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16 October 2014
World food day

World Food Day - 16 October 2014

"What if we could feed everybody and still care for the earth?"

In collaboration with the Environmental and Sustainability Studies (ESS) in the Landscape and Social Ecology Department of Biodiversity and Conservation Biology at University of the Western Cape, the DST- NRF Centre of Excellence in Food security and the Peninsula School Feeding Association, an event will be hosted from 13h00 - 14h00 on World Food Day - 16 October 2014 at the University of the Western Cape.

According to UNICEF hunger kills 2.5 million children every year.  In honour of FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations) and to create awareness of the challenges experienced by more than 13%  of the population in South Africans (Stats SA). This initiative seeks to engage with students, academics and the global community via live streaming of the event.

“The DST- NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security brings together the expertise of twenty South African and international institutions and over 100 researchers in disciplines as diverse as anthropology (the study of humans) and arthropodology (the study of insects and crustaceans), or packaging science and political science”, says Prof Julian May, Director of the centre.

Family Farming is the focus of World Food Day 2014, the theme: “Feeding the world, caring for the earth”, draws attention to the plight of family farming and smallholder farmers. It focuses world attention on the significant role of family farming in eradicating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment, and achieving sustainable development, in particular in rural areas.

Students at ESS engage with the game “Second Life” acting out challenges experienced by farmers and communities with regards to Food Insecurity. This will be available for live streaming to all partners of the virtual centre. Using the largest-ever 3D virtual world created entirely by its users, students will take the role of a farmer/ambassador or researcher wanting to increase agricultural output (Role Play). Each student will present their "conservation planning including water and food security project based on a South African municipality" and how to use the Environmental & Agriculture Sustainability Information Portal (EASI Portal). The students will be assessed for academic purposes as part of the programme and the entire programme will be recorded and loaded onto e-learning sites.

1000 meals will be plated up by Peninsula School Feeding Association (PSFA) in the student centre after the talks, videos and Second Life farming experience. Thereafter, PSFA will address the media, students and dignitaries with a short talk about caring for each other by sharing a meal. They will also elaborate on the PSFA sticker campaign whereby R10 Feeds a pupil for a week. PSFA has been providing meals to hungry school children across the Western Province, including distant rural areas, since 1958. Completely self-sustainable, 100% of all donations are directed exclusively to the actual cost of school feeding.  As per the PSFA A child will receive a nutritious cooked breakfast and lunch while at school. Each meal provided meets at least 30% of the learner’s Recommended Daily Allowance. Once children begin to receive regular, nutritious meals, their ability to learn improves as does their school attendance. Visit our website to read more about the work the PSFA are doing or donate online at www.psfa.org.

Perhaps if active citizens and business leaders, academia and organisations stood together, local and global hunger can be something written about in the history books!

Prof Julian May (Director of the Centre), Dr David Sanders (Obesity in a time of food insecurity) and students and staff at ESS (Dr Richard Knight) are available for interviews, radio, telephone and media interviews.

For Live streaming of this event click below:

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