Students from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) hosted HungerU on Monday, September 30 and Tuesday, October 1 as the organization made its first visit to the University of Delaware. The event was co-sponsored by Alpha Zeta (AZ), Sigma Alpha (SA) and Alpha Gamma Rho (AGR), as they share a common special interest in agriculture and food sustainability.
HungerU, a national awareness campaign that educates on the global food crisis, is currently on tour visiting college campuses along the east coast, engaging students in conversations about world hunger and food security via a mobile, interactive exhibit. The organization is sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, DuPont, Famers Feeding the World, Stop Hunger Now and Universities Fighting World Hunger.
The tractor-trailer arrived on campus and stationed itself between Drake Hall and Colburn Lab. It included interactive, touch-monitor screens that displayed information from the Food Security Index for 107 different countries. Students also got the opportunity to spin a wheel for free merchandise if they stopped to engage in a conversation with the three crew members at the trailer. Merchandise ranged from mugs and phone chargers to iPads and t-shirts.
On the evening of October 1, Stop Hunger Now, a partnering program collaborating on events with HungerU, hosted a meal-packaging event in the Perkins Bacchus Theatre where about 100 volunteers–ranging from students and professors to young children–came out to package and box 21,600 meals in about an hour and a half. Stations included a box making and labeling station, a funnel station for scooping rice, soy meal, vitamin packets and vegetables into baggies, and a weighing and sealing station for the bags.
“HungerU works in conjunction with Stop Hunger Now, which is an optional event, ” said Sabrina Sterlacci, a junior in CANR and the chapter assessment program chair for AZ and primary student liaison for the event. “I decided to organize it because I figured it would be silly to have HungerU come to campus to educate students without providing those students an opportunity to do something with what they learned.”
The meals packaged during the event will be sent overseas to orphanages or schools in impoverished areas.
Before the meal packaging event began, a Stop Hunger Now representative gave a small speech on global hunger facts. Volunteers learned that 2.6 million children, about one child every 6 seconds, die each year from being under-nourished. They were also told that there is enough food on the planet to feed every human 4.3 lbs per day, just in crop-foods. Spreading awareness of those statistics is the hope Stop Hunger Now and HungerU have for enacting change.
Being personally inspired by HungerU’s mission, Sterlacci said “My expectation was that HungerU would educate students about the global hunger crisis and help students gain further perspective about how fortunate most of us are in the United States.”
Before Stop Hunger Now could come to campus, AZ, SA and AGR were charged with the task of raising $1,200 to bring them and the supplies to hold the packaging event. In just under one month, the groups were able to surpass that goal. The organizations thank the efforts of their own members for their hard work in fundraising, all those that donated, the Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC) and Greek Council for their support.
AZ, SA and AGR plan to make the affair an annual and collaborative event, to ensure no child be stripped of their potential because they do not have enough to eat and to spread their common mission of increasing agriculture-related literacy in the United States.
Article by Angela Carcione