Trucks loaded with food donations queued in central Budapest on World Food Day, in a bid to call attention to food waste and the importance of healthy diets. Beyond raising awareness, the joint action of FAO and the Hungarian Foodbank Association was also designed to help Hungarian families in need.
In a bid to emphasize nutritional diversity, the 50 tons of food carried by the trucks consisted of a wide range of food products, such as pasta, canned food, cookies, drinks, chocolate, and other foods with a long shelf life.
“Achieving Zero Hunger is not only about addressing hunger, but also nourishing people while nurturing the planet. This year, World Food Day calls for action across sectors to make healthy and sustainable diets affordable and accessible to everyone,” Vladimir Rakhmanin, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative said at a press conference in Budapest.
According to FAO data, up to one-third of all globally produced food goes to waste every year. Although the quantity of food produced would be enough to feed every person on the planet, some 820 million people still go hungry. Providing the necessary calories to people is not enough to eradicate hunger; the world needs to ensure diverse and healthy nutrition while also protecting natural resources. Cutting down on food loss and waste would help tackle these challenges.
Rakhmanin noted that “reducing food loss and waste can be a means to achieve important sustainable development targets, especially the ones relating to food security and environmental sustainability.”
Each year, FAO and its partners mark World Food Day on October 16 to commemorate the founding of the Organization in 1945. Events across the world promote awareness and action on behalf of those who suffer from hunger and other forms of malnutrition. World Food Day is also an opportunity to send a strong message to the public that hunger and all forms of malnutrition can be ended in a relatively short time, making this the Zero Hunger Generation, provided people work together to achieve this goal.
The president of the Foodbank Association in Hungary, Balázs Cseh, emphasized that the food donation convoy was a symbol of collaboration of the past 14 years. “On the occasion of World Food Day, the Foodbank wants to stress that we can only fight food waste in partnership with the for-profit sector, civil society, and relevant authorities,” he added.
Altogether, 20 Hungarian and international food producers and retail companies, joined the convoy. Throughout the year, these companies save surplus food and deliver it to the needy with help from Foodbank.
Participating companies included: ALDI Magyarország Élelmiszer Bt., Auchan Retail Magyarország, Budapesti Nagybani Piac Zrt., Coca-Cola HBC Magyarország Kft., Danone Magyarország Kft., Detki Keksz Kft., Gyermelyi Zrt., HEINEKEN Hungária Zrt., Kedvenc Kereskedőház Zrt., KFC, Kometa '99 Zrt., METRO Kereskedelmi Kft., Nestlé Hungária Kft., Nutricia Magyarország, Pek-Snack Kft., Penny Market Magyarország Kft., Rauch Hungária Kft., Soós Tészta Kft., Tesco-Global Áruházak Zrt., and Univer Product Zrt.