By Tamas Mondovics

Proving its continued commitment of community support, Mosaic Company donated $10,000 each to twelve local food-banks totaling $120,000 during a special hunger-relief forum held last month at the Florida State Fairgrounds, Florida Center building.

“Mosaic hosted the forum to spearhead a regional conversation about hunger relief efforts and the need to create a sustainable food supply,” said Mosaic spokesperson, Martha Monfried. “As the world population continues to increase, food security is becoming a growing concern. The forum is just one way Mosaic hopes to raise awareness about the critical issue of world hunger.”

The event featured renowned National Geographic Photographer, John Stanmeyer, and a local panel of experts as it drew attention to the U.S., including Florida, where one in six people struggles with hunger, as well as to the more than 850 million people around the world who don’t know where they will get their next meal.

With WFLA News Channel 8 Anchor, Keith Cate, as program emcee, the event discussed the challenges facing the local food supply and featured a live panel including Thomas Mantz, executive director of Feeding America Tampa Bay; Patrizia La Trecchia, Ph.D., associate professor at the University of South Florida Patel College of Global Sustainability; David Spivey, Plant City strawberry grower; and Neil Beckingham, sustainability manager for The Mosaic Company.

“By uniting such community leaders and organizations throughout Central Florida, Mosaic intends to ignite community dialogue about food security and the valuable roles various community organizations, companies, educators and industries can play in providing solutions,” Monfried said.

Mantz emphasized the challenges while he also mentioned that one out of four children are hungry in the Tampa Bay area.

“To most of us much has been given,” Mantz said, but added, “We have to be stewards of our communities and do whatever it takes to raise awareness of this problem.”

As the keynote speaker, Stanmeyer, shared his photos and insights from his travels while documenting the global food crisis.

Entitled, “The End of Plenty,” Stanmeyer’s photos and presentation related to food production, agriculture, consequences of weather, greed as well as governmental food mismanagement. It took attendees to Iowa, the Philippines, India, Egypt, Peru, Canada, Brazil, China and Bangladesh, ending with pictures of the long-lasting food shortage in Ethiopia.

“I can only hope that the photos make people realize the magnitude of how important it is for us to be able to afford food,” Stanmeyer said. “If people felt moved by what they saw today, I did my job. If not, I have to do better.

Pointing to the estimated global population growth, which is said to reach 9 billion by 2040 Stanmeyer asked “How are we going to feed ourselves? The issue isn’t just about our neighbors abroad, it’s about our neighbors here at home.”

Stanmeyer praised Mosaic for its efforts as one of the world’s leading producers and marketers of concentrated phosphate and potash crop, and as a single source provider of phosphate and potash fertilizers and feed ingredients for the global agriculture industry.

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