By ANUSHKA MEHROTRA
Walking across Ho Plaza Monday, some Cornellians were surprised to see a mobile exhibit parked on the side — one whose creators hope will inspire college students to take action against world hunger.
Representatives of HungerU, an initiative under the Farmers Feeding the World campaign, spoke to Cornell students throughout the day about the persistent issues of hunger around the world. Cornell is the first stop in HungerU’s two month-long tour of universities along the East Coast.
The “mobile education classroom” that HungerU brings to college campuses — equipped with displays showing how prevalent food scarcity is in different countries — serves as a space for discussion and engagement on global food and hunger issues, according to the movement’s website. The classroom also aims to show how agriculture plays a vital role in solving hunger issues.
Malorie Bankhead, marketing associate for the Fall 2013 HungerU tour, said she hopes HungerU will “spark a fire within” students and inspire them to take action against world hunger.
“Hunger is a real [issue] — it exists internationally as well as domestically and we each are part of the solution. In fact, we have to be part of the solution,” Bankhead said.
Cornell officials said HungerU’s movement ties closely to that of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, which partnered with HungerU.
“Feeding the world’s growing population is something CALS is keenly aware of and is addressing it through research, teaching, and extension efforts in New York, nationally and globally,” said Ann LaFave, director of student services for CALS. “The solution to global hunger must start with awareness, education, advocacy and modern agriculture.”
LaFave said she believes that HungerU’s visit to Cornell campus will help call attention to the issue of world hunger across campus, adding that she hopes many students will begin to understand the challenges faced by both local and global communities.
After its final day at Cornell on Tuesday, HungerU will be touring other college campuses along the East Coast, from Syracuse University later this week to the University of Florida in November. The HungerU exhibit will also make an appearance at the National FFA Convention in October, where it will continue to educate students on the role of modern agriculture in addressing world hunger.
According to LaFave, as a follow-up to HungerU’s visit to Cornell, officials are planning to hold a food packaging event called Stop Hunger Now at Cornell during World Food Day on Oct. 16.
“Even after the tour has left campus, the conversations will continue,” HungerU’s website says. “Let’s give hunger an expiration date.”