Giving Compass' Take:

• Georgina Gustin explains that COVID-19 has revealed problems in our food systems and created opportunities to improve them in preparation for the inevitable challenges that will be caused by climate change. 

• How can funders work to improve food systems? What support do your local food systems need? 

• Read about the role of women in creating a more sustainable food system

In the months since Covid-19 convulsed the globe, the world's food system has undergone a stress test—and largely failed it.

The pandemic disrupted global supply chains, induced panic buying and cleared supermarket shelves. It left perfectly edible produce rotting in fields, and left farmers no choice but to gas, shoot and bury their livestock because slaughter plants were shut down.

It also revealed a glaring problem: Though researchers have known for decades that climate change will roil farming and food systems, there exists no clear global strategy for building resilience and managing risks in the world's food supply, nor a coherent way to tackle the challenge of feeding a growing global population, on a warming planet where food crises are projected to intensify.

Already, there are 820 million people in the world without adequate food, and Covid-19 is likely to push 130 million more to the brink of starvation, more than doubling that number to 265 million by the end of the year. Developing countries are not the only ones staring down a crisis: In June, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis said food insecurity has also risen substantially in the United States.

But the coronavirus pandemic has also ushered in a rare opening for an overhaul. In the absence of leadership on climate resiliency—making agriculture and food production able to withstand and respond to erratic, shifting climatic conditions—advocacy groups, lawmakers and researchers are now mounting a range of new efforts aimed at the challenge.

Read the full article about the future of the food systems by Georgina Gustin at InsideClimate News.