There are over 500 million hungry people in the world—but that number only tells part of the story. The other part of it is the amount of the actual food shortfall. So how much food would we need to make up the gap? There’s now an exact number.
The latest International Food Security report is out, and the good news is that global food insecurity has been falling—and it’s projected to keep on doing that over the next 10 years. The bad news? It’s not falling everywhere. Sub-Saharan Africa is especially being shut out of these gains.
But how much food would it take to close the gap for every food insecure person on the planet to have access to 2,100 calories a day? The USDA has calculated a figure: 11.8 million tons of grain.
Of course, the problem isn’t getting more food overall, that’s never been the only issue. It’s getting that food to the actual people that need it. That’s why the measurement of how far we’re falling short of solving world hunger is called the “distribution gap,” and not the “production gap.” And that’s a much harder problem to figure out how to solve than just producing an extra 12 million tons of grain.