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Hunger awareness tour visits MU

Monday, October 29, 2012 | 9:09 p.m. CDT
MU students Ahmed Khayyak, right, and Aziz Boussekine look at food security infographics at the Hunger U tour bus on MU's Lowry Mall Monday afternoon. Hunger U is a traveling awareness campaign that encourages students to consider where their food supply comes from and where the United States ranks in terms of food security.

COLUMBIA — Hunger U brought its message to MU on Monday: The world has mouths to feed and advanced agriculture can help.

Hunger U is an organization touring around the Midwest to promote conversation about the world hunger crisis. MU was the sixth stop in the Hunger U tour, which targets large land grant universities.

The Hunger U bus was parked on Hitt Street on the edge of Lowry Mall all day. The bus has two interactive flat screen monitors controlled by iPads. Visitors could interact with these iPads to see graphics on food security statistics from nation to nation.

MU juniors Kayla Frederick and Caitlin Frank were among those who took time to learn more about hunger at the booth. Frederick said she learned a lot about hunger worldwide. 

"You always think about countries in Africa, not necessarily those in Europe or Asia," Frederick said.

Amanda Stephens, a member of the Hunger U staff, said that this tour is all about raising awareness, not fundraising. 

"We are trying to get students to think about where their food supply is coming from," Stephens said. 

Food security is defined as knowing where the next meal will come from. According to Stephens, the U.S. is the most food secure nation in the world. 

The Hunger U tour is an effort put on by the Farmers Feeding the World Initiative, which aims for permanent and temporary solutions to the hunger problem. Temporary solutions take place in the form of food drives and meal-packing events while permanent solutions require large amounts of research and in-depth regional knowledge to address the problem, Stephens said. 

Hunger U visited MU because research done at the MU College of Agriculture can help find better, more efficient ways of growing food, Stephens said.

The tour has already visited Michigan State University, Kansas State University, University of Illinois, Purdue University and Ohio State University. The tour heads to Iowa State University next. Stephens said the organization hopes to expand tours in years to come.

Supervising editor Karen Miller.


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