World Food Day (WFD) was founded by the United Nations’ (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 1945, and has been observed annually, every October 16, since 1981. The event was established to increase awareness of world hunger and poverty and to inspire solutions for world change.
Today, World Food Day is celebrated by many communities around the world. In Canada, the largest World Food Day event is celebrated in Langley, British Columbia — organized by the Food For Famine Society.
Our vision is to engage, empower and inspire everyone to make a difference in the world!
THE WORLD FOOD DAY TEAM
The driving force behind World Food Day Canada is Maria Martini, Executive Director of Food for Famine Society. Maria has a passion to make a difference in the world and a hope to inspire others to be the change they want to see in the world.
Through her passion and genuine altruistic desire to make a difference, Maria has been able to engage regional school boards and post secondary institutions to help establish World Food Day Canada as one of the largest WFD events in the country.
Maria Martini’s passion to make a difference is evident with her registered charitable organization, the Food For Famine Society (FFF). They are a Langley based non-profit that provides Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) to children suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition around the world. Learn more at foodforfamine.org.
Founder and CEO, Food For Famine Society
Long-time Langley resident Maria Martini is leading the charge for the most attended World Food Day Event in Canada. She is working with The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, who founded World Food Day, to educate the public about world hunger.
As the founder and CEO of the Langley-based Food For Famine Society, Maria is dedicated to fundraising for, and educating about Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) which is used to treat Severe Acute Malnutrition.
Maria moved to Northwest Langley when she was 20 years old and has been enjoying valley-life for over 37 years. She has many accomplishments including the Paul Harris award for Rotary International, but is most proud of her family and her home. Mother of two and grandmother of four, Maria built a loving homestead from the ground up.
On June 20th, 2008, Maria watched a video that would alter the trajectory of her life forever. This video spoke of RUTF and when given to by malnourished children, it would increase their body weight 15 per cent every week. With this knowledge, Maria set out to bring RUTF to children in need. She had this to say on the topic, “The miracle of a simple, fortified peanut butter paste that could save the lives of children was astonishing to me. Children no longer needed to die.”
With this epiphany, she started the Food for Famine Society. Their single goal is to feed starving children around the world by using every single penny donated for the purchase of RUTF. Through her personal endeavours, she has been able to help children in North Korea, Haiti, Burundi, Ethiopia and Kenya where the need continues. Her goal is to raise enough funds to send one shipment, $50,000 worth, every month to developing countries around the world.
In October 2009, Maria Martini brought The Food and Agriculture Organization’s World Food Day to Langley, British Columbia. Together with the Food for Famine Society and World Food Day, she intends to educate the public on hunger that is affecting children all around the world, and to make RUTF a household name.
• 2011 World Food Day Canada: Langley Secondary and Kwantlen Polytechnic University
• 2010 World Food Day Canada at Kwantlen Polytechnic University
• 2009 World Food Day Canada at Trinity Western University
• Food For Famine Society
• World Vision Canada
• Mana Nutrition
• Hope International
• Breakfast Clubs Canada
• Mayor Peter Fassbender, City of Langley
• Township of Langley
• Sandman Signature Hotel
• Langley Events Centre
• Starline Windows
• Nanuck Foods
• Thrive Communications