Universities Fighting World Hunger
In 2004 Auburn University accepted an invitation to partner with the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) in the fight against hunger, one of the world’s most pressing global issues. The WFP/Auburn “war on hunger” led to the creation of Universities Fighting World Hunger (UFWH) in 2006, a coalition that has expanded to nearly 300 campuses since its inception.
With sustainability as a framework, the comprehensive UFWH best practices model outlines a short-term grassroots student advocacy and action campaign, as well as an academic agenda focused on long-term solutions that are suitable for adaptation or replication by participating universities. The model is designed to (1) produce graduates who are not only technically competent, but globally aware and socially engaged, and (2) challenge universities to assume a leadership role in creating innovative solutions to global sustainability issues like world hunger.
Although each college and university in the network plans its own agenda, all are committed to stimulate student awareness about hunger as a critical global issue and help them find ways to make meaningful contributions regardless of background, major, or career path. At the annual summits, hundreds of student leaders from around the world gather to share best practices and experiences. You can join the movement to create a zero hunger world by 2030 if you take action now!
Hunger Solutions Institute
The Hunger Solutions Institute (HSI) provides the infrastructure for UFWH. We connect people and ideas that work. Our goal is to share knowledge and best practices in the fight against hunger and malnutrition by bringing together all academic disciplines. Hunger can be solved, but only when the relevant knowledge from all academic disciplines is combined with the abilities and strengths of all sectors.
As a convener, collaborator, and multiplier, in conjunction with UFWH, the Hunger Solutions Institute has launched several exciting initiatives:
ECHA functions to ensure that Alabama’s young citizens have access to a variety of nutritious foods that promote healthy growth and development necessary for physical well-being and educational achievement in childhood and a skilled and productive labor force in adulthood.
Established at Auburn University in 2012, HSI works through convening, collaborating and multiplying research, innovations and solutions. Many of its outreach efforts and partnerships have centered on tapping into the huge body of knowledge generated and housed at universities and making it available to those fighting on the frontlines of hunger – in communities in the US and throughout the world. HSI and PUSH have partnered with organizations such as the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) and the Institute for Food Policy and Research (IFPRI).
PUSH is a consortium of university leaders from all over the world who signed the Presidents’ Commitment to Food and Nutrition Security. The signatories agreed to share knowledge, best practices, and collaborative opportunities to leverage the collective power of universities in the fight against hunger and malnutrition.
THE UFWH TEAM
Susan HubbardExecutive Director
Dr. Susan Hubbard is Professor and Dean of the College of Human Sciences and Executive Director for the Hunger Solutions Institute at Auburn University. Prior to taking leadership as of the Hunger Solutions Institute, Hubbard was instrumental in building the End Child Hunger in Alabama task force, a multi-sector collaboration that works to end childhood hunger in the state and the Institute’s first outreach initiative.Hubbard is a recognized leader in research, teaching and outreach initiatives in the College of Human Sciences. An Auburn alumna, Hubbard earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the College of Education and her doctorate in vocational and adult education with an emphasis in higher education administration.
Alicia PowersManaging Director
Dr. Alicia Powers serves as the Managing Director for the Hunger Solutions Institute. Dr. Powers holds a PhD in Nutrition and Food Systems from The University of Southern Mississippi as well as a MS and BS in Nutrition and Food Sciences from Auburn University.Prior to joining HSI, Powers worked as Extension Specialist/Community Health Coordinator with the Alabama Extension Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education (SNAP-Ed) at Auburn University. Prior to that role, In this role, Powers served as an associate professor of Health Sciences at Furman University, where she also . co-founded Live Well Greenville.
Kate ThorntonDirector, Research and Academic Initiatives
Kate Thornton is Director of Global Education in the College of Human Sciences, Auburn University, and Director of Research and Academic Initiatives for the Hunger Solutions Institute. She helped develop one of the only academic minors in Hunger Studies in the United States and currently teaches the Hunger Studies capstone course. She recently was appointed as a Director of the Kirchner Food Fellowship program, which provides a unique one-year mentoring experience for a cohort of graduate students, preparing them to identify investment opportunities in agriculture and food systems to advance food security.
Kara NewbyHSI Operations Manager
Kara Newby is the Operations Manager for the Hunger Solutions Institute and the Instructor for the introduction class for Hunger Studies, Hunger: Causes, Consequences and Responses. She has a Masters in Human Development and Family Studies and worked for several years in the non-profit sector and previously served as the Program Manager for Family Science with Ohio State University Extension.
June HentonDean and Faculty Emeritus
June Henton was Dean of the College of Human Sciences (CHS) and Executive Director of the Hunger Solutions Institute (HSI) at Auburn University. In 2004, in partnership with the UN World Food Programme, she founded Universities Fighting World Hunger and inspired its expansion to hundreds of campuses and through annual UFWH Summits since 2006. She was designated as a White House Champion of Change for Food Security in 2012.
Harriet GilesFaculty Emeritus
Harriet Giles previously served as the Director of External Relations for Auburn’s College of Human Sciences and Managing Director of the Hunger Solutions Institute. She headed the HSI’s first outreach initiative End Child Hunger in Alabama (ECHA), guiding a multi-sector task force composed of leaders from government, the private sector, NGOs, and academia. She also served as the faculty advisor for Auburn’s chapter of Universities Fighting World Hunger and in 2013 was presented with Auburn’s highest recognition for humanitarian achievement, the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for mentoring the next generation of food security leaders.
The Power of Partnership
No one person, nation, organization, or university can solve the critical issues of hunger and malnutrition. But working together, we can. The Hunger Solutions Institute and Universities Fighting World Hunger are proud to be part of a growing, multi-sector global network dedicated to ending hunger and malnutrition.