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Food & Hunger

8 Innovative Ways to Celebrate World Food Day

Jody Horton

This fall represents more than just another change in season, it represents a change in millions of minds and lives across the globe.

The poverty line dropped below 10 percent , and the combination of the Global Goals and a killer Global Citizen Festival inspired the world to take a stance on critical issues. These are important milestones for our future!

To top off a season full of change-making and (for me) beloved fall foliage, today is the 70th annual World Food Day. Created by the The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) in 1945, this year’s theme, “Social Protection and Agriculture," will help continue the streak of global change.

The UN is celebrating today at the Expo Milano 2015, a conference committed to tackling issues like financial support for smallholder farmers and the role of women in the Agro-food world.

While most of us can’t fly to Italy, there are countless ways to participate wherever you are.

From hosting a dinner party, to supporting a digital campaign like #HungerFree, to sharing your meal on Instagram, everyone has a seat at this table.

1/ Instagram your meal…for a real reason

Download Feedie or FoodShareFilter  and share your food, literally.

Created by the Spanish NGO Manos Unidas, FoodShareFilter is the first supportive filter for Instagram that allows you to fight global hunger by sharing your food.

Similarly, Feedie has created 2,003,725 meals with their app. Everytime a photo is shared, the restaurant donates one meal to the Lunchbox Fund, an organization that provides meals for orphaned and at-risk children in South Africa.

2/ Treat Yo Self  

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It’s Friday night, so treat yo self. Eat out at that restaurant you’ve been dying to try. Call that college friend you’ve been meaning to call back, and catch up over a meal.

But this time, make your meal meaningful.

When the check comes, join the #HungerFree movement and donate the cost of your meal to help fight against hunger in Kenya, South Sudan and worldwide.

Need food recommendations? Show your support by visiting one of the food chains participating in World Food Day by leading their own efforts to feed more than just customers (Shake Shack, Fazcoli’s, Baja Fresh, or Chipotle).

For the New Yorkers out there, check out the 2016 City Harvest Guide to visit the most generous, and delicious, restaurants in NYC.

3/ Embrace Your Inner Foodie

Dear Foodies,

Tonight is your chance to round up your friends and host that impromptu fall-studded dinner party you’ve secretly been planning—hot spiced cider and all.

But this time, add something new to the menu: an option to donate a meal to someone in need.

#HungerFree and Feed Supper have created guides for hosting dinner parties that will create meals for others.

In honor of World Food Day, renowned food writer Dennis the Prescott, invited his community to support the #HungerFree movement and donate the cost of their meal.

4/ Order Local. Order Farmigo

This Brooklyn-based delivery service empowers people to eat better and support local farms with their online farm-to-neighborhood access to fresh food. This urban solution for eating local also pays the farmers 60% of the dollar you pay as a consumer. That’s unheard of in an industry where it's routine for farmers to receive 20%. 

5/ Educate yourself. Educate others

Farmers are the best human resource to fight hunger and ensure food security and nutrition. According the FAO, agricultural production needs to globally increase by 60% to meet the food demand required to feed the expected 9.2 billion people who will inhabit our planet in 2050.

Help spread awareness about the importance of small-scale farming by watching, and sharing, “The Scarecrow."

Produced by Chipotle and created by Academy Award winning Moonlit Studios, this short film illustrates a scarecrow’s journey to find an alternative to the processed food that dominates the world.

6/ Method Acting/Eating

To gain a better understanding of how the 800 million people who face hunger live, follow in the footsteps of four California college students and try to live on $1.90 a day.

7/ Walk it Off

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Show your support by joining a CROP Hunger Walk. Sponsored by Church World Service, these community-wide events are organized by community leaders, businesses, schools and others to raise funds to end hunger around the world.

8/ Attend an Event

None of the above catches your eye? Enter your zip code at foodday.org to find an event near you.

Whichever way you decide to celebrate, dine or donate, remember that today is about spreading awareness and taking action in two categories:

1. Social Protection: we need to stand behind policies and programs that ensure a healthy labor market, combat food insecurity, and provide individuals with the means needed to buy food.

It’s also important to remember that the world already produces enough food to feed everyone, but a huge portion is wasted and ends up in landfills. This has to change.

2. Agriculture: we need to support local farmers and encourage agricultural food production in the developing world.

And finally go to TAKE ACTION NOW to call on world leaders to support small farmers.

Happy World Food Day!