Goal 2 seeks to end hunger and all forms of malnutrition, and to double agricultural productivity in the next 15 years to ensure that all people, especially children, have sufficient and nutritious food all year round. This goal involves promoting sustainable agriculture, supporting small-scale farmers, and equal access to land and technology. Working to improve food and agriculture can have a substantial impact on combatting climate change and increasing economic growth, and contributes to peace and stability in societies.

BY 2030
  • End hunger and ensure access by all people, in particular the poor and people in vulnerable situations, to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round. 
  • End all forms of malnutrition, including achieving, by 2025, the internationally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under 5 years of age, and address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women, and older persons.
  • Double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, in particular women, indigenous peoples, family farmers, pastoralists and fishers, including through secure and equal access to land, other productive resources and inputs, knowledge, financial services, markets, and opportunities for value addition and non-farm employment. 
  • Ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters, and that progressively improve land and soil quality. 
  • Maintain the genetic diversity of seeds, cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals and their related wild species, including through soundly managed and diversified seed and plant banks, and promote access to and fair and equitable sharing of benefits, as internationally agreed.

821 M

people still suffering from hunger today


people experience moderate or severe food insecurity


of overweight children between the ages of 5-9 years are obese

Despite earlier progress, the number of people suffering from hunger has been on the rise since 2014. It is estimated that 821 million people still suffer from hunger today, with the highest prevalence in Africa, where one-fifth of the population is affected. Hunger rates are rising in almost all subregions of Africa and to a lesser extent in Latin America and Western Asia.
Around 2 billion people still experience moderate or severe food insecurity. The lack of regular access to nutritious and sufficient food that these people experience puts them at greater risk of malnutrition and poor health. In every continent, the prevalence rate is slightly higher among women than men.

In 2016, the UN General Assembly declared the decade from 2016-2025 the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition to enhance collaboration across all stakeholders and to help improved monitoring of the nutrition-related targets.

In 2017, UN SDG2, Zero Hunger was reviewed at the High-Level Political Forum. It was reported that despite important progress and implementations of new initiatives, the current pace of working towards the goal was unlikely to produce the transformational change needed to achieve the specific objectives of SDG2.
The review also noted that the number of children affected by stunting (a direct consequence of malnutrition), although decreasing, is not seen to be decreasing fast enough to reach the target of a 40 percent reduction in the number of stunted children by 2025. At the same time, the number of school-aged children and adults affected by overweight and obesity is continuing to increase and represents a significant public health concern. It is estimated today that 40 million children under the age of five years are overweight and 44 percent of overweight children between the ages of 5-9 years are obese.
Although primarily concentrated in low- and middle-income countries, moderate or severe food insecurity was also reported to affect 8 percent of the population in Northern America and Europe. The lack of regular access to nutritious and sufficient food that these people experience puts them at greater risk of malnutrition and poor health.
In 2019 it was reported that hunger had increased in many countries where the economy has slowed down. Adverse weather conditions affecting food availability and prices, and prolonged armed conflicts, were among the key drivers of these trends. 

Eighty percent of territories report that they have undertaken new strategies or implemented programmes relating to preventing hunger and malnutrition, achieving food security in communities, or ensuring minimum food wastage in the last five years. Initiatives include but are not limited to:

distribution of fresh fruit and vegetables in communities,

free meals for the homeless

meal delivery services to the elderly,

providing free lunches at local schools,

fishing and poultry farming training,

providing milk for young children and infants,

community gardens,

sustainable farming programmes.

community cooking lessons 

providing access to fresh drinking water,

soup kitchens,

partnering with local farms to provide access to fresh and organic produce for vulnerable populations,

community-based ‘how to cook nutritious foods that are affordable’ workshops,

partnering with local supermarkets to establish eliminating food waste programmes,

establishing minimum food wastage policy for Salvation Army locations,

programmes to learn healthy eating habits.


people are assisted annually through these programmes globally

Forty-nine percent of Salvation Army territories are in a country or have a country within their territory that has a national policy on ending hunger and food security.


Almost 70 percent of territories partner with other organisations or stakeholders to help with ending hunger and malnutrition and ensuring food security.


Over 70 percent of territories indicated that they had plans for future initiatives regarding the issues of hunger, malnutrition, and food security. These included providing meals for senior citizens and those who live alone, promoting the practice of bulk buying of healthy food and sharing between community members, promoting healthy eating habits in school-age children, encouraging sustainable farming, developing social groceries, providing cooking classes for pregnant women and young mothers, development of sustainable farms, fish farming, beekeeping, sustainable agricultural programmes, and purchasing vehicles for food distribution to rural areas.

Some territories also mentioned plans to update strategic plans on food security, partnering with government departments, medical centres, provide food parcels to families with children suffering from malnutrition, advocating federal government on food security issues, and developing and providing education on food security.


In 2019, conflict in north-eastern Nigeria had a devastating effect in the three states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe. Resulting food shortages led to nutritional insecurity, with millions of people severely affected. In the least-accessible and worst-affected areas, more than 45,000 people experienced famine-like conditions and severe hunger. During this time The Salvation Army supported more than 500 of the most vulnerable families of internally-displaced people (IDPs) who were living in temporary camps in the Maiduguri area.

