January 8, 2015

PHOTO / OPPORTUNITIES: EU and WFP launch photo competition with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver

During the coming holiday season the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the European Union (EU) will shine a spotlight on the universal custom of the family meal, by launching today the Family Meal Photo Competition, with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver on the judging panel.

The competition is part of a wider awareness raising campaign by WFP and the European Commission's Department for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) that aims to draw attention to the fact that hunger is the world's most solvable problem.

The families photographed by Chris Terry in Myanmar, Ecuador and Jordan represent tens of millions of refugees forced from their homes because of conflict in their home country or in Colombia and Syria. The families in Chad and Niger live in extreme poverty on the edge of the desert and the front line of climate change, and are also representative of millions more in dozens of other countries. While they have temporarily lost the ability to provide enough food to remain healthy and enable their children to grow to their full potential, WFP can step in to help - thanks to EU funds.

With its people-centred approach, EU food assistance aims to support the needs of vulnerable, food-insecure people in a way which is both efficient and effective, yet preserving recipients' dignity and allowing them to start rebuilding their lives. These families' circumstances are considerably more difficult than those faced by the average European.

"Everyone I photographed was so generous with their time and hospitality.  They invited me into their homes and communities and allowed me to photograph them while they were at a vulnerable time in their lives," Terry says.

From today until 11 January 2015, people around the world are asked to capture on camera why sharing a family meal is important to them. Chef Jamie Oliver, the photo competition's judge, adds: "Taking the time to share a healthy, nutritious meal together is the heart and soul of families all over the world. The Family Meal Project shows, through incredible photography and inspiring stories, that enjoying a meal with loved ones is a universal thing, happening at dinner tables everywhere. Please snap and share why family meals are important to you."

The winners will have their photo included in the travelling Family Meal photo exhibition, which will be displayed in European capital cities in 2015.


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