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  • Robert Egger; A Hunger Fighter You Should Know

    Robert Egger: A Hunger Fighter You Should Know

     

     

    I got lost in D.C. looking for Robert Egger.  I’m accustomed to Kansas roads laid out in simple 4-mile square grids.  Fly over Kansas and you see a checkerboard; fly over DC and you see several wagon wheels.

    I finally found my way down an alley and through a loading dock into the largest homeless shelter in D.C.  Winding my way through bustling bodies loading trucks, I was pointed to a plain block wall with a plain metal door. I was now at D.C. Central Kitchens (DCCK) that Robert founded in 1989.

    We were given a tour through the cramped labyrinth of an industrial kitchen shoved into a space far too small to be able to produce tens of thousands of meals each week.  Formerly homeless people were dressed in chef’s hats and aprons bustled around in frenzied, but deliberate, activity. The freezers were packed full, the storage areas had each small little inch filled, and every stove, table, pot, and pan had something cooking in it. One chef taught an apprentice how to artistically carve vegetables.

    After the tour, we were seated in a small room with a table and a few chairs. I sat nervously with my son, Caleb, waiting for THE Robert Egger -who had been named in the “Top 50 Most Powerful and Influential Nonprofit Leaders” from 2006-2009.  I had just finished his award winning book Begging for Change. On the wall was a photo of President Bush and Robert. I was getting ready to meet with perhaps the most revolutionary nonprofit leader in the U.S. who won the James Beard Foundation’s “Humanitarian of the Year” award, an Oprah Angel Network “Use Your Life” award and the Caring Institute’s national “Caring Award.” He was also named one of the “Real Sexiest Men Alive” in Oprah’s Magazine in 2006.  The list goes on.

     

     

    Guys like Robert are my heroes. He was a successful businessman with one of the most popular restaurants and nightclubs in D.C. One day, he got roped into feeding hungry people then walking home from his club later, he noticed all the unused food from restaurants being tossed out.  He decided to create a way to reclaim food destined for the dump to be turned into healthy meals for the hungry and, along the way, invent a way for homeless people to learn culinary skills so they could become self-sufficient. Thus began the amazing DCCK.

    People who work in nonprofits are some of the most compassionate people I know but are sometimes are plagued with “do-gooderism.”  They see a hurting person and will do whatever they can to meet that need. While that is a great motivation, it is often the downfall of a nonprofit who is so busy trying to do good, they forget that a nonprofit still has to be run like a business- you need more money coming in than goes out; what makes a non-profit different than a for-profit is that no shareholders benefit from the profit.

    Businessmen, like Robert, who become non-profit leaders, bring a breath of fresh air to do-gooderism. They understand, at the end of the day, you have to run a nonprofit like a business. You can’t do any good if you don’t have any money in the bank.

     

     

    Another initiative Robert and DCCK started was Campus Kitchens. Located on 33 college campuses across America, they recovered 407,905 pounds of food and prepared 252,672 meals in 2012!

    Robert is famous for saying there are no profits without nonprofits. Although the nonprofit sector is the third biggest industry in the U.S. behind military and banking, often the economic impact of nonprofits is barely recognized. He founded CForward  to encourage politicians at various levels to make the nonprofit sector part of their campaigns.

     

     

    After years of rocking the east coast with his wildly successful endeavors, Robert recently moved to the west coast to start the L.A. Kitchens. In a reoccurring theme throughout his endeavors, Robert will build sustainable systems that feed the hungry and restore human dignity.

    I was nervous when I met him and was like the drunken drummer on the movie “That Thing You Do,” who said something stupid like, “You’re my biggest fan!” Robert told me that when he was starting out, some folks didn’t consider him worth their time and that he purposed to always find a time to meet with anyone who wanted a meeting.

