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Colleges Vital for Team Effort to Fight World Hunger

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The director of the UN World Food Programme, Josette Sheeran, likes to talk about teamwork as much as any basketball or football coach. She rightfully stresses that ending world hunger requires great efforts across many areas of society.

The highest levels of government have to be engaged. So too must corporations, charities and the public. Colleges, in particular, can play an important role, not just for learning about global hunger but taking action.

Recently I published a story about the Oxfam chapter at Ball State University, which is advocating for Senate passage of the Global Food Security Act. With hunger afflicting nearly one billion people and jeopardizing the stability of countries worldwide, this legislation needs to be top priority.

At other colleges, students have pitched in through fundraising and increasing awareness of global hunger. At the College of Mount St. Joseph (MSJ) Sherrie Kleinholz, Liz Rettig, and Jamie Whisman held a fundraiser through their student psychology club. The beneficiaries included a Catholic Relief Services school feeding program in Sudan, plumpy’nut producer Edesia, and the Aschiana Foundation. This global hunger relief effort was all part of a larger fundraiser for the YWCA. 

There are usually many fundraisers taking place at schools for great causes. There may be ways you can include a global hunger relief component as part of one of these events.  For example, one of the students at MSJ was actually pitching in on several fundraisers, including one for a memorial scholarship in honor of Kira Gilbert, an alumna who tragically passed away at age 22.  Incidentally, Gilbert was a supporter of Christian Childrens’ Fund (ChildFund), a member of the Roadmap to End Global Hunger coalition.

At Georgetown University a group of students, led my Morial Shah, has formed the Pakistan Flood Relief Task Force. Shah was in Pakistan at the outset of the massive flooding in August. She helped Pakistanis in need and since returning to Georgetown has continued her work with fundraising and advocacy.

This Task Force has been diligently trying to bring attention to the often-ignored crisis of hunger and suffering in Pakistan. At Global Hunger Watch, Shah provides a list of what the group has accomplished so far.

For next year, more college events are on the way. In February 2011 Joseph Henry, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), will run from the White House in Washington, D.C. to the 6th Annual Universities Fighting World Hunger (UFWH) Summit in Canada. The Goal of the Hunger 500 Run is to draw attention to global hunger issues and raise funds for the World Food Programme.

These are just a few examples of ways that college students can get involved and make a difference. Together, they form a significant part of the team effort needed to end global hunger.

Listen to Josette Sheeran talk about writing to your leaders in government and how It’s a team effort that’s needed to end world hunger.

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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.