Food banks converge on Houston to solve global hunger problem - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Food banks converge on Houston to solve global hunger problem

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Fighting hunger, not one country at a time, but all together this week, as representatives gathered from over 30 countries here in Houston.

"One of 17 people suffer from hunger," said Valeria Pena of Chile. More than 850 million people worldwide  go hungry everyday.

Locally, though, it's one in four families who struggle to buy groceries.

It's an international issue that's brought representatives from all over the world to learn from the other countries and how they operate their versions of "food banks."

"When we looked, Houston is a town where so many people who are here came from somewhere else in the world and all kinds of nationalities," said Jeff Klein, President and CEO of the Global Food Banking Network.

And because Houston is so diverse, that's why organizers decided to host this years week long summit at Houston's Food Bank headquarters.

The event consists of educational seminars and networking opportunities for folks to learn more about the food banking industry.

"Programs, for example school feeding programs, if its implemented in the country in a way better than I do, I correct," said Moez El Shohdi of the food bank in Egypt.

While others explained some of the challenges they face back home.

"I come here to the U.S. here in Houston and we see these incredible huge food banks, and in Hong Kong there's just no space to have this kind of facility," said Gabrielle Kirstein.

Exchanging notes is how each will interact before implementing any new changes in their home countries where often governing laws are another obstacle.

"We are not the same like you here in Houston. It's a huge thing in Chile. We just work with foundations or agencies that are in our metropolitan city," says Valeria Pena.

"Some countries have disincentives for donating food. Some don't allow a tax deduction. Some don't provide any encouragement to do that."

But this summit is meant to be helpful in finding a global solution in the fight against hunger.

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