Dinajpur, Bangladesh – In a remarkable celebration of World Food Safety Day 2023, the Nutrition in City Ecosystems (NICE) project along with Dinajpur Municipality rose awareness for nutritious and safe foods on 7 June 2023. With this year’s theme being “Food Standard Saves Lives”, NICE showcased its unwavering commitment to enhancing nutrition and health among urban communities.
A key highlight of the event was the demonstration of NICE’s pioneering efforts in creating nutrition packages specifically tailored to meet the dietary needs of city dwellers. These packages included a range of essential food items such as zinc biofortified rice, mustard oil, lentils, and chickpeas. Moreover, to celebrate the local agricultural production, the packages featured freshly harvested brinjal, bitter gourd, and mangoes sourced directly from NICE supported Farmers’ Hubs.
NICE proudly collaborated with farmers from the Rajuria and Purnobha Farmers’ Hubs, who played a crucial role in supplying the nutritious produce for the event. Two farmers contributed a total of 200 kg of brinjal, while another one was providing even 150 kg. Additionally, 200 kg of bitter gourd were received from the Purnobha Farmers’ Hub, showcasing the vibrant and sustainable agricultural practices prevalent in Dinajpur.
The distinguished presence of esteemed guests at the event added to the significance of the occasion. Notable attendees included Sayeed Jahangir Alam, Mayor of Dinajpur Municipality; Md. Mushifukur Rahman, Food Safety Officer at BFSA; Md. Saiful Islam, Senior Health Education Officer from the Civil Service Office; and Muhammad Abdullah, Councilor of Ward 3. Their participation underscored the collective determination to promote food safety and nutrition within the municipality.
Mayor Sayeed Jahangir Alam expressed his gratitude for the NICE project and shared how NICE inspired him to personally take the initiative to cultivate a rooftop garden, planting spinach and red amaranth for consumption. He further emphasized his commitment to safe and nutritious food, pledging to advocate for these practices throughout the community.
Md. Saiful Islam, the Senior Health Education Officer of Dinajpur municipality, drew attention to the alarming rise in food-related illnesses and cancers caused by unsafe food consumption. On this World Food Safety Day he urged city dwellers to prioritize purchasing safe vegetables from NICE’s vegetable carts, which ensure the availability of safe produce for all.
The event culminated in the distribution of NICE sponsored nutrition packages to 200 beneficiaries comprising 145 females and 55 males. These packages will contribute significantly to improving recipient’s micronutrient intake and well-being, offering a tangible representation of NICE’s mission in action.