Winners Announced In WFP-EU Photo Competition, Shining Spotlight On The Central Role Of The ‘Family Meal’

‘Khauchi Papa, a special meal in the highlands of Laos’ is the first winner of the Family Meal photo competition selected by Jamie Oliver. Photographer: Ari Vitikainen.

BRUSSELS – The winners of a photo competition judged by chef and campaigner Jamie Oliver, which was launched to raise awareness of the importance of ‘the family meal’ and its role in achieving Zero Hunger, were announced today by Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), Ertharin Cousin and European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides.

Speaking at the European Parliament, where she also opened a WFP-EU photo exhibition titled: The Family Meal – What brings us together?, Cousin praised the photographers for highlighting the importance of food and nutrition in everyday life and the role families play in achieving Zero Hunger.

“These photographs inspire because they demonstrate the simple yet powerful role provided by sitting together and eating as a family in every country and all cultures around the world. Not everyone in the world can share this opportunity – 805 million people don’t have enough nutritious food to live a healthy and productive life. For this reason WFP and our partners are working together with the EU to end hunger and chronic malnutrition around the globe,” Cousin said.

The exhibition and the competition are part of a campaign launched last year by WFP and funded by the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO). The aim is to raise awareness among Europe’s citizens about the food assistance WFP and the EU provide to vulnerable families around the world and to highlight the fact that hunger can be eliminated in our lifetime.
The competition’s three winners are Ari Vitikainen, for “Khauchi Papa, a special meal in the highlands of Laos”, Breech Asher Harani’s “Candlelight Supper” from the Philippines, and Darine Ndihokubwayo, whose picture of street children in Burundi enjoying a Sunday meal received 175 online votes. The winners can be viewed at

“I congratulate the three winners of the photo competition,” said Commissioner Stylianides. “The winning contributions raise awareness of the everyday reality of mothers and fathers in humanitarian crises, struggling to provide food for their families. While they have temporarily lost the ability to provide enough food to remain healthy and enable their children to grow to their full potential, the EU-WFP partnership has been able to help them.”  

In a statement made after he judged the competition, chef and campaigner Jamie Oliver said: “Ari’s colourful shot from Laos is a fantastic example of how important and fun it can be to prepare and share a meal with your loved ones.  A family meal might seem like one of the most basic things in the world, but it’s easy to forget that this isn’t a given, and there are many people that struggle to do this. It’s a big issue, and I hope this competition will help to raise awareness of that.”

Photographer Chris Terry, who was commissioned by WFP to take the photos for the exhibition at the parliament, said: “Breech’s candle-lit image of the family eating during a power outage has a lovely intimacy and warmth.  It draws the viewer in, emphasising the human need to gather around light, and company, when sharing a meal.”

The winner of the public vote, Darine Ndihokubwayo, sent in her response: “This nomination will go to all the orphan children in Burundi, who are not lucky enough to have a family to share their daily meal with.”

The three finalists will be featured in the WFP-EU family meal exhibition travelling throughout European countries until November 2015.

To discover more about the family meal project visit:

View the winning photos along with a small sample of great images submitted for the competition.

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WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 75 countries.

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For more information please contact (email address:
Evin Joyce, WFP/Brussels, Tel. +32 2 550 16 20, Mob. +32 4 965 074 32
Beatrix Senoner, WFP/Brussels, Tel. +32 2 500 09 17, Mob. +32 4 857 187 57