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Hacking Hunger

Updated about 1 month ago

News
Health & Fitness
Government
Nutrition
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Hidden, human stories about food on the front lines of hunger. Produced by World Food Program USA.

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Hidden, human stories about food on the front lines of hunger. Produced by World Food Program USA.

iTunes Ratings

21 Ratings
Average Ratings
17
2
0
1
1

Excellent

By C. Sova - Nov 20 2019
Read more
I work in the food security space and benefit from hearing stories from the front lines of the fight against hunger. That’s what Hacking Hunger does. Very valuable resource— and we’ll produced, too!

Great podcast

By lindyhopp - Nov 20 2019
Read more
I recommend this podcast if you like learning about food insecurity, humanitarian work, and the UN World Food Programme. I anxiously await new episodes that feature in depth interviews with different people in the field.

iTunes Ratings

21 Ratings
Average Ratings
17
2
0
1
1

Excellent

By C. Sova - Nov 20 2019
Read more
I work in the food security space and benefit from hearing stories from the front lines of the fight against hunger. That’s what Hacking Hunger does. Very valuable resource— and we’ll produced, too!

Great podcast

By lindyhopp - Nov 20 2019
Read more
I recommend this podcast if you like learning about food insecurity, humanitarian work, and the UN World Food Programme. I anxiously await new episodes that feature in depth interviews with different people in the field.
Cover image of Hacking Hunger

Hacking Hunger

Latest release on Jul 01, 2020

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Hidden, human stories about food on the front lines of hunger. Produced by World Food Program USA.

Rank #1: Episode 21: A Lifesaving Legacy Under Threat

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Republicans and Democrats don’t agree on much these days, but hunger has always been different. For decades, Congress and the White House have worked together to feed families around the world. M.J. talks to former Senator Tom Daschle about why this American legacy must endure — even as war, climate change and four looming famines threaten millions of families across the globe.

Aug 01 2017

21mins

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Rank #2: Episode 14: Inside a Syrian Kitchen

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Journalist Dalia Mortada may have been born and raised in the U.S., but she grew up in a Syrian kitchen. As a child, she savored aromas and flavors like orange blossom, tamarind syrup and cardamom -- tastes that would define her childhood and seal her identity as a Syrian-American. M.J. talks to Dalia about the inspiration behind her new project, Savoring Syria, and how she’s using food to spark a deeper conversation about a country torn apart by conflict.

Nov 18 2016

17mins

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Rank #3: Episode 20: The Forgotten Food Waste Crisis

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In many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, farmers can expect to lose nearly half of their harvest before it even leaves the farm. M.J. talks to the World Food Programme’s Brett Rierson about why — and how “tupperware for crops” could change the way the world’s small-scale farmers do business.

Jun 26 2017

18mins

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Rank #4: Episode 38: It All Started With An Insight: How Feeding the World is at Your Fingertips

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ShareTheMeal is a WFP app that enables people to donate food with just a tap of their fingers. In episode 38 of Hacking Hunger, we sat down with Max Costa, head of ShareTheMeal, and Nishkam Mehta, a super user, to learn the impact the app has had, and what’s in store for its future. 

Nov 22 2019

21mins

Play

Rank #5: Episode 32: The Magic of a Meal: How School Feeding Transforms

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Homegrown school feeding is not only transforming the lives of students, but entire communities. We sat down with Carmen Burbano de Lara, WFP director of school feeding, and Amy Blauman, who manages WFP’s homegrown school feeding program in Rwanda, to learn more. 

Mar 20 2019

14mins

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Rank #6: Episode 5: The Zero Hunger Generation

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Millennials are the largest and most educated generation in the U.S. Today, they outnumber baby boomers by nearly 8 million people. And the United Nations has tasked this generation with tackling one of the biggest challenges of our time - ending hunger by 2030. We talk with five students of the “Zero Hunger Generation” who attended last month’s Universities Fighting World Hunger summit in Missouri about who they are, what they believe, and what they’re doing to rise to the occasion. One of these students is Cedric Habiyaremye, whose childhood as a former refugee led him to a career in agriculture.

Mar 18 2016

16mins

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Rank #7: Episode 25: Inside the World’s Largest Refugee Camp

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When violence in Myanmar sparked a mass exodus last August, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya fled for the border. Today, the Kutupalong camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh has become the world’s largest refugee camp, hosting more than 1 million people. M.J. talks to one aid worker who’s been on the ground since the beginning of the crisis—and hears about a new threat that now looms.

