World Food Day has once again brought more than 20 trucks full of donated food into the heart of Budapest last week, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.
As has been happening every year since 2006, the convoy, organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Hungarian Food Bank Association, made a short stop at Hősök there (Heroes’ Square) before departing for the association’s warehouse to empty 90 tonnes of food.
World Food Day, which marks the founding of FAO in 1945, supports efforts to provide healthy nutrition for everyone.
The food carried by the convoy was donated by several Hungarian and international food-producing and distributing companies that are long-standing partners of the Hungarian Food Bank Association. The products (pasta, biscuits, and canned vegetables, all with long shelf lives) ultimately will go to some 36,000 needy people in Hungary.
"The theme for this year’s World Food Day (‘Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together’) underpins the need for joint actions, partnerships and solidarity for a better future," said Vladimir Rakhmanin, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative, at the convoy’s press event. "This concept was developed before the pandemic broke out, which made the day’s theme even timelier."
"FAO turned 75 in 2020, an unprecedented year," he added. "Now it is time to transform our world through food and agriculture."
According to FAO estimates, one-third of all the food produced globally will never be eaten. To help demonstrate the extent of the problem, 29 September marked the first-ever International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste.
Zsolt Belánszky-Demkó, deputy state secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, said, "Hungary is committed to providing sustainable local solutions to the issues of food insecurity. Food aid is important – especially in a time of a global pandemic – however, real help should have long-lasting effects that should be taken into consideration when developing any international programs."
Balázs Cseh, president of the Hungarian Food Bank Association noted, "The Hungarian Food Bank Association is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, as does the food convoy, which has so far helped the needy with a total of 674 tonnes of food. World Food Day and the recently proclaimed Food Loss and Waste Awareness Day are closely linked to our goal of raising awareness around the issues of waste and poverty. While the prolonged impacts of COVID-19 are causing greater hardship, it is even more important that food surplus gets to the right place – delivering help without putting a burden on our environment."
The companies supporting the convoy were ALDI Magyarország Élelmiszer Bt., Auchan Retail Magyarország, Bio-Fungi ChefGomba, Bonafarm Csoport, Chef Market Food Service Company, Coca-Cola HBC Magyarország, Danone Magyarország Kft., Gyermelyi Zrt., HEINEKEN Hungária, Kifli.hu Online Szupermarket, Kométa ʼ99 Zrt., Metro Kereskedelmi Kft., Nestlé Hungária Kft., Nissin Foods, NUMIL Hungary Tápszerkereskedelmi Kft., Pék-Snack Kft., Penny Market Magyarország, Rauch Hungária Kft., Tesco-Global Áruházak Zrt., and Upfield Hungary Kft.