Patricia Young, Dies at 91

April 30, 2015

Patricia Young, World Hunger Activist & National Coordinator for FAO dies at age 91


Patricia Kinkaid Young, who campaigned to end hunger and encourage more equitable food distribution and nutrition globally over many decades as a volunteer in local, national and international settings, died on March 26, 2015 at the age of 91.

In the fall of 1966, Mrs. Young was one of eleven women who were selected to go to South Africa as a fact-finding Christian Causeways Team sponsored by Church Women United (under the sponsorship of the National Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches) to meet local church people and discuss issues relating to Apartheid. In 1969, she was Chair of the Task Force on Voluntary Action by Women for the White House Conference on Food, Nutrition and Health, and was selected as one of six participants to meet with President Nixon to emphasize the need for action on the Conference recommendations. A year later she became chairperson of the board of directors of the Community Nutrition Institute.

During the 70s she chaired the International Nestle Boycott Committee, a Project of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility of the NCC. She attended the World Food Congress at The Hague in 1970, the 1974 World Food Conference of the FAO, the 1979 World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development in Rome, and the UN Decade of Women Conference in Nairobi in 1985.

She received the ISU Distinguished Alumni Award in 1975. She was also awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters Degree from the University of Scranton in 1981, and the Alan Shawn Feinstein World Hunger Award for Public Service from Brown University for 1990-91.

Mrs. Young was National Coordinator for the U.S. National Committee for World Food Day, a commemoration established by the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) to raise public awareness of hunger and food security issues and to promote action to address those issues.  She held this position for twenty-nine years, from 1981 to 2010, when she ‘retired’ as a volunteer at age 87. The US WFD Committee oversaw a coalition of over 450 private, voluntary organizations.  Mrs. Young was an inspiration and personally helped Maria Martini, our founder create and launch World Food Day Canada.  Maria was touched by Mrs. Young’s willingness to take her by the hand and lead her through the start-up phase of her initiative with warmth, passion, and heart.

Mrs. Young’s work on World Food Day culminated in a successful project to develop a package of instructional materials in 14 languages entitled “Feeding Minds, Fighting Hunger” for use by teachers in discussing hunger and malnutrition issues in schools. In 1983, the City of Scranton chose World Food Day as its theme for UN Day and issued a Proclamation declaring October 24 as UN Day and Patricia Young Day.

Donations may be made to the World Food Day Memorial Fund in her memory care of: United States Committee for FAO 2121 K Street, NW, Suite 800-B, Washington, DC 20037

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