WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and John Boozman (R-Ark.) introduced a resolution to designate October 16 as “World Food Day.”

In recent decades, eating habits and diets have changed dramatically due to globalized economies, urbanization, and rising incomes around the world. While the quality of food available to some has improved, the quantity is still lacking for over 820 million people who suffer from hunger. At the same time, over 670 million adults and 120 million girls and boys (5-19 years) are obese, and over 40 million children under 5 are overweight.

Each year, the United States joins 130 other countries and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in celebrating World Food Day to promote global awareness and action for all who sufferfrom malnutrition, both chronic hunger and overweight and obesity. World Food Day also commemorates the founding of FAO on October 16, 1945, in Hot Springs, Virginia. To learn more about what you can do topromote healthy diets for a zero-hunger world and celebrate World Food Day, please visit http://www.fao.org/world-food-day.

“World Food Day is an important reminder of why the United States should sustain our investments in food security both at home and abroad. I’m commemorating World Food Day this year by celebrating the millions of people around the world involved in getting food from our farms to our tables,” said Senator Coons, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “Food security is not just a humanitarian issue. Global food security is national security, as growing concentrations of poverty and hunger leave communities around the world vulnerable to instability, violence, and extremism. I’m pleased to work with my colleagues to both celebrate World Food Day and recognize the work that still needs to be done to ensure that all people have access to quality food.”

“The United States, and specifically my home state of Kansas, has a long tradition of demonstrating humanitarian concern for the hungry and malnourished people of the world,” said Senator Moran. “While much work remains to feed a hungry world, I am encouraged by the progress we’ve made in finding expedient, affordable and efficient ways to get food grown by Kansas farmers to those who need it most. Our country's collective moral convictions make fighting hunger the right thing to do, and the benefits we receive as a nation from reducing global food insecurity make it the smart thing to do. In addition to helping farmers and ranchers, U.S. international food assistance programs strengthen our national security by promoting stability in areas of the world important to our national strategic interests. As we all work together to raise awareness and promote action on World Food Day, let us also recommit to finding new and innovative ways to bolster food security and end hunger.”

“Food security is fundamental to human life, and we have a moral obligation to lead the fight against hunger both here and abroad,” said Senator Leahy, vice chairman of the Appropriations Committee and a leading member of the Agriculture Committee. “The impact of climate change on our global food system only compounds the urgency of this work. I am proud to once again recognize World Food Day and reaffirm our commitment to reducing hunger and improving food access through critical international aid, nutrition, and local food access programs. To invest in food security is to invest in a more healthy, sustainable and secure world for us all.”

“World Food Day serves as both a call to action and an opportunity to recognize the many who have stepped up and been a champion on this issue on a global scale and in our individual communities,” said Senator Boozman. “While considerable progress has been made to alleviate global hunger, much work remains to be done both here at home and abroad. American leadership is vital to finding solutions to help those struggling with food insecurity and I offer my gratitude to all who have committed to improving nutrition and agriculture worldwide. As co-chair of the Senate Hunger Caucus, I am proud to lend my support to this resolution and pledge to continue working with my colleagues to build on American efforts to stamp out world hunger.”