Social Activities

Universities Fighting World Hunger

World Food Day, A Day Celebrated All Over the World—Because of some Hungarians
by Dennis Engel

Thanks to some Hungarians, every year a day close to the middle of October is celebrated around the world! You might never have known about it or heard of it, but World Food Day is commemorated annually on October 16th in over 150 countries. Its purpose is to raise awareness about the issues behind poverty and hunger.

On October 15 and 16 Miskolc University is also going to take part in this important event. There is a group of students and teachers on our campus who are members of an organization called Egyetemek Harca az Éhezés Ellen (Universities Fighting World Hunger or UFWH). UFWH started in 2004 at the University of Auburn in Auburn, Alabama, USA in partnership with the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian organization). UFWH has activities on almost 300 university campuses around the world. The founding goal of UFWH is to develop and put in place an action agenda for students and faculty that leads to a university community that is fully engaged in the effort to eliminate hunger.

Miskolc University’s UFWH team partners with the Magyar Vöröskereszt Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén Megyei szervezete to help people in our area—not some far off place—who are hungry and need assistance. On October 15 and 16 volunteers will be collecting tartós élelmiszert at the főbejárat and galleria. You do not have to donate something large, because sok kicsi sokra megy. The food that is given has to have a termék szavatossága minimum of három honap. The local Magyar Vöröskereszt will make sure that the donated items are distributed to people who need them.

And what is the Hungarian connection to World Food Day? In 1979 World Food Day was chosen to take place on 16 October by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). This day marks the date of the creation of the FAO in 1945. At the 1979 conference where this proclamation about World Food Day was first made, lead by the former Hungarian Minister of Agriculture and Food, Dr. Pál Romány, the Hungarian Delegation played an active role and suggested the idea of celebrating World Food Day across the globe.

So, there you have it! A celebration that is observed in many countries across the world thanks in part to the initiative of some Hungarians 35 years ago. Let’s keep this spirit alive and have World Food Day make a great impact on our community by holding a fruitful collection at the University of Miskolc on October 15 and 16!