Photo: WFP/Gabriela Vivacqua

What do all these families have in common? They’re sharing a meal together.

Published February 15, 2017
Last Updated March 1, 2019

When families, friends and even strangers enjoy a meal together, the moments they share at the table—long conversations, bursts of laughter, a sense of love and warmth—bind them to one another. The connections we create over food are more important than we realize.

Whether folks are driving over to the grocery store or the farmers’ market here in the U.S. or families in need are receiving direct food assistance or the ability to purchase food with e-cards—getting nutritious, delicious ingredients is the first step to making that shared meal a reality.

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Photo: WFP/Santosh Shahi

Above, Sunita prepares a meal for her daughter, using the nutrition-packed SuperCereal she received through the World Food Programme (WFP)’s Food for Assets program in Nepal. As part of a five-year joint initiative among U.N. agencies, this program aims to create economic improvements for women in rural areas through livelihood training, infrastructure construction and more.

Below, Hanaa and Steven prepare a meal of dolma—a beloved Iraqi delicacy that Hanaa has mastered over several decades. Hanaa and her son fled Mosul to the Ashti camp in Erbil governorate, where they receive cash assistance from WFP. She wishes she had enough money to volunteer and travel to displaced persons camps and centers to help other families fleeing conflict-ridden communities.

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Photo: WFP/Joelle Eid
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Photo: WFP/Gabriela Vivacqua

Above, Zahra’s children start tasting the asida she is preparing in Sudan’s Otash camp before she’s done. Asida is made with wheat flour dough and butter or honey—like a porridge—that is a popular dish eaten by hand in many north African countries, including Algeria, Eritrea and Tunisia.

Once a meal is ready, it’s time to enjoy.

“Come on, have some!” say the two Syrian women below, who share a platter of food in Turkey’s Harran camp that they purchased with WFP e-cards.

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Photo: WFP/Barkin Bulbul
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Photo: WFP/Ranak Martin

No matter who you are or where you live, a meal is not just food and nutrition. It is strength, dignity, belonging in the form of an intimate gathering. It is love.

Sharing that loving meal with one another in person is a tradition that has carried on for tens of thousands of years. Today, sharing it with someone halfway across the planet is a real thing. With WFP’s innovative ShareTheMeal app, it’s as easy as clicking on a big yellow button on your smartphone screen.

Share the Love, Share the Meal

Join us at the table. Make a difference. Download and give on the ShareTheMeal app today.