Students, experts and activists in the struggle to fight world hunger had a chance to share ideas and strategies recently during the Universities Fighting World Hunger Summit (UFWHS)Â in Toronto, Canada.
Four representatives from Dakota Wesleyan University attended the summit in late February: professors Dr. Donald Simmons and Dr. Brian Patrick, and students Chase Kristensen, Plankinton, and Mario Palencia, Huntington Park, Calif.
â€œI had a very inspirational trip to Toronto,â€ Palencia said. â€œThe connections I made at the hunger summit will definitely help me establish a club here at DWU and get the university involved in helping to end hunger worldwide. DWU alum George McGovern was a champion in this fight against hunger and I believe it is time for the current generation and future generations of DWU students to pick up this tradition and get involved.â€
UFWHS was an opportunity to discuss the policies, strategies and responses to hunger issues throughout the world.
â€œThis largely-student organized summit provided our DWU students with opportunities not only to interact with other students concerned about hunger in the modern world, but also with experts and advocates at the forefront of the fight against famine and malnutrition,â€ said Patrick, assistant professor of biology.
These experts included: Joey Adler, founder of ONEXONE (www.onexone.org/) and CEO of Diesel Canada (www.diesel.com/); Dr. April Mason, senior vice president of Kansas State University; Ray Buchanan, executive director of Stop Hunger Now; Dr. Craig Wilson, director of the Sparkman Center for Global Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham (www.soph.uab.edu/sparkman/); and other students: Gavin Armstrong, undergraduate at the University of Guelph; and Clark Solomon, undergraduate at Auburn University.Â
Also present was Philip Donne, president and CEO of Campbell Company Canada, the makers of Campbellâ€™s soup. Simmons, director of and associate professor in the McGovern Center and dean of the College of Leadership and Public Service, said this was possibly the most interesting aspect to the summit â€“ the unveiling and tasting of the new meal called Nourish, which was developed by Campbellâ€™s to provide full servings of three food groups in each meal.
â€œIt was a great opportunity to network and share ideas with other organizations working on the problem of world hunger,â€ Simmons said. â€œI think the students realized just how easy it is to get involved and make a difference.â€
Patrick said that the UFWHS provided him with the opportunity to meet several other researchers working in different fields of study, but all toward the same common goal of sustainable agricultural practices throughout the world.
â€œItâ€™s important for students to not only hear about hunger in this world, but also to be engaged in the conversation, and this summit provided that opportunity,â€ Patrick added. â€œSuch experiences provide opportunities to share ideas and to participate in the problem-solving aspect of questions too large for any one individual to handle. No one group is going to make a dent in the problem of feeding the people of the world; rather, it must be a large, cross-discipline effort that involves the steady streaming of information between groups working in cooperative.â€