AU to host second annual Student War on Hunger Summit

AUBURN – Representatives from more than 15 colleges and universities from across the nation will gather Feb. 23-25 at the Hotel at Auburn University as AU hosts the second annual War on Hunger Summit.

These schools are members of Universities Fighting World Hunger, a grassroots student campaign to conquer world hunger and malnutrition.

The conference begins Friday, Feb. 23, at 5:30 p.m. with AU College of Human Sciences Dean June Henton giving an overview of Universities Fighting World Hunger. The Empty Bowls Banquet and Auction follows at 6:30 p.m. with AU president Ed Richardson serving as master of ceremonies. James Morris, executive director of the World Food Programme, will deliver the keynote address.

“I am so pleased about the leadership role that Auburn has given to the War on Hunger and the formation of Universities Fighting World Hunger, an alliance that now has more than 50 members,” said Richardson. “As an educator, I am convinced that addressing issues like hunger will better prepare our students to more fully understand and contribute to the pursuit of a sustainable world.”

Other speakers for the conference include Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World; Eva Clayton, a past special advisor to the director general of the UN Food and Agricultural Organization in Rome; and Rick Leach, special advisor for public policy for Friends of the World Food Programme.

Conference participants will learn how to become effective advocates, develop a curriculum with a focus on hunger, start and market campaigns, develop strategic partnerships with the corporate sector and bolster the world hunger movement.

“Joining Universities Fighting World Hunger sends a strong message that a college or university is committed to sponsoring hunger awareness and consciousness raising activities and events; encouraging and supporting student advocacy initiatives; and seeking ways to more effectively integrate hunger and related poverty issues into the academic mission of the institution,” said Henton.

Several corporations are participating in the summit, including corporate sponsor Sodexho USA, as well as International Paper and National Farmers Union Insurance. Non-governmental organizations participating include Oxfam, STOP Hunger Now, the ONE Campaign to Make Poverty History and Servants in Faith and Technology.

The War on Hunger makes a difference from the local to the international level. Since the fall of 2004, AU students helped collect almost 400,000 pounds of non-perishable goods for the East Alabama Food Bank. That translates into more than 250,000 meals for hungry children and families in our area.

AU has raised $19,000 for the World Food Programme from donations of loose change at tailgates, events like the annual Empty Bowls Banquet hosted by the AU’s College of Human Sciences and the Jule Collins Smith Museum and the “Eat Less, Feed More” initiative sponsored by the Harrison School of Pharmacy. In the developing world, $19,000 feeds 100,000 school children.

For more information about AU and the War on Hunger, click on http://www.auburn.edu/hunger.

Contact: Harriet Giles, (344) 844-3241 (gileshw@auburn), or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (clardch@auburn.edu)