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College Students Hear Message of Hope from UN Chief

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United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon holding the famous red cup which symbolizes the movement to provide all children worldwide with school meals. Mount St. Joseph students listed to presentations both at the United Nations and on campus about the importance of school meals in ending hunger and poverty. (photo courtesy of the UN World Food Program)

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon holding the famous red cup which symbolizes the movement to provide all children worldwide with school meals. Mount St. Joseph students listened to presentations both at the United Nations and on campus about the importance of school meals in ending hunger and poverty. (photo courtesy of the UN World Food Program)

Last month students from the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati traveled to the United Nations in New York. Their mission was to learn about the UN Development goals to end world hunger and poverty.

The students attended a presentation by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. The Secretary General talked about bread and butter. Not the appetizer kind. What he meant was how children around the globe needed food, but also education.

The Secretary General told a story about growing up during the Korean War. Schools were destroyed during the fighting and children attended class outdoors, under shade of trees. When it rained there was no class.

The Secretary General told how he and other children were hungry for food, but also for knowledge. “It’s not only bread and butter,” he said, “you need to have knowledge and education.” Getting children an education is a top priority worldwide.

The students, upon returning to campus, learned more about the importance of food and education for children. The story of war-time Korea further illustrated this point. A former Cincinnati resident, Major Charles Arnold, led a UN civil assistance team that fed Korean refugee children. Without this food, the children would have suffered severe malnutrition.

The Charity CARE, with support from the U.S. Food for Peace program, provided millions of Korean children with school feeding over the decade following the war. This was a key strategy in fighting malnutrition and boosting school enrollment and learning.

Today, the United Nations World Food Program spearheads a global effort to provide all children with school meals. It’s called the Fill the Red Cup Campaign.

MSJ students received red cups from the World Food Program USA last week as a symbol of this school feeding movement. They also listened to historic messages from General Dwight Eisenhower, who spoke in 1948 at the United Nations Crusade for Children. Ike emphasized how starving children, scrapping for food, could not grow up to be apostles of peace. Food aid is essential now as it was after World War II.

The Mount campus currently fundraises for UN school feeding programs and Feeding America through its Charity Miles team. The UN class is planning to continue to spread Ban Ki-Moon’s message of hope, food and education for all.

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About William Lambers

William Lambers is the author of several books including Ending World Hunger: School Lunches for Kids Around the World. This book features over 50 interviews with officials from the UN World Food Programme and other charities discussing school feeding programs that fight child hunger. He is also the author of Nuclear Weapons, The Road to Peace: From the Disarming of the Great Lakes to the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, Open Skies for Peace, The Spirit of the Marshall Plan: Taking Action Against World Hunger, School Lunches for Kids Around the World, The Roadmap to End Global Hunger, From War to Peace and the Battle of Britain. He is also a writer for the History News Service. His articles have been published by newspapers including the Cincinnati Enquirer, Des Moines Register, the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Buffalo News, San Diego Union Tribune, the Providence Journal, Free Lance-Star (VA), the Bakersfield Californian, the Washington Post, Miami Herald (FL), Chicago Sun-Times, the Patriot Ledger (MA), Charleston Sunday Gazette Mail (WV), the Cincinnati Post, Salt Lake Tribune (UT), North Adams Transcript (MA), Wichita Eagle (KS), Monterey Herald (CA), Athens Banner-Herald (GA) and the Duluth News Journal. His articles also appear on History News Network (HNN) and Think Africa Press. Mr. Lambers is a graduate of the College of Mount St. Joseph in Ohio with degrees in Liberal Arts (BA) and Organizational Leadership (MS). He is also a member of the Feeding America Blogger Council.
  • Dr Joseph S. Maresca

    Read “Food First” by Lappe’. This is an excellent book on how to get the knowledge of agriculture into the global community and ultimately to the local level in countries where food is scarce.