World Food Week in Des Moines

Photo caption: Libby, Claude the Sweet Potato, and World Food Prize President Ken Quinn

Last Tuesday was World Food Day but here in Des Moines, Iowa, it felt like World Food Week!

While global leaders like UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon were gathering in Des Moines for the annual World Food Prize, ONE members, local businesses and organizations were raising awareness and taking action against malnutrition. Ten restaurants in Des Moines led the way with the Heat Tweet Takeover – a city-wide Tweet-up part of our national Sweet Potatoes on the Menu, Nutrition on the Agenda campaign. Many restaurants added their own sweet potato dish for the day, encouraged patrons to participate and promoted the campaign via their own social media networks!

To kick off the Heat Tweet Takeover, ONE hosted a special brunch at Proof, one of our participating restaurants, while Chefs Sean Wilson and Hal Jasa shared their support for the campaign and even made us sweet potato muffins! Our special guest speaker was Cooper Munroe, co-founder of themotherhood.com and a ONE Moms Advisory Board Member. Cooper spoke to guests about her experiences with ONE Moms, their trip to Kenya last year, the power of one person’s voice and how we can use technology and social media to make a real difference in the world. This ended appropriately as the Heat Tweet was starting all across the country, so our attendees got out their phones and joined in asking world leaders to make nutrition a priority!

Dan Bosman Mars Cafe
 

Dan Bosman of Mars Cafe
On top of all this, ONE had a part in the World Food Prize again this year! I had the honor of being the emcee at the Iowa Hunger Summit, kicking off the day talking about the Heat Tweet to more than 600 attendees and then hearing a keynote during the luncheon from ONE Board Member Howard Buffett. Cooper also represented ONE and our amazing ONE Moms sitting on two panel discussions during the World Food Prize symposium. Claude the sweet potato even made an appearance at the events and had a great time taking pictures with attendees who stopped by the booth.

Claude at WFP 2
 

Claude making his big appearance
Chefs Sean and Hal
 

Chefs Sean and Hal
This years World Food Prize Laureate was Dr. Daniel Hillel, an Israeli scientist who pioneered a radically innovative way of producing thriving crops in extremely dry-land regions. When UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon gave his opening remarks at the Laureate Ceremony he said Dr. Hillel “Stared at hard circumstances and instead of waiting for a rainstorm, he had a brainstorm.”

I believe this is exactly what ONE members are currently doing with the nutrition campaign. We are staring at some hard and extremely upsetting numbers deaths and permanent stunting, especially in children, related to malnutrition and instead of waiting for an answer we are taking action and raising our voices to make sure this is a priority on the agenda. Please join us and take action today!