‘Holding Onto Hope’ by Cathy Fitzgibbon

From Cathy Fitzgibbon’s invited chapter in our forthcoming Mental Health For Millennials Volume 6 ‘On Hope and Inclusion’ scheduled for launch on October 10th 2022.

‘Holding onto Hope’

“Science and experience tell us that seeds will grow, but it’s also fair to add that, when initially planted in the soil the hope of a plentiful harvest is also always sown. In recent years, many different parts of the world and its emerging Millennial generation population, have been hit by a multitude of major distresses ranging from political conflicts, unsettling weather patterns, droughts and rising sea levels to food and fuel price increases. If not addressed, this type of man-made destruction will further escalate food in-equality gaps. In this regard, Shenggen et al., (2014) maintain that the magnitude of these global issues will leave disadvantaged communities vulnerable to the threat of emerging diseases and contaminated foods during these turbulent times. On a micro-level this will have devastating long-term effects for many households and families in under-developed regions whilst simultaneously on a macro-level presenting our society as a whole with enormous worldwide food shortages.

The World Food Summit (1996) links the existence of food security to physical and economic access to adequate amounts of nutritious, safe and culturally appropriate food to maintain a healthy and active life. Fahy (2021) concurs that food security is the measure of an individual’s ability to access food that is nutritious and sufficient in quantity. According to the recent Global Food Security Index (2021), Ireland has been ranked the most food secure country in the world scoring highly on all four pillars of food security: affordability, availability, quality and safety, natural resources and resilience. However Tutty (2022) draws attention to the fact that, like much of the rest of the word, Ireland’s food security is now also under pressure due to knock-on effects of the war in Ukraine. Glauber and Laborde (2022) acknowledge the recent conflict between these two countries is now having a huge impact on global food supply chains with the exports of Russia and Ukraine ‘Europe’s breadbasket’ representing 12% of all food calories traded in the world.

Likewise for hundreds of millions of people in other countries such as Somalia and Yemen this right is continually not being met due to a combined mixture of external factors outside of their control, such as availability and access to food, stability from climate change and political instability (Concern, 2021). The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2021) acknowledges that we are at a critical juncture in terms of the number of people in the world affected by hunger, having increased in 2020 under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. This acknowledgement highlights figures of between 720 and 811 million people being faced with hunger, after remaining virtually unchanged from 2014 to 2019…”

*From Cathy Fitzgibbon’s invited chapter in our forthcoming Mental Health For Millennials Volume 6 ‘On Hope and Inclusion’ scheduled for launch on October 10th 2022 to be published by Book Hub Publishing.

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