Help help I’m in a nutshell! Where did such a gigantic nutshell come from? Oh, wait, there’s an entire municipal food security program in here. That’s unexpected.

Beginning to End Hunger will not be the first examination of Belo Horizonte, Brazil’s amazingly successful and renowned food security programs (though it will be the first book-length version). And this is for good reason. Since it was founded in 1993, the Municipal Secretariat of Food and Nutrition Security has presided over gains in food justice, food security, and food sovereignty like

  • The creation of 126 school gardens and 48 community gardens, with 91 gardening workshops with 1,090 participants in 2012 (Duffles 2013)
  • 200,000 meals served/day within the 186 schools of the Municipal Education system (Duffles 2013)
  • Infant mortality, for babies under a year old, has fallen by more than 70% (PMBH 2016)
  • A 33% decrease in hospitalization due to diabetes (PMBH 2016)
  • 14,000 low-cost, high-quality meals/day through the Popular Restaurant programs, open 248 days/year (Duffles 2013)
  • Large increases in per capita household consumption of fruits and vegetables between 1987 and 1997, taking it from the 6th to the 1st place among Brazilian cities for green vegetables, and 8th to 2nd in consumption of fruits (IBGE 1991, IBGE 1997).
  • An estimated 800,000 citizens interact each year with BH’s programs—almost 40% of the population in 2003 (Aranha 2003).

But tired of dry numbers? Here are two videos that highlight BH’s successes, including the World Future Council’s mini-documentary from BH’s win of the Future Policy Award in 2009, and a short video created by food systems planner & consultant (and dear friend) Lindsay Smith. (Enjoy Lindsay’s great soundtrack while you’re there!) And, as always, pre-order your copy of Beginning to End Hunger, out January 2018!

Works Cited

Aranha, A. V. (2000). Segurança alimentar, gestão pública e cidadania: a experiência do município de Belo Horizonte – 1993/1999. M.P.A. Thesis, Escola da Governo da Fundação João Pinheiro, Belo Horizonte.

Aranha, A. V. (2003). Food Security, public management and citizenship: the experience of Belo Horizonte, Brazil – 1993/2003. Paper presented at the Conference on Community Food Security, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada, July, 2003.

Duffles, F. (2013). Addressing city food and nutritional security and the human right to food. Paper presented at the 4th Global Forum on Urban Resilience and Adaptation. Bonn: Local Governments for Sustainability. Retrieved from http://resilient-cities.iclei.org/fileadmin/sites/resilient-cities/files/Resilient_Cities_2013/Presentations/D5_Duffles_RC2013_RUFS.pdf.

Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE). (1991). Pesquisa de Orçamentos Familiares 1987/88, No. 2: Consumo Alimentar Domiciliar Per Capita. Rio de Janeiro: IGBE.

Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE). (1997). Pesquisa de Orçamentos Familiares – POF 1995-1996. Rio de Janeiro: IBGE. Retrieved from http://www.ibge.gov.br/home/estatistica/populacao/condicaodevida/pof/defaulttab.shtm.

Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE). (2006). Pesquisa nacional por amostra de domicílios: 2004. Rio de Janeiro: IBGE.

Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE). (2010). Aquisição Alimentar Domiciliar per capita Brasil e Grandes Regiões: Tabelas Completas: Municípios. Pesquisa de Orçamentos Familiares 2008-2009. Retrieved from http://www.ibge.gov.br/home/estatistica/populacao/condicaodevida/pof/2008_2009_aquisicao/default_zip.shtm.

Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE). (2013). Censo Demográfico 2010: Resultados gerais da amostra: Minas Gerais. Rio de Janeiro: IBGE.

Prefeitura de Municipal Belo Horizonte (PMBH). (2016). Estatísticas e Indicadores: Saúde. Retrieved from http://portalpbh.pbh.gov.br/pbh/ecp/comunidade.do?evento=portlet&pIdPlc=ecpTaxonomiaMenuPortal&app=estatisticaseindicadores&tax=20043&lang=pt_BR&pg=7742&taxp=0&.

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