A Day Celebrated All Over the World…..Thanks to Some Hungarians

11. October 2021. 11:30

On October 19, 20, and 21 Miskolc University is also going to take part in this important event. There is a group of students and teachers on our campus who are members of an organization called Universities Fighting World Hunger (Egyetemek Harca az Éhezés Ellen). UFWH started in 2004 at the University of Auburn in the USA in partnership with the United Nations’ World Food Programme. UFWH has activities on almost 300 university campuses across the globe. The founding goal of UFWH is to develop and put in place an action agenda for students and faculty that leads to a university community that is fully engaged in the effort to eliminate hunger. UFWH at the University of Miskolc has been holding two food collections annually—online teaching semesters excluded—since the spring of 2013. It is the only UFWH group in the country to have such campaigns every year. Unfortunately because of the COVID 19 virus, like the one in the spring of 2020, the campaign scheduled to be held in the spring of this year was cancelled.

Miskolc University’s UFWH team partners with the Hungarian Red Cross of Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County to help people in our local area who are hungry and need assistance. From October 19 —21, from 9 AM to 2 PM, volunteers will be collecting long-term foodstuffs (canned goods, pastas, etc., but please no flour) at the University’s main entrance, near the Rácsos (iron bar) Büfé, and at the Galéria entrance as well as at the “Avasi” TESCO from 16-18.30. You do not have to donate something large, because every little bit helps. The food that is given has to have a minimum expiration date of three months. The local Hungarian Red Cross will make sure that the donated items are distributed to people who need them.  

Throughout the days of the collection, the Beli Diner (which is located in the large auditorium that is behind the main entrance) and the Uni-Café (in the Uni-Hotel) will give a 10% discount on soft drinks and coffee or tea to anyone who has a small stamped flyer which donors can receive upon making a donation. Those having such a stamped flyer are given the discount, and any beverages purchased using the discount must be consumed at the restaurants.

So what, exactly, is the Hungarian connection to World Food Day? 16 October was proclaimed to be World Food Day in 1979 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), as this day marks the date of the creation of the FAO in 1945. At the 1979 conference where this proclamation was made, the Hungarian Delegation came up with the idea of celebrating World Food Day across the whole world. This idea then spread, so that today, in fact, countries around the world honor October 16th as World Food Day.

So there you have it! A day that is observed in many countries across the globe thanks in part to the initiative of a Hungarian delegation 42 years ago. Unfortunately, because of the COVID 19 epidemic, the number of aid applications for assistance received by the Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County Red Cross Chapter increased noticeably. Experience shows us that we should be prepared to provide help to families in need in the form of long-lasting foodstuffs in case there is another wave of infections.

Let's preserve the generous spirit of those who decided to make World Food Day an international event, and have World Food Day 2021 make a great impact on our community by holding a very fruitful collection at the University of Miskolc on October 19, 20, and 21! Thank you very much!



Written by Dennis Engel