It's October 16th and we are celebrating World Food Day today. It is celebrated annually to celebrate the foundation day of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. FAO was founded in the year 1945. Hence the day was dedicated to food security. The day is also celebrated by the World Food Programme, and the International Fund of Agricultural Development.
World Food Day was established in the year 1979 at the 20th General Conference. The Hungarian delegate Dr. Pal Romany, who was a former Hungarian minister of agriculture and food, suggested the idea of celebrating the 16th of October every year as World Food Day, to raise awareness about poverty and food insecurity. This day is celebrated in more than 150 countries around the world to raise awareness about the same issue.
The Theme for 2020 World Food Day
1981 onwards, every year, a different theme was adopted to highlight the different areas of action. This encouraged organizations and individuals to invest and do charity and help the poor and vulnerable. This year, the theme is 'Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together. Our actions are our future'. A large portion of this investment comes from private sectors as well as public sectors. Despite all the efforts, foreign aids to help the agriculture sector growth has seen a decline in the past two decades.
The day is celebrated in countries like India, the United States of America, and regions such as Europe, Africa, and many other countries. The day has been a tradition in the United States since the very beginning. In the United States, the agency is sponsored by more than 450 individuals and private volunteer organizations.
In Italy, research agencies and universities partnering with other NGOs, have organized many exhibitions and conferences to celebrate the day. In Germany and Spain as well, people are getting involved.
In Chad, people have celebrated the day with events like theatre, film, folk dances, and other community programs. In Ghana, the government has run a special awareness campaign through National media to spread awareness about food insecurity.
Talking about Asia, the Government of Bangladesh has previously organized many food festivals, and so has China. In Pakistan, a society named as MAPS (Mentor Amiable Professional Society) has been delivering food packages to the poor and needy.
In 1981, the Uruguayan government dedicated a coin to WFD. In Chile, the day is celebrated by preparing indigenous food in the local communities. In Mexico in 2005, a national campaign was conducted which was called 'Mexico Without Hunger'. It involved the support and participation of many civil societies, students, and activists.
COVID19 And Food Security
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are being forced to you enjoy and cherish our basic needs. The unprecedented events have not only caused severe damage to economies but have impacted largely the poor and vulnerable communities.
One can, without a doubt say, that providing assistance to the vulnerable and reduce food insecurity is of the highest priority right now. We need to support our food heroes. We need to stand by the farmers. Though we are producing much more then what we need to feed the entire population on the planet, our food system and distributions are out of balance. Environmental degradation, hunger, obesity, food loss, and wastage are happening around the world which is worsening the situation.
There are many NGOs and other civil bodies that are working to feed the poor and vulnerable. One such organization is Robin Hood Army https://robinhoodarmy.com/. They have teams in India, Canada, Brazil, and more other nations. They have been feeding the hungry and poor for many years, and their work has been appreciated by many organizations. You can visit their website to donate, or join their team.
They are currently on a mission to feed 30 million people, the mission called 'Mission 30M'. It is the largest food relief that is conducted by any organization to fight COVID-19. Help them feed even more people. Visit https://robinhoodarmy.com/mission30m for more information.
Appreciate and be thankful that you and I are not sleeping hungry. Try not to waste food, and help others grow and live.
Author: Subhasri Banerjee
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