Officially declared by the United Nations, October 16 is World Food Day. But it’s not a day to celebrate our love for food, but rather a day that aims to spread awareness about global hunger, which kills more people every year than malaria, tuberculosis, and AIDS combined. The UN believes that food is a fundamental and basic human right. The Food and Agricultural Organization strives to achieve its goal of #ZeroHunger by 2030.
With events organized and participated in by over 150 countries, World Food Day is one of the most celebrated events in the UN calendar. We can do our part as well in raising awareness and helping alleviate hunger. Here are five small but significant ways you can be a part of World Food Day:
1. Be a sustainable diner
Instead of choosing to go to your favorite fast food joint, opt to dine in restaurants that advocate sustainable dining. Sustainable dining means knowing where your food is grown and how it’s grown, with most of the profits going back to the farmers. The #SustainableDiner Movement under World Wildlife Fund - Philippines promotes Sustainable Consumption and Production practices in the food service industry, with three restaurants—Cravings, Green Pastures, and Zubuchon—helping to launch the campaign in November 2017. With this being an example, more restaurants have decided to raise awareness against hunger, like Backyard Kitchen and Brew, Susi, and Grace Park, individually and on their own. These restaurants source mostly local ingredients to help support our farmers, and follow eco-friendly practices to minimize food wastage.
Another international campaign that takes action against world starvation is Restaurants Against Hunger, an initiative that partners with the food and beverage industry to win the war against malnutrition and global hunger. Café Mediterranean, Cyma, Italianni’s, Saboten, Terry’s, and Village Tavern are just some of the restaurants that have joined the campaign. Dine at one of the participating restaurants, and a portion of the profits goes to Action Against Hunger projects.
2. Support a feeding program
Hunger ends when caring begins. Kusina ng Kalinga is Gawad Kalinga’s anti-poverty campaign to win against hunger among Filipino children. The program feeds around 100,000 kids through 100 kitchens around the country, with parent volunteers cooking healthy lunch meals daily for children in public schools, in the streets, and in conflict areas. The program aims to open more kitchens all over the country to scale up the number of healthy and well-fed children with the help and cooperation of partners, volunteers, and donations. You can help by volunteering in a kitchen near you or through donations. For Kusina ng Kalinga, it only takes P15 to sponsor a child’s meal for a day and just P3,300 for a whole year. Visit www.gk1world.com for more details.
3. Be a volunteer
You don’t have to join a large organization with nationwide impact. Even small, community-based actions are impactful. #HashtagLunchBag is a Philippine-based community program under the Living Through Giving Foundation, a nonprofit organization in the United States. #HashtagLunchBag empowers humanity with acts of love through food donations and other good deeds. Volunteers hand out brown bag lunches to the hungry around the country. The bagged lunches come with handwritten messages and what they call HEARTwork, used to spread love and inspire other people. They accept volunteers (kids are welcome!), donations, and allow you to host or sponsor your very own #HashtagLunchBag event. For events in your area, visit https://www.hashtaglunchbag.org/join-an-event or their official Facebook page.
4. Eat more vegetables
With the theme #GrowingTogether, Makati Shangri-La , Manila, in partnership with Gourmet Farms and other local farms, is holding a World Food Day event from October 15 to 21, 2018 at Circles Event Café. The event highlights the hotel’s commitment to using locally grown produce and supporting sustainable farming practices. Participating diners can enjoy special salad dishes by Chef Nicola Canuti at the restaurant’s salad station, using locally sourced vegetables like broccoli, pumpkin, white and black beans, avocado, kale, and red cabbage. Chef Nicola wants to encourage her guests to discover new and creative ways to enjoy vegetables. Just remember to order only what you can finish.
5. Start at home
It’s simple—don’t waste food at home. Don’t buy more than you can consume, use before expiry date, and store properly to avoid spoiling. Be practical and don’t buy anything that you don’t really need. Choose healthier options that will help nourish you and your family. Buy fresh and local, when possible.
World Food Day shouldn’t be your only reason for helping out. These actions should start in our very own homes, as an example to the younger ones, and then grow from there.