FRB's Eric Mattson Reflects on How Sharing Information Can Help Alleviate Hunger

FRB's Eric Mattson Reflects on How Sharing Information Can Help Alleviate Hunger

Hearing the statistics on hunger can be overwhelming.  Nearly 1 billion people are chronically hungry.  That is nearly one in seven people!  With that many people hungry will it ever be possible to make a meaningful impact?  Well I wouldn’t be in this line of work if I didn’t believe it was possible to make a positive impact but I also realize I won’t be able to do it alone.  I feel that collaboration is the key.  

We at Foods Resource Bank have a wealth of people working with us to find the solutions.  We come from all different backgrounds, from all parts of the world, and we all bring different talents.  This is great because in development work there is never one solution.  Instead there are many, many ways to create lasting change.  The trick is to find a solution that comes from within the community by being open to new ideas and having access to resources that allow that community to try them out.   

With new technology it is becoming easier to share new ideas thus allowing for more opportunities to have success.  I find this exciting and am always on the look out for new ways to connect all of our Foods Resource Bank participants.  

My newest find comes to me from a good friend of mine.  He is currently serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal, West Africa and is working to develop programs across Africa that will lead to the eradication of Malaria.  In order to share ideas amongst Peace Corps Volunteers working in many different communities and countries he has created a website that allows volunteers to share their stories so that others can learn from them and perhaps adapt them to their own communities.  Here is a link to the site    

I see this as a very exciting idea and begin to think of the opportunity…what if we at FRB could develop a site like this that will allow all of our participants to share their stories of success and failure?  How neat would it be for a farmer in Kenya to learn from a story he read that was posted by a farmer in Tanzania; or Uganda; or Serbia; or Guatemala; or Iowa?  Perhaps there is a way that we can modify this idea so that it will help us with our mission.  

Sounds like a good idea that will take some work and figuring out but could be possible and perhaps practical.  You never know where the next good idea will come from and if we don’t leave ourselves open to learn from and work with others how will we ever find a solution to a problem as big as hunger?

Here is a story of how the sharing of ideas within FRB has helped to transfer agricultural techniques in Choma Zambia

Written by Eric Mattson, Assoc. Dir. of Development and New Ventures
Virginia, IL


05/08/2012 | Comments: 1 | Add Comment