Feb 14 2018

7mins

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Rank #8: Episode 17: A Love Story That Is Feeding the World

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Lovebirds Poonam Kaushal and Nishkaam Mehta are getting hitched this Valentine’s Day. Instead of throwing a big wedding, they teamed up with friends, family and perfect strangers to create an unconventional wedding gift using the world’s first hunger-fighting smartphone app. As they prepare to tie the knot in four days, M.J. talks to Poonam and Nishkaam about their “Million Meals for Love” campaign and explains how you can be part of their big day by changing the life of a hungry child.

Feb 10 2017

13mins

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Rank #9: Episode 29: A Storytellers Farewell

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In her final episode as host, M.J. Altman turns the mic over to three women in Guatemala, Chad and Jordan who share their own stories in their own languages as part of a unique project from the U.N. World Food Programme known as Storytellers.

Jun 25 2018

10mins

Play

Rank #10: Episode 39: On the Frontlines: A Yemeni Aid Worker on What It’s Like to Live Through the World’s Worst Humanitarian Crisis

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In the last few years, Mohammed Ghanim has become all too familiar with the struggles of war. A program officer for WFP, Mohammed lives and works in Yemen, site of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. He is also from Yemen, born and raised – and like every other Yemeni, he has not been immune to the consequences of conflict. Yet, despite the tremendous hardship he continues to face, Mohammed remains dedicated to helping his neighbors in urgent need.

Inspired his commitment, we asked Mohammed about the reality of living in Yemen during difficult time, how WFP is working to help, and how he finds hope for his country’s future, even in the middle of war.

Dec 18 2019

15mins

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Rank #11: Episode 3: On the Front Lines of Hunger and War in Syria

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We speak with Dina el-Kassaby, one of the WFP's Communications Officers based in Cairo, about how the conflicts in Syria and Iraq have impacted ordinary families throughout the region.

Dec 12 2015

34mins

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Rank #12: Episode 36: Hunger and Rain: The Story of The Dry Corridor

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The tale of the Dry Corridor is one that’s becoming all too familiar. It’s one of extreme weather and desperation, hunger, drought and rain.

The Dry Corridor is the nickname given to a region in Central America that’s been suffering from erratic weather patterns fueled by climate change. For the past five years, it’s been devastating crops, and driving migration and hunger.

In this podcast, we spoke with Elio Rujano, a WFP communications officer based in Panama. He has witnessed firsthand the impact climate change is having on families in the Dry Corridor who are already struggling to survive.

Oct 08 2019

18mins

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Rank #13: Episode 4: A Slow-Motion Disaster in Ethiopia

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A historic drought is sweeping Ethiopia and more than 10 million people have been pushed into hunger. We talk with two humanitarians in Ethiopia—John Aylieff from the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) and Dianna Darsney de Salcedo from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the single largest donor to WFP's Ethiopia operations—to hear how families are coping with one of the worst droughts in decades. We also hear from Abebe Haregewoin, an Ethiopian man who is raising money from his home in Silver Spring, Maryland to help WFP feed people in his homeland. Music: Mulatu Astatke, The Story of Ethio Jazz, "Yekermo Sew"; Girma Yifrashewa, Love and Peace, "The Shepherd with the Flute" 

Feb 19 2016

18mins

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Rank #14: Episode 10: Empower a Woman, Feed a Generation

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If women farmers had the same access to resources like capital, markets and training as their male counterparts, the number of hungry people worldwide could drop by nearly 20 percent, according to the United Nations. M.J. talks to Lisa Curtis, co-founder of Kuli Kuli Foods, about how building a U.S. market for a “miracle crop” called moringa is empowering women farmers in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities to grow, sell and consume what some believe could be the next kale or quinoa.

Sep 06 2016

13mins

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Rank #15: Episode 11: Pinpointing Hunger with Mobile Phones

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When violence or natural disaster strikes vulnerable communities, good data on the hunger that often results can be hard to come by. For aid workers, knowing where food is scarce and how families are coping is crucial to alleviate suffering. M.J. talks to Jean-Martin Bauer, founder of the World Food Programme’s mobile Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (mVAM) unit, about how mobile phones in the most remote and dangerous corners of our world are changing how we understand and fight hunger.