    The next time I see Robert, it will most likely be in Wichita, Kansas, as he keynotes the 4th Annual Kansas Hunger Dialogue on Feb. 26, 2014.  I doubt he’ll get lost on the way from the airport to the hotel; the road is straight as an arrow and covered in yellow bricks.

     

     

    But Wichita, and Kansas, and hungry people will never be the same again.

     

     

     

     

    Rick McNary is the V.P. of Sales & Marketing and Strategic Partnerships for Outreach, Inc. He is also author of Hunger Bites: Bite Size Stories of Inspiration.

    You can follow him on Twitter: @rickmcnary or read his personal blog: www.rickmcnary.me

     

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  • HungerU Tour

     

     The Farm Journal Foundation’s HungerU Tour

    The HungerU tour is an initiative of the Farm Journal Foundation and its platform, Farmers Feeding the World, which strives to educate the future leaders about the global hunger crisis. The tour, based out of a trailer jam-packed with educational materials and AV equipment, stops at universities throughout the country in order to engage students about the world hunger crisis. HungerU focuses on making students aware of the scope of the hunger crisis, both at home and abroad, as well as the role technological advances in communication and agriculture plays in alleviating world hunger. Ultimately, the goal of the HungerU tour is to encourage the next generation of leaders to use their knowledge and experience to help solve the world hunger problem.

     

    By utilizing a fun and diverse mix of educational materials, the representatives are able to engage and connect with students about how they can apply their experiences and education to end world hunger.

    “Watching the students connect what they are learning in class with what they learn at HungerU, and seeing their eyes light up, is truly inspiring,” says Margie Alsbrook, Director of Operations for the Farm Journal Foundation. Alsbrook says the tour is made possible by individual donors to the Foundation, as well as DuPont and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Farm Journal Foundation recently wrapped up a trip to the 2013 World Food Prize, where they had a chance to meet policymakers and those responsible for productivity gains that are so important for feeding a growing population.

    The fall 2013 HungerU tour made its first stop at Cornell University on September 19 and will visit a total of 19 universities along the East Coast. At four schools along the way, the HungerU tour will be hosting Food Forums where students will get a chance to deepen their engagement by hearing from a panel of experts from fields related to world hunger. In addition to the Food Forums, the HungerU tour will utilize its partnership with Stop Hunger Now to promote food packaging events, where students package thousands of meals for those in need. More information and a schedule of campus visits can be found on the HungerU website: http://www.agweb.com/hungeru/. Be sure to keep track of the HungerU tour on twitter @HungerUTour (https://twitter.com/HungerUTour) or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/HungerU).

     

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  • Hunger Summit TwitteRecap

    It’s not too late. You didn’t miss all the action. You may have missed the keynote speakers, the food packing meals, meeting representatives from all over the world… You may have missed Alfred Orono-Orono’s chilling story that led to unbreakable hope followed by his radiant faith in the future on the War On Hunger, but you definitely haven’t missed the action.

    Throughout the UFWH 9th Annual Hunger Summit, there was more than one common theme. Check out some of our tweets and retweets from our friends and attendees!

     

     

    Yes! RT @margiealsbrook Truly inspiring weekend at #UFWH! Now the real work begins, because #hungercantwait.

    — Stop Hunger Now (@Stop_Hunger_Now) March 2, 2014

     

     

    #UFWH summit closes, @AuburnU Henton says our effort for the next year: declaration to make an commitment to the future of fight hunger

    — Campus Kitchens, AU (@ckp_auburn) March 2, 2014

     

     

    Know what your partner brings to the table, but also know what you bring to the table… Be flexible, all working toward same goal #UFWH

    — Campus Kitchens, AU (@ckp_auburn) March 2, 2014

     

     

      “I challenge you to share your passion.” -Amy McMillen, FAO #UFWH

    — Food4Thought (@hastingsfft) March 2, 2014

     

     

    How can we use partnerships to solve hunger? Our panelists represent businesses, NGOs, and the UN #UFWH pic.twitter.com/I1nCOkvEsi

