It is easy to forget about those in need at a time of year where the focus on personal achievement is top of mind. Irrespective of the season embraced by the majority, there are still those whose biggest achievement centers on satisfying the most basic of needs.
Poor food distribution is one of the key causes of global hunger, according to experts, who also blame high food prices and the unequal distribution of resources. According to the CSIR, globally between 30-50% of food produced is wasted before it reaches consumers.
“This also results in environmental impacts throughout the supply chain, as well as the waste of resources used in food production and distribution,” says Claire Bloom, ex US Navy officer, and Founder and Executive Director of End 68 Hours of Hunger, a US-based non-profit organisation that fights childhood hunger. Bloom will present a workshop on Ending Childhood Hunger at the SAPICS 2015* conference, taking place from 31 May - 2 June at Sun City.
It is estimated that South Africa generates over 9 million tonnes of food waste per year, a sobering thought when one considers that roughly 14% of children in SA suffer from hunger.
“In South Africa in particular, childhood hunger – or food insecurity – is a national problem. After a while, children who receive insufficient food on a regular basis or miss entire meals, experience ‘fear of hunger’, which affects their behaviour as much as physical hunger affects their bodies,” she says.
“19% of South African children have no breakfast, and 51% have no lunch. 800,000 of these children are under five, and the malnutrition they experience has a profound impact on their future. When children are hungry, they cannot learn, and if they cannot learn, they cannot master the information and skills they are taught in school,” says Bloom.
According to Bloom, several organisations are making progress in combating childhood hunger, however, much more is needed. “The ‘much-more’ relates in great part to communities and companies partnering to assess the scale of the problem in their area and then working together to see it solved. It’s possible – and we can do it!” she says.
After retiring in 1998 from the United States Navy following a very successful tour as the first woman to be the Second In Command of USS Constitution, Bloom established a feeding programme in New Hampshire (USA) in 2011. The programme puts nourishing food in the hands of primary school children to carry them through the weekend – 68 hours of hunger that some children experience between the free lunch they receive in school on Friday and the breakfast they receive in school on Monday morning.
Volunteers at Bloom’s organisation buy the food, pack the bags and deliver them to the offices of the selected primary schools. From there, a school employee delivers the food to the classrooms of the individual participating students. The students take the food home on Friday afternoon and the cycle begins again the following week. Each bag of food provides two breakfasts, two lunches and three dinners for a child, with some left over to share.
Bloom’s organisation currently feeds around 1000 children weekly in 34 towns. “We have a model that works well and there’s no reason that some of the key principles cannot be adopted and applied to the South African context to great effect,” she adds.
Bloom’s presentation at SAPICS 2015 will focus on the impact of the food insecurity problem in South Africa, what is currently being done, as well as what conference attendees themselves can do to help.
*SAPICS Conference and Exhibition 2015 – The Pulse of Africa’s Supply Chains
The 37th Annual SAPICS Conference and Exhibition is the premier educational and networking event in Africa for Supply Chain and Operations Management Professionals and will be held 31 May – 2 June 2015 at Sun City.
The conference is widely known as the leading event in Africa for supply chain professionals and offers practical and relevant information through excellent educational presentations, case studies and interactive workshops.
For more information and to register, visit www.sapics.org.za
About Claire Bloom
The presentation by Claire Bloom at SAPICS 2015 is entitled: Ending Childhood Hunger: What we can do and how we can do it. This presentation will focus on the impact of childhood hunger in South Africa, what is being done, and what conference attendees can do to help.
With 20 years of service in the US Navy to her credit, Claire has Master Degrees in Strategic Intelligence and Educational Leadership, and is a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Master Practitioner. She is certified in Integrated Resource Management by APICS, the Operations Society for Resource Management. She retired from the United States Navy in 1998 following a very successful tour as the first woman to be the Second In Command of USS Constitution.
Her personal awards include the Navy Meritorious Service Medal (one award), the Navy Commendation Medal (five awards), the Navy Achievement Medal (two awards), the Charles Francis Adams Award from the USS Constitution Museum, the Margaret Cochran Corbin Award from the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Toyota Award from SAPICS, and designation as a 2013 Purpose Prize Fellow by Encore.
She is the author of “End 68 Hours of Hunger: Ending Childhood Hunger in America One School at a Time”, co-author of “Getting Better: My Journey Through Transverse Myelitis and Lessons for Health Care Providers, Patients and Families” and the editor of “Business Intelligence: Lessons I Learned from the Oxymorons at Work” and “Intelligent Business: Lessons I Learned from the Experts at Work.”
MEDIA CONTACT: Cathlen Fourie, 012 644 2833, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.atthatpoint.co.za
ABOUT SAPICS – your supply chain network
SAPICS is a professional knowledge-based association that enables individuals and organisations to improve business performance. SAPICS builds operations management excellence in individuals and enterprises through superior education and training, internationally recognised certifications, comprehensive resources and a countrywide network of accomplished industry professionals. This network is ever expanding and now includes associates in other African countries.
The annual SAPICS Conference is the leading supply chain event in Africa. The 37th SAPICS conference will be held 31 May – 2 June 2015 at Sun City and promises to bring together a wide variety of local and global speakers to discuss solutions and best practices in the supply chain management field.
For more information on SAPICS please visit:
LinkedIn: SAPICS group
APICS is the leading professional association for supply chain and operations management and the premier provider of research, education and certification programs that elevate end-to-end supply chain excellence, innovation and resilience. APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) and APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) designations set the industry standard. With over 37,000 members and more than 250 international partners, APICS is transforming the way people do business, drive growth and reach global customers. APICS is based in the USA and has a broad global footprint.