Heavy trucks loaded with food donations queued through central Budapest on the occasion of World Food Day, which aimed 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 also helps Hungarian families in need. To ensure nutritional diversity, the 50 tonnes of food carried by the trucks consisted of a wide range of food products, such as paste, canned food, cookies, drinks, chocolate, and other foods with a long shelf life. The convoy was welcomed at Heroes’ Square in the heart of Budapest by a press conference with high-level representatives of FAO, the Foodbank, and the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture. “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,” said Vladimir Rakhmanin, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative. 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 go hungry annually. Simply providing the necessary calories to people is not enough to eradicate hunger; the world needs to ensure diverse and healthy nutrition and protection of natural resources. Cutting down on food loss and waste would improve all of these areas. 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 16 October 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 and for the need to ensure food security and healthy diets for all. World Food Day is also an important opportunity to send a strong message to the public that we can end hunger and all forms of malnutrition in this lifetime and become the Zero Hunger Generation, but everyone needs to work together to achieve this goal. The president of the Foodbank Association, Balázs Cseh, emphasized that the food donation convoy has been a symbol of collaboration for 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,” added Cseh. Altogether, 20 Hungarian and international food producers and retail companies, all partners of the association, joined the convoy. Throughout the year, these companies save surplus food and deliver it to the needy with help from the 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.