    — ONE at Auburn (@ONEatAuburn) March 2, 2014

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • Hasting’s College: Rallying, Educating, Serving

    For college students in the middle of the United States, the serious issues of hunger and poverty can seem extremely far way, but I and my fellow students at Hastings College do our best to remind our campus and community of the importance and proximity of world hunger. It is easy to forget about the 15.8 percent of people in our local community who live below the poverty line and who go to bed hungry as you enter the dining hall. It is even easier to forget about people half-way across the world that may eat less in a day than the average student wastes at the end of a meal. We try our best to remind each person on our campus about the neighbor who is hungry and the stranger who would be appalled at their waste; to inspire them not just to remember, but to take action in the fight to end global hunger.

    Kids Against Hunger

    Our work is always two-fold: what are we doing locally and what are we doing globally.

    Sandwiches

    Locally we rally, educate, and serve. Two student groups at Hastings exemplify service to fight hunger in the community around us. First is the student group Food 4 Thought that runs, in conjunction with a community partner, a back pack program for students on free and reduced lunch in the local school system. The students help raise nearly all the $25,000 it takes to finance the program for a year, and they also serve as the core volunteer force in bringing the meals to the schools. They deliver these meals to the schools serving 76 families for the entire year, and the group does its best to expand services to more families whenever it can by partnering with student organizations to accomplish this serve the community.

     

    The second group, Students Against Hunger and Homelessness, organizes a week each year to promote awareness and to get as many students involved in the fight to end world hunger as possible. Over 30 percent of our student body participated in one or more of the events.  This year, our group focused on local education by organizing a community panel on hunger and homelessness issues and by screening the film, “A Place at the Table.” These events were paired with hands on work. Over 100 students worked together to prepare 2,500 meals for community members in need, and twenty-seven students prepared seven meals for our local homeless shelter, Crossroads Mission. While the work of these groups, with the support of the campus as a whole, is commendable it barely puts a dent in the hunger in our local community.

    Making Sandwiches

    Hastings College students also work to address hunger on a more global scale with the local affiliate of Kids Against Hunger (KAH). Many student groups, classes, staff and faculty donate their time to pack meals throughout the year to be sent abroad, most often to Haiti. As part of their week of awareness and action, the Students Against Hunger and Homelessness group brings a meal packing event to campus. This year 238 students packed over 60,000 meals to be sent to the Philippines after the typhoon. In years past, the group has also centered the educational piece of the weak on global hunger with events such as the Oxfam Hunger Banquet and the Church World Vision Poverty Meal. These events dramatize the distribution of food worldwide and help to show our students that luck is what allows them to live in the “bread basket of the world” while others live on less than a dollar a day.

     

    Even though our service is good for immediate aid in the fight against hunger; we hope that our unyielding dedication to keep this topic relevant to our peers will bear the most fruit. As they graduate and go on to live their lives we hope that they remember that local and global hunger are pressing issues, and that they continue to take action against it. Packing lunches

     

     

     

    Dae Hemphill | Hastings College ’14

     

     

     

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  • You and the Summit

    The 2014 Universities Fighting World Hunger (UFWH) Summit is an event where participants gather to share best practices and inspiration, in addition to listening to world-renowned keynote speakers. It is going to be an incredible time and YOU should be there! Why? Because the Summit gives you the opportunity hear from some of the world’s most prominent leaders and participate in a number of panels and interactive sessions. Hunger is a true issue for many people throughout the world. Many of us cannot even imagine the feeling of being hungry for longer than lunch to a late dinner. The UFWH Summit is more than an event, but a show of support and advocacy for those who suffer from hunger daily. We care for those who feel hungry for extended periods of time. The Summit allows participants to not only be motivated, but identify practical and replicable actions that they can bring back to their campuses and communities.

