NIGERIA—Lions International, District 404B2, a part of Lions Clubs International, has unveiled an ambitious plan to build a US$164,294 food bank in Lagos as part of its efforts to alleviate food scarcity and severe hunger in Nigeria.

This initiative, which aims to provide hunger relief to 10,000 residents of the metropolitan city, is part of their community service projects and aligns with their core focus areas.

The district president, Tolulope Senbanjo, made the announcement during his inauguration, where he took over leadership from the outgoing District Governor, Lion Professor Dayo Emmanuel Fagbohun, for the 2023/2024 Lions service year.

We plan to raise N250 million (US$ 164,294) to establish a world-class food bank in Lagos, which we hope will serve at least 10,000 people annually,” Senbanjo said.

We will appeal to the government for land and seek funds to build the structure. Additionally, we will partner with food production companies like Nestle and Flour Mill, and our members will also contribute food items.”

The move comes as the United Nations announces the allocation of $11 million to address the food crisis surging in Nigeria’s northeast.

The UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, Martin Griffith, disclosed this on X, a microblogging site. Griffith said the allocation was drawn from the UN Central Emergency Response Funds (UNCERF).

Continued conflict, climate change, inflation, and rising food prices are key drivers of this alarming trend. Some 26.5 million people across the country are now projected to face acute hunger in the June-August 2024 lean season, he revealed.

To ensure inclusivity, the project will be executed in three phases, he added.

The first phase involves constructing a storage facility where Lagos community members can access food items.

The second phase will see volunteers visiting identified communities in need of food supplies. With a volunteer base of over 1,900 members, the district has ample manpower to carry out these activities.

The third phase is the digital aspect, where the firm will partner with local food vendors in different communities and provide residents or students with vouchers to collect food. This will ensure access for people in rural areas, Senbanjo explained.

A fundraising luncheon for the food bank and other community service projects is scheduled for August 3, 2024.

Senbanjo also highlighted other district plans, including quarterly medical missions in Osun, Ekiti, Kwara, and Lagos.

Taiwo Adewunmi, the Constitutional Area Leader, emphasized the importance of government partnership.

We cannot do this alone; we need the support of the government, the private sector, and other organizations,” Adewunmi said.

With the announcement of the food bank project, Lions International, District 404B2, continues its commitment to community service and addressing pressing issues such as hunger in Nigeria.

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