Friday, October 16, 2009

Today is World Food Day

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization was founded on October 16, 1945, and in 1979, this date became World Food Day. This worldwide event is dedicated to increasing awareness of hunger and to increasing understanding, information, support, advocacy, networking, and year-round action to alleviate hunger.

This year, the focus is on the food crisis in Ethiopia, which has been worsened by the global economic crisis, rising food prices, and drought. The government of Ethiopia estimates that 75,000 children under the age of five are suffering severe malnutrition and that 25% to 50% of those children will die without proper treatment.

Even with advances in technology, an estimated 1.02 billion people in the world are malnourished. That is one-sixth of the world's population.

This year's theme is "achieving food security in times of crisis." Many activities have been planned including a World Summit on Food Security that will be held in Rome November 16-18.

In the United States, World Food Day is sponsored by 450 national, private voluntary organizations. Planning is done at the community level with special events such as seminars, research projects, fund raisers, and press releases to the media. One organization, Faces of Hunger, is having a film competition to raise awareness of hunger in the U.S. The competition is open to anyone 25 years of age or younger. Palms for Life Fund will offer the top three winners cash prizes of $5,000, $3,500 and $1,500, and give them exposure to a vast audience in a full-length compilation of the prize-winning works. The deadline for submission of films has been extended to October 30, 2009. For more information, see .

Wouldn't it be great if we could end hunger in our lifetime? If every community worked with national and international sponsors, ideas could be shared that would involve schools, businesses, churches, governments, service groups, and the media. With increased awareness comes increased action and increased action can alleviate world hunger.


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