USU Extension Food $ense program hosts hunger discussion on college campuses

Utah State University Extension Hunger Solutions Institute, a project under the USU Food $ense (SNAP-Ed) program, recently hosted the Hunger Solutions Discussion, an event where diverse groups discussed hunger on college campuses and brainstormed to find solutions to the issue.

Preliminary results from a study done on USU’s campus during the spring semester of 2018 indicate that nearly 32 percent of students are food insecure.

“The purpose of the Hunger Solutions Institute is to create a group of interdisciplinary researchers, teachers, Extension faculty and agency groups to work together to research, educate and implement ideas that will help solve hunger, specifically in Utah, as well as working toward world hunger solutions,” said Heidi LeBlanc, director of the USU Food $ense program.

Proposed solutions to food insecurity on college campuses include reducing the stigma associated with using food pantries, adding volunteer opportunities aimed at reducing hunger to course curriculums, and promoting events addressing root causes of food insecurity. Additionally, attendees agreed that there should be more research and more collaboration surrounding food security initiatives.

Campus groups in attendance included the Center for Community Engagement, the Division of Student Affairs, the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences, the Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology, the Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences, the Department of Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Sciences, and the Department of Languages, Philosophy, and Communication Studies. In addition, representatives from the University of Utah, Get Healthy Utah, and the Utah State Board of Education were key participants in the event. 

For further information on the Hunger Solutions Institute and to learn about future events, contact heidi.leblanc@usu.edu to be added to the email list.

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