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Duke symposium to tackle food insecurity on college campuses

A Feb. 14 food symposium will strive to plant hope in alleviating food insecurity across campus. 

Duke’s Campus Pantry Collaborative has been working with its respective organization at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to organize the Food Insecurity Symposium. In contrast with the athletic rivalry, this event involves collaboration between the two universities for a day-long event dedicated to addressing the United Nations’ sustainable development global goal of zero hunger—in the context of food insecurity on college campuses. 

“What makes this so exciting is that it’s the first time we will be using quantitative measures in our solution making process to food insecurity,” said Rashmi Joglekar, a member of CPC who recently earned her Ph.D. in toxicology and environmental health. 

The symposium is a confluence of approaches—a way to plant, grow and feed hope in the fight against food insecurity at the college campus level. Junior Katie Waeldner, a member of Duke’s CPC, said she hopes that the event becomes an annual tradition that addresses food insecurity at Duke alongside the issue in Durham and beyond.  

The Food Insecurity Symposium will be held at Penn Pavilion, and the morning session—running from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.—is open to the public. This session will feature two speakers: Marissa Meyers, a senior department research associate for the Hope Center for College, Community and Justice at Temple University and Amanda Hege, a project manager at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation. 

The afternoon session, which is invitation-only, serves to create a 3-5 year plan surrounding fixing food insecurity planning at Duke and UNC. During this session, representatives from CPC will be brainstorming solutions based on data collected about student food insecurity rates. 

Although Duke CPC has spearheaded the creation of this event, other campus organizations such as Duke Student Government, Duke’s Graduate and Professional Student Council and Campus Farm will also be present at the symposium. 

A key motive of this symposium is to emphasize how food insecurity is a campus issue that impacts such a widespread population. Many Duke organizations—from the Duke School of Medicine-based Root Causes to the Sanford School of Public Policy’s World Food Policy Center—take interdisciplinary approaches to fixing food insecurity in the greater Durham area.  

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