WASHINGTON: Auburn University and the UN World Food Program are spearheading a new campaign called Universities Fighting World Hunger.
More than 30 colleges and universities have joined together to develop various fundraising, educational programs, and other efforts to aid the malnourished both in the US and overseas in the last year, and the new campaign aims to increase the number to least 100 schools, with participants to attend a Second Annual War on Hunger Summit in February at the Auburn campus, in Alabama. The program launched October 16 at Georgetown University in Washington
Dr. June Henton, dean of Auburn's College of Human Sciences, said promotion of the initiative will be both formal and informal, involving academic associations such as the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant colleges, national fraternities and sororities, and sports programs. At each participating school, the goal is to create a "viral," sustainable enthusiasm for learning about and finding solutions to the problem of hunger.
"Projects to fight hunger will come and go," Fenton said. "Even with centers on campus that focus on hunger, when the people with passion leave or the money runs out, it's over. So our model is to create grassroots and academic components to the campaign, to integrate it into the core curriculum, so that the when this cohort of students is gone, the next group doesn't have to reinvent the wheel."
At Auburn, for example, activities to promote and contribute to the anti-hunger effort include a "Committee of 19," with representatives from every school at the university, the Greek system, and other student groups; promotions during football and basketball games; and academic assignments in public policy and PR courses.
Auburn is focusing on recruiting large state universities and colleges, while Georgetown College in Kentucky will work to recruit smaller colleges, including two-year schools, said Harriet Giles, Auburn's director of external relations, who said the campaign will also tie into a number of advocacy groups in addition to the UN World Food Program, including the Bread for the World, CARE, and Save the Children.