Global Hunger Summit Returns to Guelph

The University of Guelph will host the 10th annual Universities Fighting World Hunger summit Feb. 20 to 22. More than 400 people are expected to visit campus to discuss how to combat global hunger.

This is the second time U of G has hosted the international event; the first was in 2011.

“U of G has a long history of advocating for change to end hunger and poverty,” said former president Alastair Summerlee, who is co-ordinating the event.

“The 10th annual summit provides an opportunity for us to reflect on the progress over the last decade and to look forward to the next years.  We have the unique opportunity to make decisions that can change the face of hunger and poverty at home and abroad.”

The event is supported by the U of G chapter of Universities Fighting World Hunger. Chapter president Panteha Tavassol said Guelph students will be able to learn more about the organization and the importance of getting involved.

“I believe that in order to feel at home and find your path during university, you need to discover and become alive to your passions,” said Tavassol, a biomedical sciences student.

“Being involved in advocating and raising awareness for world hunger issues is about gaining a widened perspective and understanding of the struggles that others work to overcome on a daily basis. Being involved in such initiatives is the first step to propelling your passions and ideas into actions.”

Taking place mostly in Rozanski Hall, the summit will involve university students, faculty, government and aid workers, politicians and social activists. The theme of this year’s event is “Pushing Toward the Next Decade.”

Keynote speakers include Alex Moore of DC Kitchens, a Washington, D.C.-based organization for recycling food, training unemployed adults for culinary careers, serving healthy school meals and rebuilding urban food systems through social enterprise.

Joyce Owusu-Dabo will discuss how to empower women to fight hunger and poverty. She is the chief programs officer of the Ghana Sinapi Aba Trust, which funds economically disadvantaged people for enterprise ventures.

Concurrent sessions will focus on how students, businesses, academia and organizations can help combat hunger. There will also be a panel discussion on “Feeding the World: A Nine-Billion-Person Challenge.”

The summit will also introduce the “Push Agreement,” a project by campuses across North America to advocate for action against hunger and poverty. A panel will discuss food security.

A complete program, registration information and schedule are available online.

Universities Fighting World Hunger is an alliance of higher-education institutions. It started in 2004 as a partnership with the United Nations World Food Program and now involves more than 150 universities.