World Food Day, 1981
By the President of the United States of America
The well-being of all people depends fundamentally upon an adequate and reliable supply of food.
The United States is blessed with abundant land, fertile soil, adequate water, and a favorable climate. Upon this natural base, Americans have erected a sound system of agriculture, founded on the right of private property ownership, the opportunity to earn rewards for honest toil and investment, the freedom to exchange in the marketplace, the availability of essential credit, the application of new scientific discoveries and technologies, and the primacy of the independent family farm. The result has been an unparalleled agricultural bounty, capable of feeding our own people and millions of people around the world.
Today, many nations lack either the natural endowments or the system of incentives to private enterprise that are critical to successful agriculture. Many millions of people, particularly in the Third World, and where government policies have denied land ownership and market incentives to their farmers, are suffering from hunger and malnutrition.
Americans have traditionally been generous in sharing our agricultural abundance and technology with those less fortunate than ourselves. Since the beginning of the Food for Peace program in 1954, more than 387 million tons of American food aid, valued at more than $30 billion, have been provided to the hungry peoples of the world. American agricultural development assistance programs have helped peoples all over the world to improve their food production.
Our efforts to alleviate hunger have complemented those of other members of the international community. We salute particularly the tireless efforts of the Food and Agriculture Organization which, on World Food Day, celebrates thirty-six years of service in the effort to alleviate hunger and malnutrition.
To focus worldwide public attention on the world's food problem, 147 member nations of the Food and Agriculture Organization have unanimously urged individual nations to commemorate October 16 as World Food Day. The Congress of the United States has responded by adopting a Joint Resolution in support of this objective.
On this occasion, let us rededicate ourselves to continuing and strengthening our efforts to assist the people of other lands to work toward the elimination of hunger, to develop strong agricultural bases built upon sound principles, and to engage in mutually beneficial commercial trade between our countries.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, RONALD REAGAN, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim October 16, 1981, as "World Food Day", and do call upon the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and sixth.