A 150-nation ''birthday party'' that reminds people not to waste food: That's the prospect for World Food Day (WFD) next Saturday, Oct. 16. It will be marked in member nations of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), whose founding it commemorates.
Patricia Young, United States coordinator for the National Committee for World Food Day, said last year's response to WFD was ''exceptional around the world,'' and this year ''there has been an increase in interest, very clearly.'' And countries, organizations, and individuals are already planning their observance for 1983.
Ms. Young says the national committee has received a flood of letters from concerned children. School principals and boards of education around the country have also been requesting materials.
An FAO publication states that in Mozambique, schoolchildren helped with the annual wheat harvest at the Momba State Farm, while in Vietnam the Youth Pioneer Brigade worked to educate peers on the protection and care of plants and trees. More than 50 countries held writing contests, and school garden contests were also a popular event.
Last fall, a few home economics students in Maryland wanted to get involved in World Food Day. As they discussed the possibility with friends and relatives , interest multiplied, and when the day rolled around the whole school and community were involved.
A WFD curriculum plan for teaching children about food and hunger encourages action, not guilt. It recommends not only conveying information, but channeling the students' desire to act.