LAWRENCE — Every day, thousands of Kansans have to live with the reality of not knowing where their next meal will come from. KU Fights Hunger, a campus organization dedicated to raising awareness about hunger, is hosting an annual food drive and a variety of public events this year to help raise awareness about hunger.
Throughout October KU Fights Hunger will collect monetary donations online and is collecting donations of nonperishable food at several campus locations. Those making online donations are asked to select “KU Fights Hunger” from the donors list. Individuals can also text JUSTFOODKS to 80888 to donate $10. Donations will support Just Food, the food bank of Douglas County. Just Food works to improve health and well-being for Douglas County residents by providing access to nutritious food and collaborating with over 40 community partners on programs that empower self-sufficiency.
“More than 15 percent of the people in our community face food insecurity every day. That means that more than 16,000 people in Douglas County alone, and more than 400,000 people in Kansas do not know if they will have access to adequate food tomorrow, or next week or next month,” said Thelma Simons, KU staff member and president of KU Fights Hunger. “Making people aware of this local need is the first step. By coming together to help fight this problem, the KU community can make a huge difference.”
In addition to the food drive, KU Fights Hunger will host or co-sponsor several public events throughout October, including a screening of the powerful documentary “A Place at the Table.” The film will be shown at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, at Liberty Hall. This critically acclaimed documentary, directed by Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush, examines the crisis of food security, hunger, obesity and food access in America. A suggested donation of $3 will be collected at the door. Proceeds will benefit Just Food. A short panel discussion will follow about making healthy food available and affordable for all. This event is co-sponsored by Bread for the World, Films for Action and several Lawrence community churches.
“We’re excited to be working with enthusiastic and thoughtful partners around the country who are planning a range of events with this film,” said Shaady Salehi, Executive Director of Active Voice, the organization managing the community campaign in association with Participant Media. “We need to work collaboratively to make sure that everyone has access to healthy affordable food.”
Other KU Fights Hunger October events that are open to the public:
- Tuesday, Oct. 8: “Hunger at Home” panel presentation, noon, Alderson Auditorium, Kansas Union. Jeremy Farmer, CEO of Just Food, will deliver a keynote address, and a panel of local hunger advocates will participate.
- Thursday, Oct. 24: Hunger advocacy training, 7 p.m., Malott Room, Kansas Union. Zach Schmidt of Bread for the World will lead a workshop on communicating with elected officials and advocating for the hungry.
KU Fights Hunger has staged five annual campus food drives, gathering more than 3 tons of food and $5,000. This year’s drive and events are co-sponsored by the Center for Community Outreach, the Center for Sustainability, Unclassified Senate and University Support Staff Senate. For more information on KU Fights Hunger, visit its Facebook page or email email@example.com.