Hunger and Poverty (SDGs 1,2)

An update by Dr Amber Hammill, Kai Challenge Activator

Over the past few months we have been working alongside Community Waikato, GoEco, Creative Waikato and Trust Waikato to put together a community event, ‘Thriving Tomorrow: Navigating Resilience’. This event arose in response to reflections on a(nother) year of climate-related disruption, and the impacts of these events on communities. As we said in the event invitation, in reflecting on these events, “we are reminded of the power that exists within our collective solutions and connections. It is in moments of unity and resilience that the most profound systemic changes take root.” This event on March 6 at the Fale on Seddon Rd provided a space and opportunity to open conversations beyond crisis response towards resilient preparation.

This is an important kaupapa for the Kai Challenge: We are keenly aware that food security, that is food systems, are tested in the face of disasters. The Resilience to Nature’s Challenges team within the National Science Challenge recently released a policy briefing on ‘Food system security and disaster recovery’.

Among other things, the briefing is clear that, “Food systems are made up of complex interdependencies, relationships and feedback mechanisms. More work is needed to understand the ways in which different populations are vulnerable to cascading impacts, and how interventions could affect wellbeing across the system” (p. 9).

Developing a greater understanding of these complex systems within the Waikato is core to the work of the WWP Kai Challenge. The briefing asks, “What encourages community recovery and resilience?”, and answers “developing networks, fostering connections, and promotion collaboration can all contribute to resilience pre- and post-disaster” (p. 6). Somewhere, intrinsically, we know these things, as individuals, as community members and as leaders.

A key part of the work we have proposed for the Kai Challenge is about imagining new food futures, giving voice and shape to the food systems we want to grow towards. This event is an opportunity to work on both – collaboratively imagining a Thriving Tomorrow.