World Food Day is celebrated every year on the 16th of October (the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945). The theme for this year is Healthy Diets for a #ZeroHunger World. As overweight and obesity rates soar worldwide, the day is a call for action to make healthy and sustainable diets available and affordable to everyone. In honour of this day, here are 30 different ways that Signatories are exploring the topic of food and Sustainable Development Goal 2 in terms of method and dialogue (part 1), research and partnerships (part 2) and operations (part 3).
METHOD (Principle 3)
- Creating new courses: Politecnico di Milano School of Management in Italy launched a MOOC called Share food, Cut Waste in association with the Food Bank. The course looks at food sharing and food waste reduction, how surplus food arises and how unsold or unserved food can still be put to good use. Key players, such as foodbanks, are introduced.
- Exploring food in the curriculum: Sobey School of Business in Canada had a service-learning project as part of the Ethical Responsibilities of Organizations course focused on food insecurity. The theme of food security was selected due to the fact that Nova Scotia has one of the highest rates of food insecurity in the country. Community partners were chosen based on their work to help end hunger, achieve food security and promote sustainable agriculture. After the community partners identified their needs, students, working in teams of five, were paired with an organisation, completed 15 hours of service over the course of the semester and wrote academic reflections on their experience.
- Turning food waste into compost: A Brennan School of Business student’s capstone project increased awareness of composting and implemented a program for students and dining hall customers to compost their food waste. Composting of food waste has been instituted in the main dining hall kitchen, which is collected and used to create green compost for use by farmers and gardeners.
- Supporting alumni run initiatives: KEDGE Business School in France’s ZEI platform, created by KEDGE graduate and incubated at KEDGE, is dedicated to replanting trees, in particular fruit tress to ensure food production as well as flowering trees to facilitate pollination by beans (with beehives also being installed as part of the project).
- Celebrating alumni initiatives: A Kemmy Business School alumnus founded Food Cloud, a social enterprise that has developed an innovative tech-based solution to enable businesses, such as supermarket chains and restaurants who have surplus food to redistribute this to charities and community groups in their immediate localities. Another KBS alumnus won numerous awards for the not-for-profit organisation Grow it Yourself that aims to inspire people to grow their own food and give them the skills they need to do so successfully.
DIALOGUE (Principle 6)
- Raising awareness in the community: The American University of Beirut in Lebanon implemented, in collaboration with UNEP, The No Hunger Project, which aims to raise awareness on food security in Lebanon. Part of the project was a series of 12 lunches organised every month in a different host community. The event included refuges as well as Lebanese citizens in municipalities hosting the refugees.
- Supporting student–led initiatives: Manchester Metropolitan University Business School in the UK is home to MetMUnch, a student-led social enterprise focused on sustainable and nutritious food. They conduct interactive training sessions for businesses and schools to promote health and wellbeing.
- Celebrating quality food: Burgundy Business School in France organised a “Taste Week” in October as an opportunity to raise students’ awareness on the quality of their food. During this week, local greengrocers and a nutritionist are on campus to give students access to healthy products and organic food baskets are made available to students, faculty and staff.
- Engaging students in the issues: Students at the University of Exeter Business School in the UK were involved in an interdisciplinary week long Grand Challenge event. One of the challenges was entitled ‘Food for Thought: Securing Sustainable Food Systems in the 21st Century’. Students explored key debates on issues of food security, sustainable food production, food and health, global food trade, eating patterns and behaviours and food related inequality.
- Eliminating food waste: The Student Welcome event at University of Sussex in the UK aimed at zero food waste. The surplus food from the event was used by the Real Junk Food Project in Brighton that takes the food and turns it into healthy meals that it serves to the community on a ‘pay as you feel’ basis.