— July 30, 2012 —
For years we have seen the haunting images and heard the tragic headlines: each day, thousands of children are still starving to death in developing nations. Many people wish they could help – but the problem seems overwhelming. Can individuals actually make a difference?
Yes, says Langley’s Maria Martini, and on Tuesday, October 16, local residents can find out how.
October 16 is World Food Day and – supported by enthusiastic students, dedicated volunteers and sponsors, and an action plan that provides tangible results – Martini is inviting the public to learn what they can do to feed the hungry around the world.
A special World Food Day Event is being hosted by the Food For Famine Society at the Langley Events Centre, 7888 – 200 Street. From 9am to 3pm, students and the public can attend the free event or watch it live streamed, as guest speakers and exhibitors educate and encourage participants to imagine a world where everyone could eat.
“Our vision is to engage, empower, and inspire everyone to make a difference in the world,” said Martini, founder of Food for Famine. The society raises money to purchase Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) that is donated to World Vision Canada and provided to children suffering from severe acute malnutrition.
RUTF is a prepackaged product that contains peanut butter, oil, skim milk powder. Within four to six weeks of starting to eat it, children dying of starvation begin gaining 15% of their body weight per week.
“We never wanted to give money – we want to give product,” said Martini. She notes that RUTF is peanut butter-based, but children in developing countries do not have peanut allergies like North American children do.
“RUTF saves lives,” said Martini, adding it is specifically given to younger children to nourish them during their formative years. “This builds enough muscle and tissue to see them through. It provides a foundation for the rest of their lives, building their immune systems and developing brain function.”
The partnership with World Vision Canada allows the Food For Famine Society to donate RUTF directly to World Vision Canada’s international relief projects for secure distribution.
Michael Messenger, Executive Vice President of World Vision Canada, will be one of the guest speakers featured at Langley’s World Food Day event. He will be joined by MANA Nutrition Co-Founder and CEO Mark Moore, Hope International Development Agency International President David McKenzie, and Breakfast Clubs of Canada Founder and President Daniel Germain. As well, exhibits will be set up by organizations addressing hunger and poverty, and a free lunch will be provided through the support of local sponsors.
Martini is thrilled with how the community has come forward to help, and is especially excited to see so many young people get on board. The event seats 1,600 people and Martini’s hope is to fill the venue and see students from every Langley high school attend. R.E. Mountain Secondary is organizing its school day so that the entire school can attend, and students from throughout the community will be showcasing projects that address world hunger. They have also been invited to attend workshops on becoming World Food Day Ambassadors.
Shaw Cable Systems has volunteered to train students from RE Mountain Secondary to be a part of the Shaw film crew on the day of the event. Several Kwantlen Polytechnic University Students who helped out for class credits stayed on as volunteers after their term ended.
“My dream to end world hunger starts with our youth,” Martini said. “It starts with educating them about the crisis that faces every nation on earth, and empowering them to inspire and engage others with a purpose. World Food Day is the platform to bring this all together.”
Students and members of the public who would like to volunteer, watch the event via live streaming, or attend in person can rsvp to email@example.com or call 604.290.5684.
For more information, contact Maria Martini at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604.513.8161.
— by Erin MacKay
SPECIAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO WORLD VISION
Our partnership with World Vision Canada allows Food for Famine Society to donate RUTF directly to World Vision Canada’s international relief projects for secure distribution ensuring your donations go to those most in need.