Food security is a condition related to the availability of food supply by a group of people as well as their access to it (Global Food Security Index, 2017). Hamm and Bellows (2003) defines food security as a situation in which all community residents obtain a safe, culturally acceptable, nutritionally adequate diet through a sustainable food system that maximizes community self-reliance and social justice. It entails having the food available in adequete or sufficient quantities, ensuring food access relable and sufficient resources for food assuring utilization based on knowledge of basic nutrition and stability where the household have enough strategies on how to manage their food (World Food Programme, 2018).
The social protection of orphans and vulnerable children is traced from 16th and 17th centuries, English Elizabethan Poor Laws. As early as 1948, social protection was specified in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, with the statement that everyone has the right to social security.
Looking at the food security issue globally, a number of people also experience food insecurity in the united states but the most affected are the people living is Asia and the pacific lands followed by sub-Saharan Africa. In America the government assist the communities through processing and marketing improvement, having school gardens, agricultural micro-enterprises and nutrition education initiatives by using Peace Corps Volunteers and this improves their food security. FAO, IFAD and WFP (2013).In Asia and the pacific, food security has been a challenge due to increasing population. They however, have strategies in place to improve the situation by creating emergency food reserves, lowering food prices to for the community, promoting international trade and having risk management system and tools by providing food –based safety nets as a relief to disadvantaged groups during crisis. They also provide crop insurance to mitigate the effects of hiked food prices (Asia Development Bank, 2013).
In the World Food Summit held in November 1996 it was suggested that sustainable food security could be achieved by renewing global commitments at the highest political levels and this was done this was done by setting a political, conceptual and technical blueprint to eradicate poverty in all countries though it had been a collective failure to achieve the goal to eradicate hunger due to multiple reasons (Shetty, 2005)
Andrew, 2017 report shows that food security is a global issue with United Kingdom seem as the global leader to eradicate poverty by using Food and Nutrition security (FNS).This initiative came as a result of food prices crisis in 2008.This was with the aim of improving the agriculture and climate change adaptation.
In Africa food security is precarious. Governments have tried to address it using various state and non-state initiatives. For example the UK Department for International Development (DFID) launched the “New alliance for food security and nutrition in 2012 where poor African farmers were being given GM seeds, fertilizers ,pesticides but the companies lock poor farmers out hence the initiative not sustainable (DFID,2012).In Ethiopia, the government developed food security strategies like improving access to agricultural inputs, increasing tenure security for small and large rural investments, building resilience to promote graduation from safety net programs and having grain reserves (FAO,2015).In Rwanda the natural target to improve food security is in the agriculture sector, especially in the rural areas. One of the strategies used in Rwanda is a policy in the Girinka program also known as the “one-cow-per-poor-household program” where households are given one cow to empower the household in terms of food security as they will get milk and organic fertilizer for the farm production. However ,this may lead to poverty trap as all the household resources are used for the care of the cow(CESIS,2017).Uganda has food security initiative “Feed the Future ” where USAID provide food security training programs and food banks that sustain the nutritional needs of the communities. They use epicenters for food storage and processing for their crops like cassava, maize, and millet among others. These epicenters also raise cows, pigs, goats, chicken, bees and fish as a source of food and farm products for sale. The USAID programs also create for then trade links for national, regional and international market (Stability & Katongole, 2016)
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Based on the overall situation of food insecurity on the continent, the social well-being of orphans can not be gauranteed. The growing number of orphans and vulnerable children will still be a great concern that requires a holistic intervention focused on finding a long lasting solution at various levels including food security. This seems to have eluded development experts, governments and donors, Mugenda(2008), explains that by the close of 20th century it was obvious that poverty was destroying many children and it was fueled by the deaths as aresult of HIV/AIDS.
In Kenya, prior estimates found that approximately 3.6 million children are orphans and vulnerable or are just vulnerable and this represents one fifth of the total population aged below 18 years of age. They are likely to be facing challenges with food security as the overwhelming numbers of OVC live with either one parent, elderly grandparents who also need care and support, or with poor relatives who struggle to meet their own needs (Lee, Murithi,Gilbet-Nandra, Kim, Schmitz &Odek, 2014).
To address the food security in Kenya, an initiative called “Feed the future” was launched in 2009 to link the farmers to markets, boosting small businesses, and creating pathways to reduce poverty. This was by increasing maize production, sales of cows and improving dairy income (USAID, 2009).
Kenyan strategies mostly focus on the Arid and Semi –Arid areas like in the Northern part where livestock are the source of income with the scarcity of rainfall.eg in Turkana East food security is affected by drought, cattle rattling, culture like polygamy the USAID have programs like creation of dams, providing treatment for livestock, access of finance to farmers, providing the farmers with hermetic bags to store their food after harvesting. Building of resiliencies in such vulnerable communities also reduces the need for recurrent humanitarian assistance by accelerating economic growth (Sirma, 2013).
Considering the location of Rangwe Sub-County, it is within the Homa Bay County where I in 10 children aged 10-14 have both parents or only one dead and most of them are single orphaned children with the ages below 17 years (Kenya AIDS Indicator Survey(KAIS), 2012). Children in such circumstances are at risk of losing several opportunities including food security for their well-being. There are interventions that are put in place for food security like the government using agriculture extension workers to go to the rural areas to train, mentor and introduce better farming techniques. However this has been unsuccessful due to high tax and cost on farm tools (Datta & Njuguna, 2009). Food security here is accessed through crops, livestock and fishery. The strategies put in place are on-farm strategies like soil and water conservation techniques, adoption of early-maturing varieties, staggered planting, post-harvest handling, improved storage facilities, and value addition. In Rangwe food insecurity is linked to low food productivity due to extreme weather, climatic shocks, unsustainable natural resource management, high prevalence of HIV/AIDS and limited access to farm inputs. Water availability is also a limiting factor in crop and livestock production. (MoALF, 2016)
Existing studies have explored the impact of food security on orphan-hood in general on the wellbeing of children, families and communities and the focus of assertions and predictions often on the negative impact of HIV/AIDS on orphans or on the general household. In the majority scenarios, children with single parents are disregarded when vulnerability is described among children in the community as they appear to have a responsible caregiver and thus it appears that orphan-hood itself is an inadequate measure of vulnerability that does little to describe the complexity of challenges facing children with single parents, a finding that policymakers and development practitioners would do well. Single orphans have been marginalized in research studies. This study will attempt to address it.