Committee of 19 leads Auburn students in hunger relief for Haiti

AUBURN – The Committee of 19, Auburn University’s student leadership group for the War on Hunger, is donating $15,000 to the United Nations World Food Programme for Haiti relief. The money was collected over the past 18 months through various fundraisers by Auburn’s individual schools, colleges and organizations, as well as campus-wide activities.

The World Food Programme, or WFP, is the largest humanitarian agency in the world, feeding on average over 90 million people in 82 countries annually. As a first responder in the current crisis, WFP is attempting to bring weekly rations to more than 2 million people in Haiti over the next few weeks.

The latest donation by the Committee of 19 brings the total amount contributed to WFP as a result of the Auburn University War on Hunger to $45,000.

According to Emma Keller, president of the Committee of 19, “The money we have raised for WFP has come primarily through spare change collections, not large financial contributions. I hope this latest donation to aid the people of Haiti will inspire students at Auburn and on campuses around the world to do what they can to make an impact, no matter how large or small. Our fundraising success shows that small change can, and indeed does, make a big difference.”

In response to the latest Committee of 19 donation, Douglas Coutts, a senior advisor to the UN World Food Programme and currently on assignment as a distinguished visiting professor at Auburn, said, “WFP is extremely pleased to accept this generous donation from the students at Auburn University. These funds will be used to help address the most basic needs of those affected by the devastating disaster in Haiti. Thank you Auburn University and the Committee of 19 for your leadership in helping us raise awareness and understanding of the suffering of the Haitian population.”

Auburn became involved with the World Food Progamme in 2004 when invited by the agency to be its lead academic partner in a student-driven War on Hunger campaign. Since then, Auburn and WFP have been instrumental in the creation of Universities Fighting World Hunger, or UFWH, a loose alliance of more than 130 higher education institutions around the world. Driving the UFWH action agenda is the Auburn Hunger Model which focuses on both domestic and global hunger awareness and consciousness-raising; advocacy; fundraising; and academic initiatives including teaching, research and outreach.

Committee of 19 members will continue to spearhead fundraising efforts on behalf of Haiti during the remainder of the semester with donations being collected in individual academic units, through campus organizations, and on the concourse.

For more information on the War on Hunger student campaign, go to http://www.auburn.edu/event/hunger/index.php.

Contact: Emma Keller, (334) 444-7410 (kelleej@auburn.edu), or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (clardch@auburn.edu)

Shown with members of the Committee of 19 are Emma Keller (front left), committee president and Douglas Coutts (front right), a senior advisor to the UN World Food Programme on assignment as a distinguished professor at Auburn.