Rich Egger’s guests on Emphasis are Jean Harman, Food Security Team Leader for the Peace Corps, and Timothy Collins, Assistant Director, Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University.
Harman will be the keynote speaker for the 10th Annual Environmental Summit at WIU, which will take place Wednesday, April 3 on the Macomb campus.
Harman said “food security” refers to ensuring people have access to food. She said the Food Security Team is a broad-based group that includes an agricultural specialist, a climate change specialist, and an economic developer.
Harman estimated up to 20% of people around the world are food insecure. She said it’s difficult to measure because there are various ways of measuring food security. For example, those who don’t receive enough nutrition could be considered food insecure, even if they’re not going to bed hungry.
In addition, food security could be an issue for some people only during certain times of the year.
“As we all know, agriculture, which isn’t synonymous with food security but certainly drives food security, is seasonal,” Harman said.
“So hunger in many parts of the world is also seasonal.”
Harman said the Food Security Team was created less than a year ago. She said the team is putting together training programs for volunteers and will look at how volunteers can work with their communities to improve child and maternal health.
Harman said her comments during the program reflect her own opinions and are not necessarily those of the Peace Corps.