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World Food Day
October 16, 2023

World Food Day was established in 1979 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to raise public awareness of global food issues and to strengthen efforts to end hunger and malnutrition. This year’s theme, ‘Water is Life. Water is Food. Leave No One Behind’, aims to emphasize that water is essential for all life on earth and water is the foundation of our food. Hence the need to manage water wisely to ensure the world’s ability to provide food for all.

It is hoped that students and teachers will mark World Food Day by participating in classroom activities that explore key food-related issues, the vital connection between food and water, and the need for action to support those without physical and/or economic access to the types of nutritious food required for healthy lives.


  • Food is vital to human survival and well-being.  Access to food is a fundamental  human right
  • Today upwards of 800 million people are facing hunger.The COVID-19 pandemic could add between 83-132 million people to this number, depending on the economic growth scenario.*
  • More than one-third of the world’s children are malnourished and 45% of all infant deaths are related to malnutrition.*
  • Three billion people (40% of the world’s population), cannot afford healthy diets, while obesity continues to increase worldwide.*
  • Most of the world's hungry people are found in the developing world, but over 34 million live in the developed world.*
  • Only 2.5% of water is fresh, suitable for drinking, agriculture, and most industrial uses.Agriculture accounts for 72% of global freshwater withdrawals, but like all natural resources, fresh water is not infinite. 
  • 2.4 billion people live in water-stressed countries. Many are farmers who already struggle to meet their daily needs**
  • The impact of malnutrition in all its forms - undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, as well as overweight and obesity - on the global economy is estimated at USD 3.5 trillion per year.*
  • Experts agree that there is enough food in the world for everyone to have enough to eat, but it is unevenly distributed.
  • Agri-food systems employ 1 billion people worldwide, more than any other economic sector.*
  • No other sector is more sensitive to climate change than agriculture.
  •  *Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. 2020 & 2022  ;** Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. 2023     

Resources 4 Rethinking encourages students and teachers to participate in World Food Day. Top R4R Picks will connect you to some excellent resources to support these efforts.

More information regarding World Food Day 2023 can be found HERE.