Engagement and empowerment will be the messages conveyed at the Langley Events Centre on Thursday, Oct. 16, as part of World Food Day.
World Food Day is celebrated by many communities around the world.
In Canada, the largest World Food Day event is celebrated in Langley, and is hosted by the Food For Famine Society (FFFS), a local humanitarian organization with a goal of helping to save the lives of children under the age of five suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM).
This free public event is aimed to encourage meaningful engagement about world hunger and poverty.
â€œFirst and foremost, this event is always about inspiration â€“ inspiring people to take action to make a difference in the world,â€ FFFS founder and executive director Maria Martini said.
The African Childrenâ€™s Choir is scheduled to perform as part of the event. The choir will sing at 10:30 a.m. inside the LEC banquet hall to open proceedings, with doors opening at 10 a.m.
Visitors to World Food Day are also urged to bring non-perishable food items for the Langley Food Bank.
â€œThe key message is to engage and empower, and get people to be part of the change, and be involved with us locally, nationally, and internationally,â€ FFFS operations director Leah Chevallier said. â€œTo step up and be involved.â€
The keynote speaker at the conference is president and chief executive officer of World Vision Canada, Dave Toycen.
Chevallier said Toycenâ€™s message is powerful and evocative.
â€œCome and hear Dave speak with his compassion, and hear his compelling stories of being involved from the ground up,â€ Chevallier said. â€œPeople can be the change and share the bounties. You can step outside of your own bubble and realize that you can be part of the difference, and can make a difference.â€
Toycen is retiring from his position with World Vision, so this will be his final World Food Day event.
â€œHeâ€™s incredibly inspiring,â€ Martini said, regarding Toycen. â€œFood For Famine Society partners with World Vision with the work that we do. Considering how many years heâ€™s been with World Vision and what heâ€™s accomplished, and his passion for children â€“ heâ€™s such an inspiration.â€
Seating capacity in the LEC banquet room is very limited, and those interested in attending World Food Day in Langley are urged to RSVP online by clicking here.
For more on Food For Famine, click here.
About World Food Day
The day was founded by the United Nationsâ€™ (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 1945, and has been observed annually, every Oct. 16, since 1981.
The event was established to increase awareness of world hunger and poverty and to inspire solutions for world change.
Each year, World Food Day Canada hosts a variety of world-renowned speakers and opens the floor to multiple exhibitors. Attendees learn about various topics from new breakthroughs in agriculture to initiatives that are solving world hunger and poverty issues, one step at a time. Attendees also enjoy a complimentary lunch and some unique giveaways.
Working to end local hunger
FFFS is working on a domestic scale, with a goal that Langley students donâ€™t go to classes hungry.
â€œWe have partnered with the Langley School District Foundation, and supported them, and assisted in engaging financial support of their Food For Thought Campaign,â€ Martini noted.
Food For Thought provides breakfasts and lunches to the estimated 3,000 Langley students who come to school hungry every day.
â€œOur Food For Thought campaign started with providing meal programs for 3,000 students in the Langley School District, working with various community partners,â€ related Langley School District Foundation executive director Susan Cairns. â€œMaria [Martini] was quite surprised that kids were coming to school hungry in Langley. She thought, â€˜Wow, we should be helping out in the community.â€™ She made a substantial donation to one of our schools and is spreading the world for the community to get together to fund meal programs in our schools.â€
â€“ With files from the eventâ€™s website, www.worldfooddaycanada.ca.