Educate. Connect. Inspire

Educate. Connect. Inspire

Oct 15, 2011

Get involved / World Food Day

by Livia Minca

Food is one of the most basic human needs, like air and water. However, nearly a sixth of our fellow humans do not have access to it and go to bed hungry each day: both an unnecessary tragedy and a source of social and political unrest.
In order to raise public awareness, disseminate information about this issue and focus attention on food security as well as to mobilize public opinion and funds in favour of the global fight against hunger, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) decided to celebrate World Food Day each year on 16 October, the day on which the Organization was founded in 1945.

The objectives of World Food Day are to:
  • encourage attention to agricultural food production and to stimulate national, bilateral, multilateral and non-governmental efforts to this end;
  • encourage economic and technical cooperation among developing countries;
  • encourage the participation of rural people, particularly women and the least privileged categories, in decisions and activities influencing their living conditions;
  • heighten public awareness of the problem of hunger in the world;
  • promote the transfer of technologies to the developing world; 
  • and strengthen international and national solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty and draw attention to achievements in food and agricultural development.

With all the advances in science and technology, the world has the means to eliminate hunger but this will require the firm commitment of all sectors of society.

As in previous years, FAO will organize the Run For Food Race to mark World Food Day. This year the race will take place in Rome, Italy. The Run for Food Race wants to draw people’s attention to the fact that many, way too many people not only don’t have enough energy to do some exercise, but also they don’t have even the minimum energy to survive! They are poor people living mainly in developing countries, they don’t have enough to eat nor enough money to feed themselves, and often they are children. The inscription fees of the race will be donated to small-scale projects aimed at helping the populations in the Horn of Africa hit by drought and famine. So, if you are Italian or travelling there during the event and if you want to send a message to those who don’t know yet that almost 1 billion people are in this situation, participate in the Run for Food Race.

Even if you cannot be at the race, you can still help. In 1997 FAO launched the TeleFood Programme to encourage initiatives to create a global solidarity movement, pooling the resources of governments, the private sector and civil society to raise awareness of the problem of hunger and to collect funds to finance projects that provide sustainable solutions. You can also support this programme by making donations or helping promote activities and events in your own country.

You can read more about it at:

The World Food Day is a great opportunity to think about the uneven distribution of the food resources around the planet and how each of is part of the problem, but also of the solution. So when you go shopping next time, remember that not buying that extra food (that will probably go bad in your fridge anyway) can offer the chance to less a fortunate person to have something to eat.