World Food Day
World Food Day is a day which is observed on October 16th and is not only a day when people celebrate the founding of the U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization but is also a day when people take action to try and get rid of hunger during their lifetimes. It is also a day for people to reflect on that fact that food is a basic human right.
History of World Food Day
In order to understand the creation of World Food Day, it is helpful to understand the history of the organization which created it – the United Nations’ FAO. The idea of an organization dedicated to overseeing agriculture and food is nothing new. The idea had been floated since the late 19th century.
However, it was an idea that wasn’t put into practice until 1905. That is when an international conference was first held in Rome, due to the efforts of US agriculturalist David Lubin. The fruits of this conference was the creation of an agency known as the International Institute of Agriculture – the fore bearer of the FAO.
However, it wasn’t until after WWII that U.S President Franklin D. Roosevelt decided that an agency needed to be formed to replace the International Institute of Agriculture. A meeting was called to advance that idea and this meeting was held in Quebec, Canada during the summer of 1945.
In October 16th, 1945, the Constitution of the Food and Agriculture Organization was drafted. When the United Nations was created to replace the ineffective League of Nations on October 24th, 1945, then the Food and Agriculture Organization was placed under its powers. In 1979, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations created World Food Day to help fight world hunger and bring attention to the plight of millions of starving people.
World Food Day Customs & Celebrations
There’s a myriad of different events held around the world on this day. Both before, during and after World Hunger Day. Many governments and charitable organizations from around the world get together and discuss the issues that affect agriculture, food distribution and the food supply in general.
It is also a day when many of these agencies, as well as some of the agencies of the United Nations, initiate programs, and events aimed at feeding the hungry and raising the awareness of the need to feed the hungry and end food insecurity all over the globe.
Every year since 1981, World Food Day has had a theme to help people focus their attention on a particular aspect of global hunger. For instance, in 1981, the theme was “Food Comes First.” In 1996, it was “Fighting Hunger and Malnutrition.” In 2016, the theme was “Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too.”