Fighting Hunger in Colombia
A 2018 United Nations study found that food insecurity is a deadlier crisis than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined: 9 million people die each year from hunger and hunger-related diseases. Banco de Alimentos was founded in 2001 to reduce food insecurity in the Columbian capital of Bogotá. A staggering 16.4% of Colombia’s population experiences malnutrition, and Banco de Alimentos emphasizes the urgent need to end the hunger crisis and its associated impacts on public health, especially among children and adolescents.
Hunger creates a cycle of poverty that can transcend generations, forcing families to subsist without essential nutrients, often preventing them from working, getting an education, or otherwise improving their lives. Once chronic hunger is eliminated among program beneficiaries, they are empowered to realize their potential and live with greater independence.
In addition to providing food security for 32 children and their families during the pandemic with support from CAF America’s donors, the foundation is organizing educational activities and public awareness campaigns that are key to the sustainability of its work. In several underserved communities around Bogotá, Banco de Alimentos hosts workshops for children and adolescents related to food, nutrition, personal hygiene, and healthy habits that can lower the risk of chronic diseases. These events aim to be inclusive of parents and other community members to participate and learn, and to date, have reached nearly 200 people.
The organization also performs nutritional screenings, provides personal nutritional consultation, and offers basic medical support to the communities it serves, helping to drive progress on SDG 3, Good Health and Well-Being.
The work of Banco de Alimentos is powered by the generosity of private businesses, public organizations, NGOs, and churches working in partnership to support underrepresented communities. Its vision of reaching new communities of underserved children and adolescents across the country will be actualized by a continued commitment from donors who are equally driven to end hunger. The crushing effects of hunger occur in tandem with issues such as poverty, abandonment, and violence, which makes Banco de Alimentos’ short- and long-term interventions vital to the future of Colombia.