According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 165 million children under the age of five are so malnourished they will never reach their full physical and cognitive potential.
About 2 billion people in the world lack vitamins and minerals that are essential for good health, and around 1.4 billion are overweight - one third of them, obese. Children born to parents suffering from these forms of malnutrition start out with a higher risk of impairment from birth and illness later in life.
Poverty is handed down from generation to generation. Now it's time to stop the cycle.
October 16 is the FAO's annual World Food Day, and the organization is seeking to heighten public awareness of the problem of hunger in the world and stimulate discussions for solutions.
Getting out of her car, the wife of a furloughed government worker walked toward a small building full of free food.
She approached the door with her head down. An attendant asked for her name, she looked up and began to sob.
Editor's note: Ron Shaich is the founder and CEO of Panera Bread and president of the Panera Bread Foundation. He participated in a seven-day SNAP Challenge, living on a food and beverage budget of $4.50 a day, the average benefits available to a beneficiary of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the food stamp program.
I thought I knew a thing or two about hunger. I've met thousands of people who struggle to feed themselves and their families, visited dozens of soup kitchens, food pantries, homeless shelters and food banks, and worked closely with nonprofit organizations in trying to find new ways to end hunger.
I really thought I understood the scope of the problem.
Donna Brazile, a CNN contributor and a Democratic strategist, is vice chairwoman for voter registration and participation at the Democratic National Committee. She is a nationally syndicated columnist, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University and author of "Cooking With Grease: Stirring the Pot in America." She was manager for the Gore-Lieberman presidential campaign in 2000.
We are in the middle of a fight to preserve the dignity and grace that makes all of us Americans. We have big hearts and great souls. I know. I have seen them, felt them and watched them in wonder when my family was lost and unreachable in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
I cried, worrying for those I loved, heartbroken by what happened to our beloved Louisiana. And in the middle of that tough moment, the decency of people shone through in e-mails, phone calls and in person. Everybody was saying the same thing: "How can I help?"
CNN's Carol Costello speaks to Panera's CEO Ron Shaich about his week on the food stamp challenge.
For more than a decade, Robin Emmons felt helpless as her older brother lived on the streets, eating out of garbage cans.
She tried repeatedly to get him help for his mental illness, but authorities told her there was nothing they could do.
After he was arrested in 2008 for damaging someone's car during a schizophrenic outburst, she was finally able to become his legal guardian and get him into a halfway house with psychiatric services.
But as she watched his mental health improve, she noticed his physical health getting worse.
"I learned that he was becoming borderline diabetic," she said. "He wasn't like that even when he was homeless."
She investigated and found out that the nonprofit facility was mainly feeding him packaged and canned foods because it couldn't afford fresh fruits and vegetables.
Editor's note: Darrin Nordahl is the author of "Public Produce: The New Urban Agriculture." Aiming to increase food literacy in America, Darrin also pens the daily food blog Today is...Fava Beans! Follow him on Twitter.
What's better than fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables? How about fresh, locally-grown, free fruits and vegetables, all within an easy walk of your home or office?
Such is the philosophy behind the growing movement of public produce.
House Republicans stripped food stamp provisions opposed by conservatives and narrowly passed scaled back legislation on Thursday to overhaul the nation's farm programs.
Democrats chastised the GOP for ignoring initiatives they argue poor Americans need to keep from going hungry.
The vote was 216-208 and no Democrat voted for it. Twelve Republicans opposed the bill.
Debate on the floor was raucous and Democrats several times angrily screamed at Republicans and accused them of dismissing the needs of low income Americans.
Editor's note: Jeff Bridges has worked for more than 30 years on issues concerning childhood hunger here and abroad. He founded the End Hunger Network in 1983 to organize the entertainment industry around this cause. Since 2010, Jeff has been the national spokesperson for Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign to end childhood hunger in America.
When I was growing up, I had everything I needed. My wonderful parents, Dorothy and Lloyd, made sure we had nutritious food and they taught us where food came from.
I have been blessed in many ways, and my wife, Sue, and I have been fortunate enough to pass that on to our own four daughters. We've never had to worry about how we'd feed our family.
Other families in America are not as fortunate as I have been.