Sep 16 2016

22mins

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Rank #16: Episode 28: Survival in the Sahel

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The Sahel of Africa has always been an unforgiving landscape, but now families in the region are facing two growing threats at the same time: Climate change and conflict. Boko Haram’s campaign of terror has displaced thousands of people as farmers and pastoralists clash over access to shrinking land. M.J. takes you to Niger, a country in the Sahel where families are fighting for their lives—and a better future for their children.

May 31 2018

10mins

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Rank #17: Episode 7: Breaking Through a Besieged Community in Syria

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In a besieged town in Syria earlier this year, families had been boiling grass to survive when word spread that the first delivery of food and medicine to reach the area in 18 months was on its way. But when this humanitarian convoy was blocked at a government checkpoint, the fate of tens of thousands of Syrians fell hostage to the whims of a single army commander. Hear from WFP’s Country Director in Syria who was on the convoy about what happened next and learn how a displaced Syrian aid worker is struggling to feed families cut off from aid. Go behind the scenes with these two humanitarians as we reveal the logistical challenges they face when trying to deliver food in one of the most dangerous and volatile countries in the world.

Jun 08 2016

33mins

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Rank #18: Episode 8: Seven Million Meals and Counting

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At a time when smartphone users outnumber the world’s hungry children by 20 to 1, humanitarian organizations are crowdsourcing creative ideas and solutions to harness technology in the fight against global hunger. That’s why some of the brightest minds in tech innovation joined last week’s launch of the UN World Food Programme’s first-ever Innovation Accelerator. Hear from one of them: Sebastian Stricker, the co-founder of WFP’s award-winning mobile app ShareTheMeal. Learn how it has inspired people around the world to share more than 7 million meals with hungry families across the Middle East since its launch last fall.

Jul 20 2016

7mins

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Rank #19: Episode 30: A Nation on the Brink of Famine

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Years of conflict have pushed Yemen to the edge of famine. There are 8 million people in the country suffering from severe hunger, and intensifying violence could bring this number to 12 million. WFP’s Yemen Country Director, Stephen Anderson, talks about his experience on the ground in Yemen. He shares the stories of Yemenis struggling to feed their families, and how WFP is doing whatever it takes to deliver food and nutrition to the people who need it the most.

Oct 18 2018

13mins

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Rank #20: Episode 9: Digging Into What Ends Up On Your Plate

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In an increasingly food-obsessed world, journalists and consumers alike are digging into the politics of what ends up on our plates. This global food chain means farmers and families at home and abroad are interconnected in new and complicated ways. M.J. talks to Maddie Oatman, co-host of Mother Jones magazine’s new food podcast “Bite,” about what she’s uncovering in her day-to-day reporting, how living abroad shaped her perspective, and this year’s four trendy foods that could balance sustainability and appetite.   

Aug 18 2016

13mins

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Episode 50: Inside the High-Tech Tool That Tracks Hunger Crises and Save Lives

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On this episode of Hacking Hunger, we spoke to Jonathan Rivers, who's team at the U.N. World Food Programme uses mobile technology to monitor food security in real time. He describes how this technology works, and the critical role it plays in emergency response.

Jul 01 2020

18mins

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Episode 49: Creating an Anti-Poverty Movement with Clint Borgen

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A passion project that began one summer on a fishing boat, The Borgen Project is now a nationwide campaign with volunteers in 931 cities. It advocates, mobilizes and educates to improve the living conditions of people living on less than a dollar a day.  

On this episode of Hacking Hunger, we talk Clint Borgen, founder and CEO, to ask him more about how an idea on a fishing boat evolved into a successful anti-poverty movement. 

Jun 19 2020

16mins

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Episode 48: Linking Hunger and War with Matthew Hollingworth

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Two years ago, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2417, a resolution recognizing the link between hunger and war. But two years later, too little has changed.

For this episode, we sat down with Matthew Hollingworth, United Nations World Food Programme's country director in South Sudan to reflect on the significance of the resolution and discuss the impact that the new coronavirus pandemic might have on peace and security globally.

Jun 16 2020

17mins

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Episode 47: Poverty, Policy and Pandemic with Johan Swinnen

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How much of an impact on developing economies will COVID-19 really have? Why will food systems change prevent dire impacts from happening in the future? On this episode of Hacking Hunger, we talk to Johan Swinnen, a top economist and currently director general of The International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, DC. 

