We waste too much food while people go hungry.

America produces more than enough food for everyone. The hard work and ingenuity of people growing our food delivers plenty. We should save the food and resources that would otherwise be wasted and get it to the people who need it.

Plenty Of Food

In fact, we produce so much food that we waste 40 percent of it. And yet millions of Americans are going hungry. That should not happen. We should not be literally throwing away the solution to hunger in our country. We should save the food and resources that would otherwise be wasted and get it to the people who need it. 

We should have Zero Hunger in America. 

People Still Go Hungry

People go hungry in many places, including some you might not expect. One in six students enrolled in two-year colleges and one in nine students enrolled in four-year colleges experience food insecurity. The stereotype of a college student is one of privilege and entitlement. But most students, especially outside the elite schools, don’t fit that profile.

The problem, of course, is bigger than college students. In total, 41 million Americans struggle with hunger. We’re focused on college campuses because, as self-contained and often tight-knit communities, they’re a good place to start to show how we can end hunger. The students who work for Zero Hunger on their campuses will become the next generation of leaders, capable of driving toward the same goal in their communities.

Photo credits: food, CC0 via Pixabay; trash, Graham J. Underwood via Shutterstock.com
Zero Hunger Means Getting The Plenty To The People

How do we move toward Zero Hunger? We need to know who is hungry, know where there are underutilized resources, and make a comprehensive plan to get these resources to people who need them. That’s a commitment to Zero Hunger. There are three steps for each campus or community to take to move toward Zero Hunger.

First, campus administrations and student organizations can work together to provide dignified ways for identifying who needs food.  

Second, each campus needs to understand and plan for where it has underused resources. There are some common places to look. Dining halls make more food in a day than people are going to pay for with their meal plan; restaurants on and around campuses cook more food in a day than people buy; students often have more food in their dorms or Greek houses than they can use; some students buy more “swipes,” or credits, to use at campus dining than they’ll use in a semester. Each example is an opportunity to rescue food from going to waste and get it to people who can use it.

Finally, to implement a plan that connects people who need food with the food that is available on and around campus, we need people willing to do the work. Campus staff, faculty, student governments, fraternities and sororities, cultural associations, any and all groups on campus can help with the logistics of collecting and moving food and resources to where it can help hungry students.

Photo credits: Africa Studio
Starting On A Campus Near You

Over the 2019-20 academic year, we’re working to persuade 10 campuses to commit to Zero Hunger. It starts with recruiting the people on campus who can implement a Zero Hunger commitment, building the base of support to achieve the goal.

A country with more than enough food to go around should not tolerate anyone being hungry. Meeting the needs of every hungry person is not just about fulfilling the potential that each person has to contribute to society; it’s also a measure of our generosity and compassion. Zero Hunger campuses can show that, in a world of abundance, there’s no need for anybody to go hungry.

We’ve wasted enough food and enough human potential. Let’s not waste any more time. Let’s commit to Zero Hunger wherever we can. That can start with you.

Commit To Zero Hunger

We can end student hunger in your community if we save the food and resources that would otherwise be wasted and get it to the people who need it. Help make your community a leader in addressing student needs by committing to a goal of Zero Hunger.

Top photo credit: Foxy Forest Manufacture via Shutterstock.com