September is National Hunger Action Month and some students are participating especially by organizing Hunger Action Day for Sept. 14.
Hunger Action Day is an event set up by 10 students in the Coordinated Program in Dietetics. Their goal is to encourage the public to take action in fighting hunger and food insecurity, said Jade Fredrickson, a student dietitian.
Food insecurity refers to the United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service’s (USDA) measure of the lack of access to enough nutritious food for an active and healthy lifestyle. The food insecurity rate in the United States is 13.4 percent, while Texas is 15.5 percent.
One in six people in Texas struggle with hunger and 17.4 percent of people are food insecure in Tarrant County, according to Feeding America.
Fredrickson said some ways to help fight hunger are by educating others, donating food to a food bank, volunteering or donating money.
Last year, the Tarrant Area Food Bank (TAFB) was able to provide 25 million nutritious meals because of donations.
Anita Foster, head of TAFB marketing and communications, said food donations come from food manufacturers, grocery store vendors and collections from the public. Not only do food donations help fight hunger, but volunteer work does also, Foster added.
“Around 100 volunteers show up daily to the food bank to ensure the food is safely packaged for delivery to one of the 270 food assistance partners,” Foster said ““Without volunteers, the issue of hunger would be more prevalent.
These volunteers help ensure that the food bank can package and distribute food across 13 counties.
Foster said when one in six people in her community don’t have food to eat on a regular basis, it fuels the fire to find solutions.
Not only does the local food bank fight hunger, but Sodexo, TCU’s dining team, also does.
Michael Dahl, Sodexo’s general manager, said the dining team participates in Feed Our Future every summer. Feed Our Future is a non-profit organization created to ensure every child in the United States grows up with dependable access to enough nutritious food.
Dahl added that Sodexo at TCU has been partners of Feeding Our Future for 15 years.
Fredrickson said she is passionate about fighting hunger and hopes other students will be, too, at the event.
“I cannot imagine being in a situation in which I cannot afford food,” she said. “However, if I can give even a little bit so that several others can experience the joy that is connected with food, I will feel like I have made an impact.”
Students are encouraged to help fight hunger by joining TCU Food Recovery Network on OrgSync. There will also be a sign up for people to participate in the day of the event.