Jun 11 2020

20mins

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Episode 46: “Everything Changed Overnight.” WFP USA CEO on Navigating a Global Crisis

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Three months after Barron Segar joined WFP USA as president and CEO, disaster struck. COVID-19 hit and uprooted life as we knew, forcing Barron and WFP USA leadership to reimagine many of their plans. Barron is no stranger to crisis, so we sat down with him to ask about his background, goals and leading in the time of COVID-19.

May 13 2020

18mins

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Episode 45: How Innovation Can Help Solve Hunger During a Pandemic

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As the COVID-19 spreads, innovation and technology is needed more to reach people in need. In this episode of Hacking Hunger, Bernhard Kowatsch, head of WFP's Innovation Accelerator, explains how the program is working to support WFP's pandemic response.

Apr 29 2020

20mins

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Episode 44: Food Tank, Food Systems and COVID-19: A Conversation with Dani Nierenberg

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Danielle Nierenberg is a world-renowned researcher, speaker and advocate, she’s spent her career fighting for food-systems change and is an expert on all things food and ag. On this episode, we talk to Danielle about her background, her current organization, Food Tank, and how COVID-19 will affect food systems going forward.

Apr 15 2020

17mins

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Episode 43: COVID-19 and the 5 Major Threats it Poses to Global Food Security

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Every major outbreak in recent memory—Ebola, SARS, MERS—has had both direct and indirect negative impacts on food security. On this episode, we speak to Chase Sova, our senior director of policy and research, to learn what the experts are saying about the likelihood and nature of such impacts from COVID-19.

Mar 27 2020

28mins

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Episode 42: Inside the Lives of Women Living Through World's Worst Humanitarian Crisis

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Hunger is cruel to everyone, but it’s not completely blind. Women – especially in times of war, are more at risk to the suffering it bestows. Women are 60 percent more likely to suffer from hunger and its consequences. They eat last and least and are often forced to drop out of school or marry early when there is not enough.

Yemen is no exception to this rule, and as the nation’s conflict drags into its fifth year, women find themselves in increasingly difficult circumstances. But women are resilient, so despite the suffering, they find ways to remain hopeful and strong.

On this episode of Hacking Hunger, we spoke with Annabel Symington, head of communications for WFP in Yemen. She’s been working in Yemen for the past year, and offered us insights into the unique challenges, stories and strength of women living through this war.

Mar 12 2020

30mins

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Episode 41: How Can We End World Hunger? Travel Expert Rick Steves Visits Guatemala and Ethiopia to Explore Answers.

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Rick Steves is no stranger to exploration. The renown travel expert has built his career around investigating the nooks and crannies of Europe and sharing his discoveries with curious travelers. Recently, however, Rick ventured beyond Europe to explore one of the most pressing problems of our day: the problem of global hunger. 

On this episode of Hacking Hunger, we caught up with Rick to discuss what this project taught him about the challenges and innovative solutions to solving global hunger and the inspiring people and organizations (including WFP) he met along the way.

Feb 20 2020

26mins

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Episode 40: Hunger, War and An American Dream

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In the early 1990s, Abdi Nor Iftin was a child. Just like other children across the globe, he loved playing outdoors, bickered with his brother and dreamed of being a Hollywood star. Unlike most other children, however, Abdi was starving – simply because he was living in Somalia during a time of drought and civil war.

Abdi lived through the unthinkable, but he was one of the fortunate ones; he survived. Rescued from the brink by perseverance, luck and humanitarian aid, he’s now a successful author living in the U.S. with a story he’s eager to tell.

“I want the world to know both what I went through and how I was helped,” Abdi says. “Maybe then, we can prevent these tragedies from happening again.

Feb 06 2020

17mins

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Episode 39: On the Frontlines: A Yemeni Aid Worker on What It’s Like to Live Through the World’s Worst Humanitarian Crisis

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In the last few years, Mohammed Ghanim has become all too familiar with the struggles of war. A program officer for WFP, Mohammed lives and works in Yemen, site of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. He is also from Yemen, born and raised – and like every other Yemeni, he has not been immune to the consequences of conflict. Yet, despite the tremendous hardship he continues to face, Mohammed remains dedicated to helping his neighbors in urgent need.

