FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

World Food Day: For a more inclusive future where everyone has access to healthy food

Today's global crises of the ongoing pandemic, conflicts, climate change, inflation and international tensions all have a serious impact on food security. More than 800 million people suffer from hunger worldwide, and the number is rising sharply, so there is a greater need than ever for governments, private sector, and the civil society to take action to alleviate hunger collaborate, as well as for raising the awareness of the public. This is what FAO, the Hungarian Food Bank Association and the Ministry of Agriculture of Hungary are calling attention to on World Food Day.

A donation convoy loaded with food donations worth HUF 100 million (approx. EUR 240 000) passed through Budapest's historic downtown on the occasion of World Food Day. A convoy of 20 trucks organized by FAO and the Hungarian Food Bank Association transported over 45 000 kilos of food, donated by food producers and distributors. The line of trucks was welcomed at the Heroes square by Vladimir Rakhmanin, FAO Deputy Director-General, Oszkár Ökrös, Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, and Antal Molnár, Executive Vice President of the Hungarian Food Bank Association.

FAO: Everyone should benefit from sustainable and well-functioning food systems

The goal of the food donation convoy is not simply raising awareness of the public, corporate, and civil spheres of major food security problems. It also offers tangible help to the most vulnerable, delivering food donations to tens of thousands of vulnerable people.

"Transforming our agrifood systems is critical if we want to honor our pledge to leave no one behind – the central theme of this year's World Food Day – and deliver better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life for all," said Rakhmanin. "Almost 40 percent of the world's population cannot afford a healthy diet, we have to act together and act now to create change by 2030."

Food Bank: Consumers should take action; great things can be achieved from home

"This year, the Food Bank has already saved nearly 7 million kg surplus food from the commercial sector, so that it didn’t end up in the waste disposal but with the people in need,” highlighted Antal Molnár, executive vice president of the Hungarian Food Bank Association “However, everyone can play a role in ensuring food security, among others, through conscious decisions that support zero hunger, by buying local and seasonal, and by giving preference to products that require less packaging."

Another such step is, for example, avoiding food waste at home. Unfortunately, 31 percent of the food produced globally ends up in the bin or goes to waste – mostly in households. However, with more planning in our shopping and proper food storage, a lot of food can be saved from spoilage.

Everyone feels the impact of skyrocketing food prices, but the most vulnerable groups are the most affected. Organizations that help them, such as the Food Bank, welcome not only financial donations, but also volunteering or other resources.

Ministry of Agriculture: Continuous support to food producers

The Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture emphasized that since 2020 the government provided HUF 25 billion to the ministry through its National Food Economy Crisis Management Programme to ease economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the most affected agricultural subsectors.

Additionally, this year’s extreme dry weather and the energy crisis caused by the war in Ukraine put additional burden on crop and livestock farmers. The Ministry of Agriculture continues to help them through supportive measures, such as a credit payment freeze and a new credit programme offered at favourable conditions.

Food donation convoy: 35 000 food packages for the vulnerable

The companies joining the donation convoy are partners of the Hungarian Food Bank Association: Magyar Élelmiszerbank Egyesület partnerei: ALDI Magyarország Élelmiszer Bt., Auchan Magyarország, Bio-Fungi Kft., Bonafarm Csoport, Coca-Cola HBC Magyarország Kft., Danone  KFT., Dr. Oetker Magyarország, Global Green Europe Kft., Gyermelyi Zrt., KFC, Kifli.hu, KOMETA 99 Zrt., Lidl Magyarország, METRO Kereskedelmi Kft., Pek-Snack Kft., PENNY Magyarország, Rauch Hungária Kft., Shell Hungary Zrt. and its logistics partner HAVI Logistics Kft., Tesco-Globál Áruházak Zrt., and Upfield Hungary Kft.

The food donations worth HUF 100 million are be transported to the Food Bank central warehouse in Budapest where over 35 000 food packages will be made out of it.

14 October 2022, Budapest, Hungary