Run for Food
6th Annual Run for Food Race against Hunger Project
Themed “Food Prices: From crisis to stability”
JFRC representatives for the Run for Food Race.
Top Row from left: Student Life Assistant Gina Crovetti, Pete McGraw student of LUC, Frank Agnoli student of LUC; Bottom row from left: Marilyn Vitale Associate Director for Operations and Administrations, Cindy Bomben Associate Dean of Students, Student Life Assistant Cristina Cavalieri, participants Jackie Tranchita and Giusy Bevacqua.
Sunday October 16th 2011 marked the 6th annual Run for Food Race against Hunger Project. Held within the framework of World Food Day, Run for Food works to raise public awareness of the hunger issues facing our world. Almost 1 billion people, or one-sixth of the human population, suffer from malnourishment and hunger. The objective of the Run for Food race, and World Hunger Day at large, is to use the power of the sport to mobilize public opinion and contribute resources working towards the eradication of hunger. The race is organized by the Athletic Association Bancari Romani (GSBR) in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), the World Food Programme (WFP), amongst others. This year’s theme, “Food Prices: From crisis to stability”, attempted to focus attention on food security.
One of the main goals of the 6th edition of the Run for Food is fund raising. All the inscription fees of the race were donated to the FAO TeleFood projects in the Horn of Africa. Loyola University of Chicago’s John Felice Rome Center raised 520 Euro from its 52 participants in this year’s race. This was the largest participation from any one school in Rome and the JFRC received special recognition from race officials for their important contribution. The donations to TeleFood are not spent on administrative costs and instead help finance small agriculture, livestock and fishery projects, helping families in turn produce more food. Despite being small-scale, these projects make a significant impact on the lives of many.
FAO launched the TeleFood Programme in 1997 after the 1st World Food Summit. A strong part of this annual campaign involves harnessing the power of media, celebrities, and concerned citizens to help fight hunger through various awareness-raising events. Important public figures were present at this year’s Run for Food to show their support for the cause. Such figures included FAO Goodwill Ambassadors Gina Lollobrigida, Beatrice Faumuina, Justine Pasek, Carl Lewis, Raoul Bova, Anggun, WFP Goodwill Ambassador, Maria Grazia Cucinotta, and other celebrities such as Fiona May, Nino Benvenuti and Andrew Howe.
The John Felice Rome Center’s involvement began when U.S. Ambassador to the UN Food Agencies in Rome Ertharin Cousin visited the school to give an important speech discussing the issues surrounding the events and anniversary of the terrorist attacks on 9/11. When the students asked what they personally could do to help in the fight against hunger, Ambassador Cousin challenged them to represent Loyola in this year’s Run for Food. Low and behold, they exceeded that challenge and had the largest school participation. Both Ambassador Cousin and U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Miguel Díaz participated in the race as well.
The Run for Food race included a 10 kilometer competitive route as well as a 5 kilometer non-competitive option. All JFRC participants completed the non-competitive 5K race. The group consisted of Cindy Bomben, the Associate Dean of Students, her husband Daniele Signorini, Associate Director for Operations and Administrations Marilyn Vitale, Student Life Assistants Cristina Cavalieri and Gina Crovetti, friends of the group Jackie Tranchita and Giusy Bevacqua, and students Frank Agnoli and Pete McGraw, both of Loyola University of Chicago.
Following the race Ambassador Cousin and Ambassador Díaz hosted a cookout at Ambassador Cousin’s residence in Rome. Here, the JFRC group was able to mingle with other American participants related to the UN and their families. Hometown favorites such as American hamburgers, brats, potato salad, and potato chips were served while blues music completed the atmosphere. This was the first time Ambassador Cousin opened her home for a cookout of this nature, and all in attendance thoroughly hoped it would not be the last either.
This year’s Run for Food race was extremely successful at both raising awareness and raising funds to donate to the TeleFood Programme in the Horn of Africa. By harnessing the power of societal awareness and advances in technology, we can make crucial steps towards eradicating hunger. Loyola hopes to participate in this race annually, increasing participants as the years go on.