Published June 17, 2015

Addressing hunger

Monmouth’s Wyatt among college presidents at first PUSH meeting in Washington, D.C.
Monmouth College president Clarence Wyatt joined leaders from other universities for the first organization meeting of the Presidents United to Solve Hunger (PUSH) on June 17 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
 
“There is no more basic human need than food, and no more basic human impulse than to help ease hunger – whether it be in our home town or across the globe,” said Wyatt.
  
Joined by Honduran president Juan Orlando Hernandez, PUSH members planned to devise how the expertise, innovation and student engagement found at universities and colleges can help communities and nations build sustainable food security.
 
Monmouth is a shining example of that expertise, innovation and student engagement on several fronts, perhaps most notably through its food security initiative, established in 2013. In addition to tapping the expertise of existing faculty members from a variety of disciplines, a team of three new faculty members, representing biology, anthropology and economics, has been recruited to teach and conduct academic research related to food production, distribution and ethical issues. That team will be together on campus for the first time this fall.
 
“Monmouth recognized some time ago that issues related to food and food security touch every aspect of our lives, making them excellent teaching and learning opportunities,” said Wyatt, “This is another clear demonstration of how the Monmouth College experience brings a variety of disciplines and perspectives together on issues of importance – of the power of the liberal arts to create a better world.”
  
PUSH was created by Auburn University to bring universities and international organizations together to share their knowledge in areas where hunger is historically addressed at academic institutions: teaching, research, outreach and student engagement. Auburn was also instrumental in writing the Presidents’ Commitment to Food and Nutrition Security, a declaration acknowledging each president’s commitment to addressing food insecurity a priority on their campus.
  
More than 70 universities spanning six continents have joined the effort. Each university president has signed the Presidents’ Commitment to Food and Nutrition Security, a declaration acknowledging their commitment to make food insecurity a priority.
  
The program opened with a featured address from Hernandez, who has made the solution of hunger and poverty a cornerstone issue of his administration and is especially concerned with providing new hope to the youth of his country. He sees PUSH as a key partner in achieving these goals and is a strong supporter of the establishment of a Hunger Solutions Institute for Latin America. Two Honduran universities are current PUSH members – Universidad Nacional de Agricultura and Zamorano University.
  
”The role of universities is to raise up the next generation of leaders that can make their neighborhoods, communities, nations and the world a bit better through their contributions,” said Jeffrey Lansdale, Zamorano’s president and a member of the PUSH Steering Committee. “PUSH, by uniting universities throughout the world, can greatly accelerate this effort.”
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