    Speakers from around the world have agreed to come to Auburn, Alabama, for the Summit. When you register for the Summit, you are also signing up to hear from Alfred Orono Orono, Senior Advisor, Rule of Law at United Nations Mission in South Sudan. Orono Orono spent part of his youth as a child soldier fighting the oppressive military rule of the dictator Idi Amin. Now an international criminal lawyer, he has a unique perspective on issues facing war-torn countries. His survival and subsequent success makes him a leader in this community. In addition to Orono Orono, Mick Jackson will also be a speaker at the Summit. Jackson is the founder of the WildHearts Group, which is committed to launching companies that use their profits to fight poverty. In 2008, Mick was voted Entrepreneur of the Year and Top Scot by the Scottish public, an honor he shares with JK Rowling and six time Olympic Gold medal winner, Sir Chris Hoy.

    The Summit will be the only place you can see these two amazing speakers, plus more, in one place. Not only do we have some great speakers, there will also be a Stop Hunger Now food packing event and the HungerU bus stop tour will be here. We are getting serious about ending child hunger – in America, and around the world. Moreover, we believe in advocacy and teaching students to become strong activists for causes in which they believe. You can help us become a 21st century food security leader.

    With your help, we can make strides toward a world where no one goes to bed hungry and no child has to worry about where their next meal will come from. With your help, hunger becomes an issue of our past, not our future. We hope to see YOU at the UFWH 9th Annual Hunger Summit at Auburn University February 28th-March 2nd, 2014.

    Published by Stephanie Gandy, UFWH Intern

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  • 9th annual UFWH Summit: Focusing on Food Access

    Did you enjoy that nice salad you had for lunch this weekend? How about that steak that was grilled just right at your favorite restaurant? Or what about the leftover meatloaf you put in the refrigerator for today’s lunch?

    Now imagine how you would feel if you forgot today’s lunch at home. For some, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal, they’d just have to stop by a local restaurant or a dining hall on campus and have their pick of anything already made. Others might just not have time to grab a bite to eat, but they’d just make up for it by eating a bigger dinner.

    For others, they might go days and days without food. They don’t have the opportunity to take a lunch break. They don’t have leftovers because there was no food on the table last night to begin with.

    For a little bit less than 72 hours on February 28th, March 1st and 2nd, these people are our only focus. A college town that is usually filled with football fans on a fall Saturday will become the gathering point for hundreds of faculty and students who care.

    We care for those who can’t eat daily. We care for those who don’t have enough money to live from day to day. We care for those who don’t have a source of clean water or healthy food. We care for those who walk miles and miles to obtain a few days worth of food for their families. We care for local children who rely on school programs to eat one meal each day. We care for the millions that show up at food pantries each day. We care for foreign students who come from poverty-stricken countries in order to gain an education in America. We care for those without healthy soil where crops can’t grow in abundance. We care for those developing new programs that could help save thousands of lives. We care for the improvement of clean water sources in underdeveloped countries. We care because there are so many more ideas that haven’t been thought of yet.

    I care because I’ve seen firsthand the effects of malnourishment in remote villages of Haiti. I’ve experienced living off of one meal of rice and sometimes goat meat each day for a week. I care because I’ve seen 20-year old children that have lived without adequate amounts of food who are the size of four year olds, Haitian families who lost several children due to childhood diseases that could have been prevented with proper diets, parents who couldn’t pick up their children because they were purely skin and bones, children who are too weak to walk or play…

    Now imagine a world where these weren’t issues. A world where every child had three meals a day and didn’t have to walk to a different village for a clean source of water. A world where food pantries didn’t have to exist and where there was no food waste. A world where malnutrition didn’t mean underdevelopment or death.

    These goals may not happen in our lifetimes, but with your help we can made strides the fight against hunger. We hope to see you at the UFWH 9th Annual Hunger Summit at Auburn University February 28th-March 2nd, 2014.

    Written by Nicole Nabozniak, Auburn University junior, UFWH intern.

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