Oct. 5, 2007 — Food vendors, a farmers market, tours of UVI's Agricultural Experiment Station field facilities, workshops, activities for kids and a school competition for the best "house of cans" highlight World Food Day from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14, at the St. Croix campus of the University of the Virgin Islands.
For the past 25 years, the UVI Cooperative Extension Service has spearheaded educational activities during World Food Day. The overall goal is to promote the local production of food.
It gives us a time to focus on people in our community who dont have enough to eat, Extension Service spokeswoman Clarice Clarke said. Its an opportunity for a food drive to give to local food banks while having some fun and learning a little. And we have lots of activities for young people.
"Schools are participating, competing to build the best house of cans. We also have a hunger banquet, geared to 4-H youth. Some will get a full plate, some just water, some just vegetables. Its a role-play and it should be pretty interesting to see the reaction of the young people.
The St. Croix Superior Court Rising Stars Steel Orchestra will be playing too, Clarke said.
For the food drive, the extension service sent out flyers to schools, soliciting non-perishable and canned goods. Once they are all collected there will be a big weigh-in to see how much has been collected.
Then on Sunday, Oct. 14, we parcel it out, Clarke said, giving them to food banks, Catholic Charities, My Brothers Table and those organization that directly feed members of our population in need.
World Food Day is observed throughout the world on Oct. 16 each year, in honor of the day in 1945 when the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization was formed. The promotion is used to raise awareness about those living in hunger all over the world. In a sense, World Food Day celebrates the birthday of the FAO.
This year's theme is "The Right to Food." It underscores the importance of providing the necessary agricultural infrastructure for communities to feed its people. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 first recognized the right to food as a human right and in 1966 156 states endorsed that right as part of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The FAO is a key player in promoting the idea of food security as a human right.
This year there will be workshops on sweet potatoes, coconuts and poultry.
Two professors from Tuskegee University, Eunice Bonsi and Elaine Bromfield, will discuss and show examples of byproducts and added-value products made from sweet potato. Kofi Boateng, associate director of the Cooperative Extension Service will be doing a workshop on rearing different types of poultry, talking about their nutritional value and giving out fresh eggs, Clarke said.
Errol Chichester, deputy commissioner of agriculture, will talk about growing coconuts and their uses.
We are also giving out over 100 vegetable seedlings, Clarke said. Tomato slips, pepper seedlings, bok choy, basil and cucumber. The first 30 individuals will get a free dwarf coconut tree. Theyre great for the yard. They bear fruit very quickly and the fruit is close at hand and easier to get.
All schools, youth groups and organizations are invited to help fight hunger in any way possible, by taking part in the World Food Day food drive. Donations will be given to local food banks.
World Food Day brings attention to the plight of the territory's and world's hungry and undernourished and provides an opportunity for a deeper understanding of the complex solutions needed to improve the situation. Activities are sponsored by UVI's Cooperative Extension Service in partnership with UVI's Agricultural Experiment Station and the V.I. Department of Agriculture. For more information, call Clarice C. Clarke at 692-4060.
Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.