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15 Colleges Fighting World Hunger

Posted on Tuesday November 27, 2012 by Staff Writers


When politicians, college students with budding social consciousness, and Bono discuss world hunger, it always seems such a broad, nebulous concept that viable solutions initially appear impossible. At first, anyways. But breaking down the complex mass of geographical, political, cultural, economic, and environmental issues into more specific — even more localized — scenarios helps push genuine, sustainable change forward. Every campus will sport some sort of initiative devoted to the wider cause of “peace” or “hunger,” but the following have narrowed their approaches to offer up something more tangible and lasting. And they deserve applause for doing something, however seemingly small, rather than resorting to arbitrary armchair activism. Many of them know their resources only stretch within the surrounding cities, which still stays one of humanity’s nastiest, most needless dragons.

  1. Auburn University:

    On Feb. 3, 2012, Auburn University’s Board of Trustees voted to allow the school the funding and resources necessary to launch the International Hunger Institute. This in addition to the fact that the school already hosts the Universities Fighting World Hunger consortium, involving a partnership with no less than the United Nations’ World Food Programme. Both initiatives stem from its War on Hunger campaign, which launched in 2004, and the college continues standing as one of the academic leaders in combating food insecurity, poverty, and hunger at home and abroad alike. Auburn strives to create interdisciplinary, sustainable solutions by engaging multiple departments in the discussion as a reminder that these issues hold global significance.

  2. University of Missouri:

    One of the best strategies for combating global hunger involves educating the next generation of doers and thinkers about the gravity and reality of the situations at hand. Agriculture majors at Mizzou may pick sustainability as their emphasis in order to keep the movement pressing forward with new developments and technologies. Participants in the program go on to work for government and NGO organizations devoted to combating hunger without damaging the environment or succumbing to unethical practices; on the micro level they’re encouraged to take part in the Sustain Mizzou project which raises funds to provide the Central Missouri Food Bank with fresh, locally-grown, nutritious foodstuffs.

  3. Harvard University:

    The Global Hunger Initiative at Harvard University conducts research, provides internships, proposes technological developments, and pushes policies revolving around stopping malnutrition and hunger in the United States as well as foreign nations. With five different committees running the show, students, faculty, and administrators have plenty of options to confront the relevant issues either directly or indirectly. Despite its international thrust, GHI also involves itself with Boston-area homeless shelters and food banks, and hosts a yearly walk to raise money for Project Bread, a statewide organization with more or less identical goals.

  4. Kansas State University:

    Although the 2013 Universities Fighting World Hunger Summit will not be held on Kansas State University’s campus, it is still slated as the hosting body doing its part to further the discussion about ending global hunger, malnutrition, and food insecurity. Proposals for lectures, presentations, and workshops currently filter in for consideration, revolving mainly around the theme of sustainability’s role in chipping away at the serious issues at hand. Ultimately, participants from the represented colleges and universities as well as the United Nations World Food Programme hope to walk away from the experience with a clearer vision of ensuring sustainable practices feeding impoverished communities around the world.

  5. University of Minnesota:

    Most larger (and many of the smaller) higher ed campuses out there sport a service organization concerned with addressing hunger locally and globally. University of Minnesota’s aligns itself with Universities Fighting World Hunger, but changed its name to Project Food Security in 2012. Participants engage in all the expected activities, such as conferences, food drives, fundraisers, and research here, and step everything up to the next level by engaging other campus clubs in order to draw up bigger, better solutions and compile their resources together into a veritable Voltron of sustainability and world saving. In fact, PFS hopes its ideologies will find its way into UM’s overarching curriculum!

  6. Lackawanna College:

    At this small Pennsylvania campus, students enrolled in Ecology/Evolutionary Biology received an EarthBox for World Food Day Garden Kit upon returning from their summer vacations, each containing a lettuce plant for them to nurture. Once their personal gardens reached maturation and World Food Day occurred on Oct. 16, 2012 , the class participants voted on which local charitable organization would receive the greens of their labor. A concurrent food drive for nonperishable items also took place. The experiment proved such a success, students and faculty alike have decided to try and scale everything up for 2013 by ordering a plant for everyone on campus. Considering Lackawanna College sits nestled in a town where one out of every ten families suffers from food insecurity, the World Food Day project is sorely needed beyond the annual event. But their partnerships with local farms might very well provide the answer!

  7. Augustana College:

    Every year, this South Dakota campus picks a theme related to international issues as a means of encouraging its student body to think about the world beyond America. Augustana College assigned “World Hunger and Poverty” as the issue du jour of the 2011-2012 school year, with a diverse selection of programming meant to heighten awareness and inspire action far beyond one semester. Along with the expected lectures, the school also organized a basketball tournament fundraiser, an art show, a study abroad session in Guatemala, Hunger Walk, service projects at nearby reservations, and more.

