October 16th is World Food Day. World Food Day was established in 1979 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. October 16th was chosen as the annual date of World Food Day to commemorate the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization on that date in 1945. Beginning in 191, the Food and Agriculture Organization began choosing a theme for World Food Day each year. The theme for 2012 is “Agricultural cooperatives – key to feeding the world”.
The Purpose of World Food Day is to raise awareness of the issues that surround and cause poverty and hunger around the world. The hope is that people will become more aware of and interested in the problems of poverty and hunger, and will work together to try to devise and implement solutions to those problems.
Our children will have to deal with the problem of hunger across the world that our generation will leave them, so if your child is old enough, World Food Day is a great time to talk to her about hunger, and about the mission behind World Food Day: finding a way to eradicate hunger. You’re never too young to get involved, and there are things that you and your child can do, on October 16th, or any other day, to help in dealing with the problem of hunger. Here are a few suggestions.
- Help online. Introduce your child to freerice.com. At freerice.com, you play a simple vocabulary game, and for every correct answer, ten grains of rice are donated to the hungry. The site’s advertisers pay for the rice. It’s simple and easy. Your kids can build their vocabulary and do something good for the hungry in other parts of the world. Another good site is thehungersite.com. All that you have to do is go to the site and click the button, and 1.1 cups of food are donated to the hungry. This is simple enough for even small children to handle.
- Help in your community. When talking about world hunger, it’s easy to picture foreign people in a far away land. But in reality, there are hungry people in every country, even wealthy, first world countries. Yes, even yours. If you want to impress on your kids that charity begins at home, volunteer as a family at a homeless shelter, food pantry or soup kitchen in your area. The experience of helping others is a great one for children and adults to have.
- Donate! There are bound to be food banks in your area, probably located at churches or community centers. These food pantries are nearly always in need of items, and never more than this time of year, when the holidays are creeping closer. Have your child help you go through your own pantry, or make a special trip to the store, and choose food items to go to a food bank in your community.
Get involved this October 16th, and make it a family affair. Your kids will learn something valuable, and you’ll all feel good for making a difference on World Food Day. Remember, too, that people go hungry every day of the year. Volunteering or giving this time of year is a great first step, but don’t let it end there: Consider making a commitment to help out each month or each quarter, or on some other schedule that makes sense to you given your obligations and financial situation.