Hunger is a major issue both at home and abroad. Nationally, there are 49 million people who are "food insecure." Food stamps have been reduced by Congress placing a great strain on the Feeding America network.
Globally, there are 842 million people who suffer from hunger. Wars in Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, Central African Republic and other regions have escalated hunger dramatically.
Recognizing the need for greater participation to solve this massive crisis, Walsh University is hosting a Hunger Dialogue on September 26-27. The goal of the Dialogue is "to seek solutions to domestic and global hunger through the teaching, research, and service activities of Ohio’s colleges and universities."
Ambassador Tony Hall, a former Congressman, will be the keynote speaker. Hall is currently the Executive Director of the Alliance to End Hunger in Washington, DC.
Walsh University's Office of Global Learning and Service Learning, along with the Ohio Campus Contact, are sponsoring the event. Ohio will be the third state to host a hunger dialogue among educators.
A video contest is also being offered to Ohio students to show how their campus is fighting hunger. The contest prize is a $ 1,000 award and a trip to Washington, D.C. for an advocacy day with Ambassador Hall. Details of the contest are available at the Walsh web site.
It's vitally important that colleges and universities obtain greater involvement in hunger issues. There is strength in numbers. Campuses offer a great platform for learning about hunger, but also organizing and taking action. Mount. St. Joseph University of Ohio was profiled earlier this year by the UN World Food Programme on ways to increase participation in fighting hunger.
As Walsh University points out, hunger hits close to home. Ohio has one of the highest hunger rates in the country. Yet, hunger could be drastically reduced if there were greater political will. That is where advocacy and action generated by colleges and universities can play such a large role in ending hunger.