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World Food Day Set on UVI's Albert A. Sheen Campus Oct. 14

October on St. Croix means it's time for World Food Day at UVI and the opportunity to increase awareness and understanding of hunger issues around the world and in the Virgin Islands. While admission is free, those attending are asked to bring a non-perishable food item for the day's food drive.

The popular activity takes place on UVI's Albert A. Sheen campus from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14. The 2012 theme is "Agricultural Cooperatives: Key to Feeding the World." As always, World Food Day will include a food vendors' court, a farmer's market, workshops, field tours, seedling distribution, a petting zoo for children, music and a variety of competitions.

Topping the competitions list this year is the fifth annual Youth Super Chef Competition. The contest, for junior high and senior high students, drew 30 competitors in eight teams to this year's preliminary events. The top three teams in the junior and senior categories will move on to Sunday's main event, where they will compete to see which can produce the best meals with the ingredients provided - cassava, banana or chicken for the entre. They will also whip up desserts and drinks or salads. Teams are judged on presentation, teamwork and their knowledge or nutrition and food history.

The students take it seriously says Clarice C. Clarke of UVI's Cooperative Extension Service, which is one of the event organizers. "We have several repeat competitors and for some it's their first time. They are really good."

There will also be a Banana Splash Competition for the general public. Workshops will focus on the banana family, cassava and chicken. Workshop participants will receive free samples of dishes featuring these crops.

This year's entertainment will feature the Rising Stars Youth Steel Orchestra, DJ Porter and performances by the St. Croix Martial Arts and the Ay Ay Cultural Dance Company. Items collected during the food drive will be provided to various organizations that provide food for the homeless and families in need, such as Catholic Charities, My Brothers Table and others.

The St. Croix event is part of a worldwide activity observed each October. It is designed to help
promote year-around action to alleviate hunger. First observed in 1981, World Food Day in the United States is sponsored by some 450 organizations. It is celebrated in 150 nations.

World Food Day is sponsored locally by UVI's Cooperative Extension Service and Agricultural Experiment Station, the V.I. Department of Agriculture, Home Depot and Plaza Extra. For details, call Clarice C. Clarke at (340) 692-4060.