HungerU kicks off tour at MSU, educates students on world hunger
From left, “HungerU” representative Viviana Giraud talks with sophomore environmental studies and agriscience major Amy Guza on Monday, Oct. 8, 2012 in front of the Auditorium. HungerU is a mobile tour sponsored by Farmers Feeding the World that spotlights advanced agriculture’s role in ending hunger. James Ristau/The State News
Students who walked past the Auditorium on Monday afternoon might have been surprised by the somewhat unusual display parked in the front lawn: a massive, black 40-foot trailer dedicated to world hunger.
Monday marked the start of the HungerU mobile tour, a nationwide campaign sponsored by Farmers Feeding the World to help shine a light on the issue of world hunger. From 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., HungerU members met with students and shared information about food insecurity and starvation.
HungerU Global Marketing Associate Amanda Stephens cited the importance of raising public awareness about the issue of world hunger and, as a recent graduate of the University of Georgia, noted the influence college students can have.
“College students are deciding what they want to do with their lives,” she said. “(They) can really be passionate about things, so we really want to get people along with this cause.”
Throughout the afternoon, students also were encouraged to take part in a variety of activities, including pedal-tractor races and a raffle for an iPad giveaway. Although the activities provided entertainment for the guests, some students, including agribusiness management junior Jon Hart, left with a greater appreciation for the mobile tour’s mission.
“It’s a great initiative that they’re doing,” he said. “I think by trying to go out and help third-world countries to differentiate their crops is a great thing, and I’m really in support of it.”
Food insecurity is currently one of the leading causes of death in the world, and one in five people in the U.S. are labeled as being hungry. By 2050, crop production rates will need to double to provide an adequate amount of food for the growing population, according to a HungerU release.
Throughout the month of October, the HungerU mobile tour is scheduled to visit four other Midwest universities, including Kansas State, Illinois, Purdue and Ohio State. Although HungerU Director of Operations Brian Hogue said he considers the topic of world hunger to be this generation’s biggest issue, he believes the mobile tour can do more than just spotlight a dark issue.
“It’s a balance,” he said. “We need to show the crisis, but also the solution. That’s the cool thing about working with college students. All you need to do is present them with the facts, and they can see where there needs to be change.”