Seasonal hunger is a chronic, slow, persistent, insidious condition that affects generations of people in a geographic region. Unlike famine, this hunger is a cycle of quiet and predictable starvation.
About 75% of undernourished people live in low-income rural areas of developing countries, principally in farming areas. Here, chronic hunger usually occurs between harvest seasons, when the previous year’s food stocks have dwindled, food prices are high, and income is scarce. Different regions have various terms for this period: The Thin Months, the months of the big stomach, seasons of hunger, times of silence, or the months of water.
Ending seasonal hunger is not just about producing more food.
The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reports that there is already enough food to feed everyone in the world and, despite a 70 percent population increase, world agriculture produces 17 percent more calories per person per day then it did 30 years ago.
Ending hunger means finding sustainable ways to help vulnerable families access food by diversifying income-generating opportunities, improving access to markets, and developing other food security and livelihood strategies.