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FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

World Food Day convoy brings 30 tonnes of food to needy families

Heavy vehicles rolled through the scenic heart of Budapest this morning to mark World Food Day. The trucks were loaded with 30 tonnes of food donations from private companies, food that will be distributed in the coming days to needy families.

This is the 12th consecutive year that the UN Food and Agriculture Organization joins forces with the Hungarian Foodbank Association to call attention to waste and mishandling of food. This year’s event has particular importance, with FAO reporting that after several years of improvement, global hunger figures are on the rise again.

“The drivers and impacts of migration are highly relevant to FAO’s goals of achieving Zero Hunger, reducing rural poverty, and promoting the sustainable use of natural resources,” said Vladimir Rakhmanin, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Europe and Central Asia, at Heroes’ Square where the convoy came to a temporary halt. He highlighted migration as the broad theme of World Food Day this year.

“FAO has a unique role to play in reducing rural migration, in view of our experience with creating better conditions and resilient livelihoods in rural areas,” Rakhmanin added.

President of the Hungarian Foodbank Association, Balázs Cseh underscored how important it is for people to understand the connections between food waste and hunger.

“It is significant that more and more food companies are realizing that we can only tackle food losses and waste if we act together,” Cseh said. “The whole day is about this, showing how we – Foodbank, FAO, the government, the private sphere, and individuals – can bring about change.”

The Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture – another national partner in the effort to limit food losses and waste in Hungary – also participated in this morning’s event.

State Secretary Andrea Gulyás emphasized the strong connection between of food security and migration that calls for “local solutions,” adding that “the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture “shares FAO’s approach according to which rural communities in the developing world would need opportunities locally, so that they can stay.”

“We support initiatives aimed at helping poor and food- insecure communities through agricultural investments, which provide employment and livelihoods and favour prefer local producers and products,” Gulyás said.

At a global level, enough food is produced to feed the entire population. Yet, according to FAO’s most recent studies, one in nine people goes hungry.

World Food Day (16 October) commemorates the founding of FAO in 1945. It is used to promote public awareness of food-related issues, and the drive to ensure that all people everywhere have access to adequate, nutritious food. World Food Day events are organized in more than 150 countries, making it one of the most celebrated days in the United Nations calendar.

In Budapest, the day concludes with an evening cultural event: the Hungarian premiere of the award-winning film “HOME,” directed by Daniel Mulloy, followed by a panel discussion on migration, food, and rural development.

Participating companies:
AccorHotels Magyarország
Adnio Global Kft.
Auchan Magyarország Kft
Bio-Fungi Kft.
Bonafarm Zrt.
Budapesti Nagybani Piac Zrt.
Coca-Cola HBC Magyarország Kft
Gyermelyi Zrt.
Kometa 99 Zrt.
METRO Kereskedelmi Kft.
Nestlé Hungária Kft.
Numil Kft.
Penny Market Kft.
Rauch Hungária Kft.
Sága Foods Zrt.
Univer Product Zrt.
Tesco-Global Áruházak Zrt.
UNILEVER Hungary Ltd.,
Wiesbauer-Dunahús Kft.

Budapest, Hungary, 16 October, 2017

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