  8. Leeward Community College:

    Part of the University of Hawaii, Leeward Community College fights world hunger through education by offering a Certificate in Community Food Security. Its coursework involves sustainable, organic agricultural practices and how to forge connections with nonprofit and for-profit local organizations in order to address hunger right in their neighborhoods. Completion requires 16 credits of in-class and hands-on practice, which familiarizes participants with the proper care and maintenance of native and imported flora and fauna. Despite this, though, much of the coursework still has its applications in other parts of the world for graduates hoping to live and help elsewhere.

  9. Colorado State University:

    Colorado State University plays host to the School of Global Environmental Sustainability, which obviously focuses on more than just worldwide hunger but still considers addressing the matter in an eco-friendly manner amongst its most pressing priorities. As “a leader in Food Security research,” it has launched inquiries into soil sustainability, disease-resistant crops, energy, waste, livestock, and more meant to keep regions best supplied with the necessary nutrition without violating human rights or environmental well-being. Beyond students and faculty, the School of Global Environmental Sustainability also invites researchers and professionals to take part in its extensive programming.

  10. Dickinson College:

    Pennsylvania-based Dickinson College runs its own 50-acre organic farm that also happens to double as a laboratory for sustainability and food security strategies. In addition to the school cafeteria and nearby restaurants, students in the agriculture department also supply over 500 families in Carlisle and surrounding areas through the nonprofit food bank Project S.H.A.R.E. 2011 saw Dickinson’s farm donate almost 3,500 pounds of fresh produce! Some of this came through the Farm Stand, which operates four times weekly and allows food insecure residents to select their own fresh fruits and vegetables, which helps over 950 nearby families, and even allows work exchange programming.

  11. Pennsylvania State University:

    Through its College of Agricultural Science, Penn State partners with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (or, at least, its money) for the Northeast Food Security Project. Rather than focusing exclusively on local or state initiatives, the program explores what works, what doesn’t, and what needs fixing along the global supply chain while supporting the American Northeast. In conjunction with other institutes of higher learning like the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Cornell, Columbia, Tufts, and more, the school also engages in research meant to address the needs of more than 300 counties in the region.

  12. Greenfield Community College:

    Starting in the Fall 2012 semester, this Massachusetts community college began offering an associate’s degree in liberal arts with an emphasis in farm and food systems. Graduates complete the program with an intensive knowledge of sustainable agricultural protocol applicable to local and global situations alike. Even locals are allowed to take part in learning more about landscape management, mushrooms, and co-ops for no credits as a means of furthering public knowledge of how to keep communities around the world properly fed. Greenfield Community College prides itself on offering an array of hands-on training meant to teach participants how to effectively analyze every cultural, political, economic, and (duh) environmental factor that shapes the food supply chain.

  13. Calvin College:

    For the 2011-2012 school year, Calvin College did its part to chip away at world hunger through an engaging lecture series covering a few different topics related to the subject. The Global Hunger and Food Security Lecture Series — presented as a joint effort by the biology and geography, geology, and environmental studies departments and the international development program — involved both professors as well as speakers outside the school and was open to the public and completely free for everyone! Covered subjects ranged from sustainability (a scorching hot topic on the food security scene these days), industrialization, genetics, soil fertility, geopolitics, and conservation, all of which feed into initiatives combating world hunger.

  14. Middlebury College:

    Middlebury College senior Alex Bea flexed his mad entrepreneurial skills in order to contribute to global food security and nutrition by serving up one of the most ubiquitous, sustainable, healthiest sources of protein and iron on the planet: crickets. Americans may scoff, but Bumu (short for Bug Munch), the company founded on campus, they raise, harvest, and bake the insects into inexpensive protein bars for export to underprivileged nations. However, in order to accomplish this, Bea and buddies require an investment and partnerships with government and nongovernment programs; competitions such as the Dell Social Innovation Challenge expressed interest, but ultimately deposited their money elsewhere. But we here at Best Colleges Online wish Bumu the best of luck and hope to see its creative (and chirping) solutions catch on someday soon!

  15. Washington State University and University of Idaho:

    On a more positive note, there are more academic projects out there addressing hunger and receiving mad money to transition their ideas into reality. A team consisting of University of Idaho and Washington State University food science students claimed victory at a 2012 Institute of Food Technology competition based around the theme of “Developing Solutions for Developing Countries.” Participants faced a challenge asking them to address nutrient deficiencies in the Kenyan diet by creating quick, efficient, inexpensive, and nutritious recipes using mangoes. And the winners produced mango mandazis, a traditional fried bread in the region.