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Cody Sanders: “Uproot the Status Quo”

This post originally appeared on Thought for Food’s (TFF) Blog.

Cody Sanders, a TFF Ambassador, was interviewed by TFF for the third edition of TFF Interview.

Cody is a student at Auburn University studying Political Science with a minor in Interdisciplinary Studies of Leadership. He is a Brother of Sigma Nu Fraternity and Beta Theta Chapter. His hobbies include politics, trying new foods, nature, spontaneous road trips, exploring history, and always looking to uproot the status quo. You can follow him on Twitter to hear his thoughts on society and how you can make it better.

Hi Cody, what you have been doing since the last edition of Thought For Food Challenge?

Thought For Food was such an incredible experience that I was inspired to continue working with Hunger initiatives. One thing I constantly ask myself is “How can I reach out and recruit a demographic that likely does not catch on to the social media campaigns or the statistics we throw at them daily?” As a college student, I took advantage of young adult’s desire to have fun and organized a Beat Hunger Bar Crawl. The Committee of 19 at Auburn is a hunger fighting organization that created Universities Fighting World Hunger. As a member, I had them partner with me on the project and it was extremely successful, having over 150 people participate. I also was able to do a recruiting and advocacy trip for TFF this past Spring that was an incredible experience. I met with Miami University, Duke University, and University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. These campuses have strong Student Affairs programs and Hunger Studies Programs. This allowed me to reach out, recruit teams, and also let administrators learn more about TFF and how it is growing to be one of the largest hunger advocacy, awareness, and action programs in the world.

Why did you decide to take part of the Thought for Food Challenge?

As mentioned earlier, I am a member of the Committee of 19 at Auburn, which if anyone who reads this is interested getting a program like this started at their school, please contact me and I would love to get you started. Our organization received word of the TFF Challenge, and with Summer going up, we thought it be a great way to spend some of our free time. We formed a team, and it was extremely diverse in personality traits and views on the best way to tackle the challenge. We had quite a think tanks and came up with our project “Love Feeds.”. As the challenge went on, we got more and more excited about it. Other students on campus saw on Facebook and Twitter quite a bit about the project and got behind us. When I received an invitation to Pittsburgh to One Young World, I was not sure what to expect. I found some of the most passionate people in the world at the conference, and none so much as the teams from the TFF Challenge.

Looking now back in time, which were the most valuable lessons you learned with TFF? What advice would you give to TFFers participating in this year’s edition?

Coming from a very small town in Alabama, it was quite a culture shock for me to jump right in and begin learning about the diversity and hot topic issues of the world we live in. Our society does not put enough emphasis on learning-whether it be outside the classroom, traveling, or hearing speakers talk over international issues. After TFF, I returned to my hometown, and was just amazed at how sheltered the average member of society is to global issues such as hunger. TFF gave me the experience to learn about the world and the challenges that we face. I am proud of my country and proud to be an American, and with the being said, I want to do my best to make sure that my children do not have to deal with problems that my generation failed to solve. As far as advice goes, take it all in. TFF allows you to meet so many people, and learn so much. The motto is to always “Uproot the Status Quo,” so never be afraid to ask “Why?” or “How?”. You never know when you might hear the answer that could completely change your life.

Cody, thank you for allowing us to post this interview & for all of your work in the fight against hunger!

(Originally published Jul. 24, 2013)