Today is World Food Day (#WorldFoodDay), a day of action where people come together to declare their commitment to eradicating hunger and raise awareness of the inequalities in access to food and food production resources around the globe.

On October 16, 1945, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN was established with the “belief that the goal of freedom from want of food, suitable and adequate for the health and strength of all people can be achieved.” World Food Day honors this mission and the founding of this organization.

“As mothers, farmers, teachers and entrepreneurs, women hold the key to building a future free of malnutrition.” – UN Women

According to the World Food Programme, women are more likely to go hungry than men because they often have unequal access to resources, education and income. Yet, they have a crucial role to play in preventing and defeating hunger.

The good news is that women are leading the movement for change. Below, meet just a few women (and a girl) you should know who are doing their part to stomp out hunger in their communities.

Erin Dinan – One Sandwich At A Time

erin_sandwich_smallErin, a photographer and humanitarian, wanted to change the world, but was stumped as to what she could possibly do to make an impact. It was a simple sandwich and a chance encounter with a homeless man that gave her the clarity and inspiration she needed, and her nonprofit, One Sandwich at a Time was born. read more

Ashley Stanley – Lovin’ Spoonfuls

Spoonful_smallAfter taking inventory of the food she and her mom had left on their plates following a lunch out, Ashley thought about how much food was probably being wasted by other patrons and restaurants around her hometown of Boston. That afternoon prompted her to research and learn about the subject of food waste, and shortly thereafter, Ashley established the food rescue organization Lovin’ Spoonfulsread more

Katie Stagliano, Katie’s Krops

Katie_cabbage_smallFor some people it’s big ideas that change the world, but for 16-year-old Katie Stagliano, all it took was to see the impact one 40lb cabbage could have on a community to spark her mission… to feed America’s hungry. Katie knows that she won’t be able to feed the entire world, but that isn’t stopping her from trying, “I know that hunger is too big for one person to take on, but you never know what can grow from just one thing.” read more

Connie Charney – Food For Thoughts Cards

Connie_card_smallEach week, Connie packs a pb&j sandwich to give to a person in need when she commutes from New Jersey to Penn Station, headed to NYU where she teaches a course in occupational therapy. She’s been giving sandwiches to the homeless and hungry for years, and, in 2013, was inspired to turn her act of kindness into Food for Thoughts Cards, a card line that spreads good wishes and good will by giving back. read more

A few statistics…

1 in 9 people worldwide or 795 million people, do not have enough food to lead an active, healthy life.

48.1 million Americans live in food insecure households, including 32.8 million adults and 15.3 million children.

The vast majority of the world’s hungry people live in developing countries, where 12.9 % of the population is undernourished.

Poor nutrition causes 45% of all deaths in children under the age of five – which equates to about 3.1 million children every year.

An estimated 150 million people in 34 countries could escape hunger if women had the same access as men to the assets they need for farming.

Sources: World Food Programme, Feeding America