Texas A&M International University students and members of the community at large will have an opportunity to participate in the global observance of World Food Day on Wednesday, Oct. 16 at the new Student Center.
A traditional rice and bean luncheon will be held at 12 noon in the Student Center Ballroom. The luncheon is presented by the Laredo Regional Food Bank and co-hosted by the University's Future Fitness and Sports Teachers (FFAST) Club and its Texas Center for Border Economic and Enterprise Development. Admission is free of charge and open to the public.
This is the second year that TAMIU has hosted the luncheon and the 20th year that the event has been commemorated locally.
Laredo Regional Food Bank spokesperson Felipe Contreras said the group welcomes the opportunity to have the event at the University as it affords students a forum to learn about the organization and its mission.
"We think this is a tremendous opportunity for TAMIU students and members of the community as well to learn about the Food Bank and the real need for efforts to address hunger right here in our community. Last year, over 250 people participated in our observance, and we encourage more to join us in the new Student Center," he said.
Keynote speaker for the event will be Ralph Paige, executive director of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives headquartered in Atlanta, Ga.
In addition to the luncheon, the Food Bank will present the Dr. Sandra Richards Award and its Corporate Donor Award. The late Dr. Richards was a founding member of the Laredo Regional Food Bank and former TAMIU College of Business Administration professor. The Award presented in her honor recognizes exemplary volunteerism.
The FFAST Club and the Texas Center will also be conducting a month-long canned food drive on campus throughout October. Cans and non-perishable goods will be collected and provided to the Food Bank. Last year, the drive provided the bank with over 4000 lbs. in food donations.
"This is an important food drive for us and we greatly appreciate the efforts of students, faculty and staff in helping with this initiative," Contreras explained.
World Food Day was founded in 1945 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. This year's theme is "Water: Source of Food Security" in recognition of the essential role that freshwater plays in feeding the global population and ensuring food security - regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. According to the United Nations, currently more than 800 million people do not have enough to eat.
World Food Day activities around the globe will help to deliver the theme message while promoting the overall objective of the annual event: to raise awareness about the problem of hunger and to work towards long-term solutions to guarantee food for all.
For additional information, contact Contreras at the Laredo Regional Food Bank, 723.3725. Information on World Food Day is also available by visiting www.fao.org.