @TheHungerProject.

Become a World Hunger Day Champion

Download the social media toolkit and share your support for thriving mothers on World Hunger Day. Or enroll your company to become a partner for a world without hunger.