This blog post was updated on July 8, 2021.
Each year on October 16th, people around the world pull together to spread awareness of world hunger and come up with solutions to end it. Since it was first established in 1979, World Food Day has grown to encompass countries around the world, as well as a vast array of initiatives and events. Today, there are myriad grassroots events and public awareness campaigns that encourage people to engage in the fight against global hunger. From agricultural seminars to food drives, here are three ways you can participate in World Food Day this year.
UN Expo Milano: The Zero Hunger Challenge (Milan, Italy)
This year, Expo Milano will celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The Expo has been going on since May 2015 and will end on October 31st. World Food Day is one of Expo’s most important events. The focus of the day will be the Zero Hunger Generation – calling on young people to sustainably eradicating hunger and poverty over the next 15 years. Talks and presentations on Oct. 16th will address the five pillars of the Zero Hunger Challenge: 1) zero stunted children under the age of two, 2) 100% access to adequate food all year round, 3) 100% sustainable food systems, 4) 100% increase in small farmer productivity and income, 5) zero loss or waste of food.
Ireland’s World Day Conference will consist of a series of talks that center on the drivers of success and the role that agriculture can play in achieving the global sustainable development goals. The conference will also include a presentation of the 10th annual Global Hunger Index (GHI) report, published annually by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Concern Worldwide and Germany’s Welthungerhilfe. The GHI provides a comprehensive measure of global hunger, together with successes, failures and drivers of hunger.
Host Your Own Sustainability Dinner and Conversation (Your Home)
If you can’t make it to Milan or Dublin on short notice, you can always host a World Food Day event closer to home. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy – the goal is to engage people in conversation about how to eradicate hunger in your community and globally. One idea would be to host a simple dinner at your home and ask guests to bring a donation for your local food shelf. At the dinner, engage guests in a discussion about the root causes of hunger and propose sustainable solutions. The OXFAM website has some great ideas too.