4-H Youth Voice: A Pledge for Global Change

By Janya Green September 15, 2021

When I got involved in 4‑H at 12 years old, I had no idea how much I would learn about people, leadership, food insecurity, and the global needs around the world. I got involved in 4‑H to help start a community garden that would provide fresh fruits and vegetables to community members in need. Since then, I’ve developed a passion for addressing food insecurity and had a chance to do so on a global scale as the youth vice-chair for Action Track 1 for the United Nation’s Food Systems Summit (UNFSS), set to take place on September 23, 2020.

In the United States and worldwide, food systems are what we rely on to get the nutritious foods we need to thrive. Food systems include agriculture production, technology, food processing, public policy, distribution and resale, and consumers like you and me! The UNFSS is designed to engage people globally in conversations about food systems and how we can improve them for the future. As the youth vice-chair for Action Track 1, I’ve worked with a team from around the world to address how we can provide safe and nutritious food for all people across the globe. It’s been an amazing experience to hear and learn from world-class leaders who work every day to ensure all people have access to proper nutrition and aren’t going hungry!

I’m proud to have joined many young leaders from around the world to deliver a youth pledge at the UN Food Systems Summit in September. What we eat shapes us; it influences our health and well-being and impacts the environment. That’s why we started a movement called “Youth #Act4Food #Act4Change,” a global campaign to bring the signatures of thousands of young people across the world to the Summit, calling on leaders to bring significant change to our food system.

Through the youth pledge and other initiatives of the UNFSS, I hope that youth around the world will stand up and help bring actual change into our food system. As youth and future leaders, we are the people who will live on this planet the longest, and we want to ensure we have a healthy, safe planet that is ready to support the billions of people who live here for years to come. Our current food systems contribute to the ongoing health, climate and biodiversity crises, so we must work together to call for action amongst our world’s leaders.

Will you join me in pledging to act and calling on decision-makers to make changes that will lead to a thriving, sustainable food system? Sign the pledge today to uplift your voice. When we all work together, we can #Act4Food and #Act4Change to support #GoodFoodForAll!