Bloomberg World Food Day 2013 - NYCAs Bloomberg employees, we have ready access to a steady supply of food twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, thanks to the well-stocked pantries the company provides to offices globally. What more powerful way to focus attention on the fact that 870 million people around the world don’t have enough to eat than to shut down our pantries, even if only for one day?

Bloomberg has observed World Food Day since 2002 by removing everything but tea, coffee and water from kitchens in Bloomberg offices all over the world. “It’s the one day every year when we empty the pantries to raise awareness of hunger,” says Sarah Booth, a member of the Philanthropy team in New York.

In lieu of the food employees would have eaten, Bloomberg donates money to food pantries around the world. Employees are encouraged to donate money and time to a variety of organizations focused on feeding the hungry.

In New York, employees will volunteer with City Harvest’s Greenmarket Rescue, which collects and distributes an average of 2,000 pounds of leftover produce every day from farmers at the Union Square Greenmarket. In Sao Paolo, volunteer projects will support Banco de Alimentos.

Princeton, N.J.-based volunteer opportunities are at the Mercer Street Friends Food Bank in Ewing, N.J., and the Home Front Emergency Food Pantry in Lawrenceville, N.J., where helpers will sort donations and get them ready for distribution.

Empty pantries in Bloomberg's offices in Sao Paulo.

Empty pantries in Bloomberg’s offices in Sao Paulo.

In London, volunteers will do 10 evening soup runs wit the Simon Community, bringing food clothes ad blankets to London’s homeless in three locations. Volunteers also will prepare and serve meals to the homeless through two food preparation projects with the Soup Kitchen.

In Tokyo, Bloomberg volunteers will help the soup kitchen at Second Harvest, the only national food bank in Japan, which works to provide food security for those in need while helping companies deliver their food donations.

The Hong Kong Office is supporting Feeding Hong Kong, and employees will volunteer at a series of Bread Runs starting later this month. Activities in the Singapore office, including a food drive and volunteer help in the soup kitchen, will support Willing Hearts, a charity that aims to improve the lives of the underprivileged and marginalized by giving them their “daily bread.”

Empty pantries in Bloomberg's offices in Paris.

Empty pantries in Bloomberg’s offices in Paris.