Where would we be without food? We certainly wouldn’t be at Starbucks, grocery stores or restaurants. We wouldn’t, in fact, be anywhere for very long, because we need food to live. Food is seen as a basic human right, and yet one in nine people globally experience chronic hunger. As far back as 1945 the United Nations recognized food as not a privilege, but a right, and that’s why they created World Food Day, observed annually on October 16, in 1979. It’s a day of observance to draw attention to the plight of the hungry. So, today, join us in eradicating hunger.
How to Observe World Food Day
1. Give to a local food bank
In the United States it's estimated 1 in 7 people rely on food banks as their primary or supplemental food source—many of these are working families who suffer from underemployment and cannot afford the groceries needed to help their family live healthfully. The top requested items for food banks are healthy, non-perishable items high in protein, such as canned or dry beans, peanut butter, rolled oats, low-sodium soups and vegetables and tuna canned in water.
2. Support small scale farms
Ninety-eight percent of the farms in the world are family farms. They usually practice sustainable agriculture with plants that are indigenous to the area, rotating crops and limited use of pesticides. Sadly, many family farmers are unable to produce the variety of crops needed for their own survival and without support, can suffer from malnutrition themselves. On World Food Day, shop locally and support family farms.
3. Raise money to end hunger
On World Food Day there are typically a number of food drives. If you don’t know of a local food drive, organize one yourself and donate the food to a local food drive. Globally there are hunger walks, World Food Day dinners or food packaging rallies. Get involved and let’s end world hunger!
Why World Food Day is Important
A. It helps raise awareness
Millions of people suffer the health consequences of malnourishment, which damages growing bodies and brains. That's why it's important to draw attention to this health crisis—and by doing so, ensure food security and availability of nutritious foods to everyone on the planet.
B. It’s a reminder hunger can be ended
Our planet currently produces enough food to feed every person on the planet. However, 1.3 billion tons of food is lost or wasted annually (that's roughly 20% of the food produced). World Food Day acts as an impetus to get involved, reduce food waste, and help provide sustenance for millions.
C. It brings attention to eating mindfully
Food is a great source of pleasure and entertainment, but sometimes we can overindulge. if we return to the focus of eating mindfully we can reduce the amount food that's wasted and the number of people going to bed hungry. World Food Day serves as a reminder to refrain from overeating and to make choices that are ecologically sustainable.