AMES, Iowa – Iowa State University students will help fight hunger on campus and in the Ames community during the first ISU Hunger Dialogue on Thursday, Nov. 13. The event is part of the Outreach Inc., Hunger-Free Iowa Initiative. The purpose is to raise awareness about food insecurity in Iowa.
Students will also take action to help address the problem by packaging macaroni and cheese meals for SHOP (Students Helping Our Peers) a student-run, on-campus food pantry. Three student groups – Food Science Club, Student Dietetics Association and SHOP – are partnering with Outreach to organize the event.
Outreach is an Iowa-based organization that provides nutritious meals to those in need, both at home and abroad. In August, the group launched its Hunger-Free Iowa Initiative in an effort to make Iowa the first hunger-free state. The initiative is supported by an AmeriCorps VISTA grant, which provides nine service members to work in Iowa.
Nearly 13 percent of the population – or more than 389,000 Iowans – are food insecure, according to the latest statistics available from Feeding America. Story County is above the state average at just over 15 percent of the population. One student organizer says she didn’t realize the extent of the problem until getting involved with this event.
“I found it very alarming the large number of people here in Story County who may not know where their next meal is coming from, or may only receive one meal a day lacking many nutrients for the day, or the amount of people who are hungry on a daily basis,” said Emma Wright, a member of the Student Dietetics Association.
ISU Hunger Dialogue agenda
6 p.m. Hunger in Iowa – presentation by Outreach Inc. (Lagomarcino Hall, Room East 164)
6:15 p.m. Ames Hunger Space – presentation by Vic Moss, director of the Emergency Residence Project
6:30 p.m. ISU student groups presentation
6:45 p.m. Small groups to discuss problems and solutions
7 p.m. Meal packaging fair (MacKay Hall, Rooms 213, 135, 119)
The following ISU students and VISTA volunteers are available for interviews:
Liz Happ, Student Dietetics Association, firstname.lastname@example.org
Emma Wright, Student Dietetics Association, email@example.com
Abigail Legner, Food Science Club, firstname.lastname@example.org
Michele Ries, SHOP, email@example.com
Jessy Stika, VISTA volunteer, 563-379-2015, firstname.lastname@example.org
Carissa Shoemaker, VISTA volunteer, 515-419-9123, email@example.com