Hunger Banquet disply by Ernest Morales-via CC license, FlickrTen thousand empty plates were lined up in rows on the Champ de Mars next to the Eiffel Tower in Paris today to mark the United Nations’ World Food Day.

French NGO Action Against Hunger set up the display to draw attention to the 10,000 children who die each day of malnutrition.

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization has launched an online anti-hunger petition, which the FAO has dubbed the “1 billion hungry project.”

(Photo credit: Ernest Morales, Creative Commons)

In a statement to the World Food Day ceremony in Rome, Pope Benedict XVI said that “in order to eliminate hunger and malnutrition, obstacles of self-interest must be overcome so as to make room for a fruitful gratuitousness, manifested in international cooperation as an expression of genuine fraternity.”

“Everyone – from individuals to the organizations of civil society, States and international institutions – needs to give priority to one of the most urgent goals for the human family: freedom from hunger.”

The World Food Program also appointed four new FAO Goodwill Ambassadors, including Canadian singer Céline Dion and American actress Susan Sarandon.

By becoming FAO Goodwill Ambassadors, well-known personalities commit themselves personally and professionally to address the universal humanitarian goal of food security for the world. Ms. Sarandon appeared in person, and Ms. Dion by video, at a ceremony in Rome today marking World Food Day,

(READ more on Paris story at the CBC) – Thanks to John Pal for sending the link!

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