Inspired his commitment, we asked Mohammed about the reality of living in Yemen during difficult time, how WFP is working to help, and how he finds hope for his country’s future, even in the middle of war.

Dec 18 2019

15mins

Play

Episode 38: It All Started With An Insight: How Feeding the World is at Your Fingertips

Podcast cover
Read more

ShareTheMeal is a WFP app that enables people to donate food with just a tap of their fingers. In episode 38 of Hacking Hunger, we sat down with Max Costa, head of ShareTheMeal, and Nishkam Mehta, a super user, to learn the impact the app has had, and what’s in store for its future. 

Nov 22 2019

21mins

Play

Episode 37: The Ebola Epidemic is Back. This is How Food Can Help End it.

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When Ebola spread through Western Africa in 2014, it killed more than 11,000 people. Now it’s back – and the Democratic Republic of Congo is at its epicenter in a critical phase. We spoke to Jacques David, WFP communications officer, at how WFP is helping fight ebola with food. 

Nov 19 2019

21mins

Play

Episode 36: Hunger and Rain: The Story of The Dry Corridor

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The tale of the Dry Corridor is one that’s becoming all too familiar. It’s one of extreme weather and desperation, hunger, drought and rain.

The Dry Corridor is the nickname given to a region in Central America that’s been suffering from erratic weather patterns fueled by climate change. For the past five years, it’s been devastating crops, and driving migration and hunger.

In this podcast, we spoke with Elio Rujano, a WFP communications officer based in Panama. He has witnessed firsthand the impact climate change is having on families in the Dry Corridor who are already struggling to survive.

Oct 08 2019

18mins

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Episode 35: Cold and Polluted: Working on the Front Lines of Climate Extremes

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For the fourth year in a row, hunger is on the rise globally. And one of the main reasons is climate change. The number of extreme climate-related disasters has doubled since the early 1990s, with an average of 213 of these events occurring every year.

One of the places where you can see the effects of climate change very clearly is Mongolia – a country new to WFP’s work. We sat down with Darko Petrovich and Amit Wadhwa, who are spearheading WFP's efforts in the country - one of the coldest and most polluted places in the world. 

Sep 03 2019

15mins

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Episode 34: Witnessing an Apocalypse: An Aid Worker's Tale of Cyclone Idai

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On March 14, 2019, Cyclone Idai slammed into central Mozambique near the city of Beira. Its torrential winds and rains destroyed everything in its path, and left millions of people without the food, shelter and water they needed to survive. We spoke with one aid worker who was one of the first responders to this "apocalyptic" scene.

Jun 19 2019

13mins

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Episode 33: Breastfeeding in Emergencies – Nourishing Women and Children in Cox’s Bazar

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Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh is home to the world’s largest refugee camp. One million refugees live there – 80 percent are women and children. The camp is plagued by poor water, unsanitary conditions, and limited access to health services and food. We spoke with Tracy Dube, a WFP nutritionist in the camp, about the challenges that pregnant mothers, new moms and young children face in this pop-up city.

May 21 2019

12mins

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Episode 32: The Magic of a Meal: How School Feeding Transforms

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Homegrown school feeding is not only transforming the lives of students, but entire communities. We sat down with Carmen Burbano de Lara, WFP director of school feeding, and Amy Blauman, who manages WFP’s homegrown school feeding program in Rwanda, to learn more. 

Mar 20 2019

14mins

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Episode 31: Of Food, Life and Death

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Yemen is the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. WFP cameraman Marco Frattini recently traveled to the country to document the human impact of its four-year civil war. What he saw is something he’ll never forget. On our latest episode of Hacking Hunger, Marco shares his experience visiting the children and families who have become innocent victims of Yemen’s war.

Jan 17 2019

9mins

Play

iTunes Ratings

21 Ratings
Average Ratings
17
2
0
1
1

Excellent

By C. Sova - Nov 20 2019
Read more
I work in the food security space and benefit from hearing stories from the front lines of the fight against hunger. That’s what Hacking Hunger does. Very valuable resource— and we’ll produced, too!

Great podcast

By lindyhopp - Nov 20 2019
Read more
I recommend this podcast if you like learning about food insecurity, humanitarian work, and the UN World Food Programme. I anxiously await new episodes that feature in depth interviews with different people in the field.