GlobeMed members assisted Guatemalan communities get access to clean water.

Courtesy of GlobeMed at Cornell University

GlobeMed members assisted Guatemalan communities get access to clean water.

November 12, 2017

Gala Raises Awareness for Food Insecurity Abroad, On-Campus

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Centered on the global problem of food insecurity and potential solutions to it, the Global Health Gala raised about $1200 to support a water filtration project in Guatemala.

Headed by GlobeMed and its partner organization, the Association Maya-Mam to Promote Research and Development, the project focused on the town of Comitancillo, Guatemala.

GlobeMed provides water filters for families in need, especially women, and works toward “women’s empowerment, efficient agricultural practices, dental hygiene, nutrition and water purity,” Shivani Bahl ’18, GlobeMed co-president, said.

By providing filters to women, AMMID empowers women to attain autonomy over the filters, and they learn to install them so they may later act as leaders when other members of the community acquire a filter.

AMMID’s goal is for “100 percent of families that need a filter to have one by 2020,” Sarah Crowe ’18, GlobeMed co-president, said.

The event also addressed food insecurity on campus. Nicolas Karavolias ’18, director of store communications for Anabel’s Grocery, and Alexandra Donovan ’18, project coordinator of Anabel’s Grocery, discussed the store’s goal of reducing student food insecurity.

“One in five students indicated that they have skipped meals due to financial constraints,” Donovan said, addressing the importance of Anabel’s goal.

In an attempt to fight this problem, Anabel’s Grocery offers discounted produce, subsidies for students with low resources, lessons on online cooking classes, and demos to teach students about the food they are buying and how to prepare it.

The store is not only meant to serve food-insecure students, but the community, “because you’re supporting a model that is supporting your peers who are in a little bit more need,” Donovan said.

Karavolias had a hopeful vision for the young grocery store.

“We really would like food insecurity [to] no longer exist on this campus and we hope our efforts can be a part of that solution,” he said.

Prof. David Levitsky, nutritional sciences, gave a simple solution to solving the issues of food insecurity.
“There is one important ingredient that is necessary to fix the problem of malnutrition and hunger and food insecurity. And that is empathy,” he said.

The decline in empathy was a result of the industrial revolution and the splitting of people into categories of “workers” and “non workers,” Levitsky said.

Levitsky spoke of society’s accomplishments, speaking of education, longevity and less war, and was optimistic about the future of food insecurity, saying “today, we are getting better.”

“I’m glad to see so many young people trying to make this world a better place,” he said. “It’s up to you to keep working.”