The University of the Virgin Islands Cooperative Extension Service (CES) will host its annual World Food Day “Hunger Banquet” on Friday, Oct. 14, on UVI’s Albert A. Sheen Campus grounds, near the Great Hall on St. Croix. This event and experience will educate students in the territory from fourth through ninth grade on the challenges of poverty and world hunger first hand. In addition to being open to students, representatives from the Department of Education and other community leaders have been invited to attend the banquet from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Observed world-wide during the month of October, World Food Day brings attention to the plight of the hungry and the undernourished in not only the territory, but the world as a whole. This year’s World Food Day theme is “Climate is Changing. Food and Agriculture Must too.”
“World Food Day is a time that we assess food production, distribution, and nutritional value,” said Associate Director of CES Kofi Boateng. “We hope that you will join us as we assess the effects of climatic changes on the production and distribution of food. Come out and observe this great occasion as we try to feed the less fortunate people of the world.”
The festivities will continue from noon until 6 p.m., on Sunday, Oct.16, starting with a formal ceremony and an afternoon filled with a food vendors’ court, a farmers’ market, workshops, demonstrations, entertainment, and free vegetable seedlings. While admission is free of charge, visitors are asked to bring a non-perishable food items for the day's food drive. All food collected will be donated to local food banks.
As a yearly tradition, three agricultural products are highlighted. This year’s selections are leafy greens, coconut, and chicken. As the selected fruit of this year's World Food Day, there will be an open Coconut Blast Competition. All willing participants are to submit a dessert, bread and/or drink made with coconut. First, second, and third place prizes will be awarded in all three areas to the selected winners.
In addition to these tantalizing activities, CES will be holding the ninth Annual World Food Day 4-H Youth “Super Chef” competition. Open to junior and senior high students, a number of young aspiring chefs will be able to showcase their talents as they compete for the title of “Super Chef.”
“Made possible through the support of The Rotary Club of St. Croix Mid-Isle, this is an event you don't want to miss,” said Marthious Clavier, CES communication and research extension specialist. “The Cooperative and Extension Services urges the community to come out and wow the judges with desserts, preserves, and drink recipes, or just indulge in all that's to offer.”
World Food Day is sponsored by UVI’s Cooperative Extension Service, the UVI Agricultural Experiment Station and the V.I. Department of Agriculture. For more information, call Marthious Clavier at (340) 692-4090.