UF Students Host “Day of Service” Event to Combat Global Food Insecurity
Malnutrition is the largest contributor to disease in the world, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. With a growing international population projected to reach 9.2 billion by 2050, the demand for global food production is significantly increased.
Because of statistics like these, students choose to study in the UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) so they can address the world’s critical challenges related to agriculture, food systems, human wellbeing, natural resources and sustainable communities.
During the month of November, CALS students have partnered with Rise Against Hunger, an international hunger relief organization, for the seventh annual CALS “Day of Service”. For the CALS Day of Service event, students raise funds and package meals for families around the world facing food insecurity.
The meal packaging event for the CALS Day of Service will take place from 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Nov. 21 in the Straughn Center, 2142 Shealy Drive, Gainesville, Florida. Volunteers are asked to bring five nonperishable items for the Hitchcock Field & Fork Pantry on UF’s campus, to help combat food insecurity in our own community.
“CALS Day of Service is a really fun event. You get to meet an excited, engaged group of students who are interested in helping others,” said Case Emerson, an animal sciences senior who has participated in the last four CALS Day of Service events. “As students of CALS and as part of an entity that strives to improve people’s lives, we need to be concerned about the food insecurity issue beyond just learning about it. It is important to take action. Participating in an event like CALS Day of Service, that is dedicated to immediately helping the lives of others across the world, is a great way to do that.”
Students, faculty, staff and alumni have the opportunity to be part of a solution seeking to end food insecurity. Those interested in participating by volunteering to package meals or by making donations toward the cost of paying for these meals can visit cals.ufl.edu/apps/dayofservice/ for details. A donation of $24.36 will feed a family of four for one week.
“During this annual service event, our students demonstrate their service to others in the community, one of our college’s core values,” said CALS Dean Elaine Turner. “Through the CALS Day of Service, our students can see the direct impact they have on fighting global food insecurity. We packed more than 30,000 meals last year and this year we have increased our goal to purchase and package more than 35,000 meals for those in need.”
Since its founding in 1998, Rise Against Hunger has packaged more than 500 million meals to 77 countries. Based in Raleigh, North Carolina, the organization aims to make a global impact on hunger by building resilience, self-sufficiency and empowerment among communities.