WORLD FOOD DAY
World Food Day is held every year on October 16th. On this day, more than 150 countries unite to raise awareness of the issues surrounding poverty and hunger.
According to World Hunger Statistics, 785 million people across the globe do not have enough food to sustain a healthy lifestyle. The number equals about one in nine people in the world. Surprisingly, the majority of hungry people live in developing countries. Poor nutrition causes 45% of deaths in children under the age of 5. That means just over 3 million children a year die because they don’t have access to enough nutritious food.
World hunger is a complex issue. Some believe the problem is solvable. World hunger solutions include:
- Help people provide food for themselves in a sustainable way
- Give people in developing countries access to credit so they can create their own farms
- Encourage individuals and businesses to donate to hunger relief organizations
- Provide access to education, which is the best defense against poverty and hunger
- Allow for increased government intervention
Some experts believe the answer to world hunger is much more straightforward. They believe the key to ending world hunger is to stop wasting food. The most wasted foods include vegetables, cereals, and starchy roots. These foods are wasted during agricultural production and in the postharvest storage. Food waste increases the need to produce more food. When not enough food gets produced, people go hungry.
HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldFoodDay
Over 150 countries observe World Food Day. In the United States, 450 national organizations sponsor the day. As part of their sponsorship, some of these organizations host World Food Day Sunday Dinners. Des Moines, Iowa also hosts an annual symposium in honor of the day. Across Europe, ministries, universities, and research agencies organize conferences, exhibitions, and media broadcasts. In the past, the Pope has sent a special message for food producers and consumers.
World Food Day events in Africa, Asia, and Latin American include agricultural fairs, debates, folk dances, films, special ceremonies in the schools, and food package deliveries.
You can’t solve the world hunger problem. You can help do your part, though. On World Food Day, donate to your local food pantry. Donate to a world hunger-relief organization. Pay off the school lunch debt in your community. If you know of a family in need, anonymously send them a gift card to your local grocery store. Spread awareness by sharing #WorldFoodDay on social media.
WORLD FOOD DAY HISTORY
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) established World Food Day at their 20th General Conference in 1979. The date of October 16th commemorates the anniversary of FAO founding.
Since 1981 the FAO has selected a specific theme for World Food Day. Recent themes have included:
- 2019: Our Actions Are Our Future: Healthy Diets for a #ZEROHUNGER World
- 2016: Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must, too.
- 2015: Social protection against agriculture: breaking the cycle of rural poverty.
- 2014: Family Farming: Feeding the world, caring for the earth.
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