With families having an average size of eight people, around 4,000 individuals were helped with essential food supplies such as rice, beans, wheat flour, cooking oil, spices and salt. The families were also provided with sleeping mats, blankets, cardigans and other items of clothing as required. The Salvation Army also addressed hygiene and disease prevention through the provision of soap and washing detergent. The relief efforts were undertaken in collaboration with Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency and with the support of the Baptist Church and Christian Council of Nigeria. 

The food distribution sought to provide around three months’ supply of staples to families, to ensure a robust and reliable food store. The provision on this scale was also intended to help safeguard women in the camps, some of whom had been vulnerable to sexual exploitation in exchange for food. 

The distributions were seen by many in the community as a practical demonstration of love. One of the recipients, from Gwoza, Borno State, told a Salvation Army team member how the provision of culturally-appropriate food items had restored her ‘hope for living’.

USA South

The Salvation Army's USA Southern Territory opened a grocery store in Baltimore, Maryland in March 2018. Called DMG Foods – from the National Branding Promise, ‘Doing the Most Good’ – the store expands food availability for the local Baltimore community while meeting the immediate needs of its customers and promoting healthy eating. The store is believed to be the first in the nation to combine social services with a traditional grocery shopping experience.

Inside the 650 square-metre store, customers will find a butcher shop, a deli, ready-made foods such as rotisserie chickens, a bakery and a dairy section. The Salvation Army in Central Maryland worked with the Baltimore Development Corp, the Baltimore Food Initiative, and the Maryland Food Bank to design the concept of the new store.

The store is committed to offering exceptional value to the public through its weekly ads and loyalty programme. In addition to in-house savings, customers that self-identify as government assistance recipients qualify for complimentary food items each month, their children receive free fruit while shopping, and they have the chance to win a dining experience and cooking demonstration.

Each week over 1,200 families are provided with fresh and affordable produce. Nutritional guidance, shopping education and meal planning advice is also offered. Customers have access to more than 8,000 recipes which they can add to their online grocery lists and tailor to their dietary needs.  

DMG Foods also provide a five-week workforce development programme for people seeking employment. After being helped with training and hands-on food retail experience, a case manager will then assist them with job placement in Baltimore. The aim is to give local residents an opportunity to develop new skills and gain work experience, which in turn will improve their financial welfare and instil a sense of pride and self-worth.


In 2017, drought and crop failure in different parts of Africa – particularly in East Africa – caused a humanitarian crisis of staggering proportions. In Kenya, the crisis was declared a national disaster in 23 counties.  

In Turkana, which borders South Sudan and Ethiopia, officers from The Salvation Army’s Kenya West Territory were on the front line of serving communities where hunger, starvation and disease were a daily occurrence. More than 8,000 men, women and children were provided with emergency food supplies, including maize, beans, rice and cooking oil; directly addressing the acute malnutrition being experienced in 13 separate communities. Co-ordination with other agencies in the region ensured that immediate assistance was provided to the most vulnerable residents.  

Ongoing development work undertaken by The Salvation Army in Turkana helped to equip community members to cope with the effects of a lack of rainfall. One resilience project focused on teaching children at a local school how to grow drought-resistant crops, such as pawpaw, by surrounding the plants with protective, thorny species which act as a deterrent to animals.

Elsewhere, The Salvation Army’s Kenya East Territory is provided a school feeding programme in Kitui County. This initiative ensured that the children attending seven primary schools in the county received at least one nutritious meal each day. Meanwhile, in Isiola – the worst-affected county in Kenya – The Salvation Army completed the drilling of a borehole. This provided immediate access to safe drinking water and enabled members of the community to use the new, reliable supply to irrigate their crops and ensure their livestock are well cared for.

A further needs assessment was undertaken in other drought-stricken areas, to explore how The Salvation Army could best respond in co-operation with national and local authorities and other non-governmental organisations.


COVID-19 Response

The COVID-19 pandemic is set to double the number of people worldwide who suffer from acute hunger, putting an additional 130 million people at risk of suffering acute hunger by the end of 2020. 9

Emergency food provision continues to underpin The Salvation Army’s COVID-19 response around the globe. Food parcel distribution and feeding programmes have increased across Salvation Army centres worldwide. With schools closed and social service centres working at reduced capacity, many children have lost access to their only cooked meal of the day. Throughout May, The Salvation Army in Suva, Fiji served up to 1,000 meals each week to help Fijians affected by the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, while in Brazil The Salvation Army has extended its food support programme to a further 2,200 people from São Paulo to Recife and Brasília to Porto Alegre, and is committed to providing food baskets to the extremely vulnerable living in the favelas.

Our Commitment

“As International Emergency Services we are often called upon to respond in disaster or conflict situations to provide immediate food support to affected communities. This provision meets critical hunger needs at a challenging time, whilst also giving opportunity for people to begin to focus on their medium to long term recovery. Follow-up agricultural and livelihood programmes will enable people to help meet their future nutritional and economic needs. Disaster Risk Reduction awareness raising and training can strengthen local capacity and preparedness for communities which are particularly vulnerable to disaster, thus reducing dependence on outside intervention. In Linking Relief, Rehabilitation and Development, we will continue to work with local and international colleagues who can offer ongoing support as people rebuild lives with a more sustainable future.” 


Major Alison Thompson, International Emergency Services Coordinator