Hunger should not be an option !
The quality of food that people can access is always important, particularly for the poorest people, but also for people with limited information about the nutrition.
When food prices rise, or the real incomes of poor people fall for other reasons, there is a risk of hidden hunger, where people switch to lower-priced foods that fail to adequately meet their nutritional needs. Ensuring that food is always safe to eat raises a different, but important, set of challenges.
Policies for this problem need to ensure that the real incomes of the poor are protected, and to provide information to help poor people make better choices about the food they eat.
There is no more important policy challenge than ensuring food security for all.
The starvation in Niger is not the inevitable consequence of poverty, or simply the fault of locusts or drought. It is also the result of a belief that the free market can solve the problems of one of the world's poorest countries.
The price of grain has skyrocketed; a 100kg bag of millet, the staple grain, costs around 8,000 to 12,000 West African francs (around £13) last year but now costs more than 22,000 francs (£25). According to Washington-based analysts the Famine Early Warning System Network (Fewsnet), drought and pests have only had a "modest impact" on grain production in Niger.
For people facing hunger, poverty is just one issue
41 million Americans struggle with hunger, a number nearly equal to the 40.6 million officially living in poverty.
Based on annual income, 72% of the households the Feeding America network served in 2014 lived at or below the federal poverty level with a median annual household income of $9,175.
Though they often go hand in hand, poverty is just one of several issues tied to hunger.
Unemployment, household assets and even demographics can also make it difficult to access the nutritious food people need to thrive.