Gianni Fava, regional minister of agriculture from Italy’s Lombardy region, gave the opening remarks at the “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life” forum in Miami. The event served as the official U.S. pre-launch for EXPO Milan 2015 and celebrated the United States’ support and participation in the upcoming World’s Fair.
The National Italian American Foundation presented a $25,000 educational grant to Miami Dade College at the event. On hand were NIAF Chairman Joseph V. Del Raso, President John M. Viola and General Counsel Arthur J. Furia.
“The impact of the $25,000 grant demonstrates the foundation’s commitment and support in South Florida as well as recognizes Miami Dade College for the many opportunities it has afforded first-generation immigrants from diverse ethnicities and countries of origin,” Del Raso said.
According to Viola, “NIAF is proud of our partnership with Lombardia, the foundation’s 2015 Region of Honor. Throughout the year and across the nation, this partnership has brought this beautiful region and the exciting Expo Milan 2015 to so many in the United States, and we salute the Regione Lombardia and its officials as they showcase American innovation in agriculture, nutrition and health around the globe.” The Milan EXPO 2015 opens on May 1 and will close on October 31, 2015.
The day-long event at Miami Dade College, “Feeding the Planet-Energy for Life,” explored America’s relationship with the Old World and how diverse cultural heritage defines its identity through food. The forum also looked at how modern-day concerns and new trends have impacted the health, nutrition and tastes of a nation.
“The March 12 conference represents one of the most important international appointments leading up to the next World’s Fair. We are proud to have NIAF’s Vice Chair Patricia de Stacy Harrison; Board Member Dr. Antonio Giordano; former NIAF gala honorees: Lidia Bastianich, celebrity chef and television host; and Tony May, renowned Italian restaurateur, who guided the discussions and shed light on long-term solutions during this forum,” Furia said.
During the forum, Bastianich, an award-winning restaurateur specializing in Italian cuisine, received the Food for Life Award. She has authored several books and hosted a series of cooking shows, including “Lidia’s Family Table.”
Miami Dade College is the largest and most diverse college in the nation, with seven campuses, two centers and more than 165,000 students from across the world.