Solving hunger panel addresses local community solutions

Megan Fischer

As the food hunger crisis continues to grow, one campaign is going across the nation to talk to students and raise awareness. HungerU dropped by Colorado State to promote the cause.

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Video by Karsen Buschjost

Solving hunger starts with you, discussed panelists Monday night at Colorado State University.

The panel addressed actions individuals in the Fort Collins community can take to solve a national and world problem.

(From left) Dawn Thilmany McFadden Ph. D, Jeff Baumgardner, co-founder of FOCO Cafe and Leslie Cunningham-Sabo Ph. D, R.D. discuss the issue of hunger insecurity within the Fort Collins community ion Monday night. Community Supported Agriculture groups (CSAs) were a main topic talked about as one helping solution to hunger insecurity. (Photo Credit: Megan Fischer)
(From left) Dawn Thilmany McFadden Ph. D., Jeff Baumgardner, co-founder of FoCo Cafe and Leslie Cunningham-Sabo Ph. D., discuss the issue of hunger insecurity within the Fort Collins community on Monday night. Community Supported Agriculture groups (CSAs) were a main topic talked about as one  solution to hunger insecurity. (Photo Credit: Megan Fischer)

According to Luke Runyon, reporter for KUNC and mediator for the panel discussion, the United States Department of Agriculture groups citizens based on if they are food-secure or insecure.

“Eighty-five percent of U.S. households are food secure, meaning 15 percent are insecure,” Runyon said.

The panelists included Dawn Thilmany McFadden, Ph. D., Leslie Cunninghan-Sabo, Ph. D., both professors at Colorado State University, and Jeff Baumgardner, co-founder of the FoCo Cafe, a  local non-profit cafe set to open soon in Fort Collins.

The panel stressed the importance of buying and growing locally, as well as cooking healthy food from home.

“When you are food insecure, you will eat just about anything and eat as much as you can,” said Leslie Cunningham-Sabo, an associate professor in food science and human nutrition. “It teaches an unhealthy relationship, so cooking is a way to solve this issue.”

According to Baumgardner, providing ways for people who are food insecure to get a healthy meal and interact with others who are food secure can create avenues that lead to better nutrition and community involvement for all.

Baumgardner said this is one of his goals for the FoCo Cafe.

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“I really believe that here, in Fort Collins, in my backyard, I can have a positive impact,” Baumgardner said.

According to McFadden, professor in agricultural and resource economics, solving hunger resides in the community.

“It’s not the government’s role to make sure food issues are addressed,” McFadden said.

According to the panelists, the community can get involved through volunteering at food banks, participating in Cans Around the Oval, and getting involved with Community Supported Agriculture groups (CSAs).

Collegian Campus Beat Reporter Megan Fischer can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @MegsFischer04.