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Food For Thought: Sunday Dinner on World Food Day

October 3, 2011

HARRISBURG, Penn. - Sunday dinners play an important role in the lives of Pennsylvanians, and the international relief and development organization Oxfam wants the Sunday sitdown on Oct. 16 to include some food for thought. That Sunday is World Food Day, and Oxfam Economic Justice Campaign manager Vicky Rateau calls it an ideal opportunity to look beyond what is on our plates and think globally.

"People would share a meal and start talking about how we can fix our broken food system, starting with who produces our food, what people's favorite foods are and so on, and they would have these conversations over dinner."

Rateau says World Food Day is also a chance to put together a potluck meal and sit down with friends or groups to get the same dialogue going. In Pennsylvania and the rest of the country it is easy to get food, so it is also easy to take food for granted, Rateau says - but that's not the case in many areas of the world, she adds.

"Americans spend about 30 percent of their income on food. People in poor communities around the world often spend 80 percent of their income on food."

Rateau says Oxfam is offering up a helping hand to make World Food Day more appetizing.

"People can order free materials, including place mats and recipe cards by celebrity cooks and chefs. There's also a discussion guide on our website, www.oxfamamerica.org."

According to Oxfam, factors like a growing population, climate change and a lack of resources can be overcome if markets open up to more small-scale food producers.

Tom Joseph, Public News Service - PA