HungerU visits UM campus

Posted on Mar 7 2014 - 9:13am by Thacker Rice

The HungerU interactive mobile exhibit rolled in front of the Student Union yesterday to inform students about the prevalence and effects of hunger worldwide. The exhibit will also be parked in front of the union from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today in an effort to bring attention to the growing problem of world hunger.

The global population is estimated to reach 9.6 billion people by 2050, according to a 2013 United Nations report. This increase gives the world’s resources 2 billion more mouths to feed.

The mobile exhibit will utilize flat-screen displays, interactive kiosks and pedal tractors to encourage discussion.

Melissa Baumgartner, public relations account coordinator for HungerU, played a role in bringing the exhibit to The University of Mississippi.

“HungerU connects with college students and educates them on the important role of modern agriculture and how it affects the worlds food crisis,” Baumgartner said. “The tour will visit several campuses this spring and hopes that the engagement and conversation continues and empowers students to take action in their communities.”

HungerU is operated by the Farm Journal Foundation, a nonprofit that aims to sustain agriculture’s ability to accommodate a rapidly growing population through education and empowerment.

Anne McCauley, assistant director of the UM Office of Sustainability, helped schedule the visit.

“The field of sustainability encompasses so many issues that we simply cannot touch on everything, though all related issues are critically important,” McCauley said. “It is difficult to have to choose which causes we can promote, and so a way that we can bring awareness to issues like world hunger is to work with those like HungerU, who are already doing great work to engage people with these issues.”

Students, like general studies major Abi Lako, have also shown interest in the subject.

“I think that more people should take action, especially by helping out in their own communities because that’s where it all starts,” Lako said.

Junior Ashley Parker expressed her concern for the issue.

“I think that so many people have so many unnecessary luxuries,” Parker said, “Hunger is the most vital part of survival. We live in a world where buying an iPhone, a new TV or a new car is more important than a mother and her child having food. We should try to fix (hunger) or at least be more aware of it and understand it better.”

HungerU kicked off its spring tour at Auburn University on Feb. 27. It will take its mobile exhibit through eight states over the next two months. For more information on the HungerU exhibit and spring tour, visit

Thacker Rice