Hunger Action Month kicks off with lecture on food insecurities

Mercury Bowen, Entertainment Reporter

Hunger Action Month will kick off with the Poverty and Food Insecurity: The Reality of Hunger in the Community and On Campus talk at 5 p.m. Monday in the Doudna Performing Arts Lecture Hall.

Sociology Professor Michael Gillespie, who has done research on the topic, will be presenting the lecture, and there will be free snacks available to attendees.

Beth Gillespie, the interim director of civic engagement, said the talk will discuss what being hungry does to students and what it looks like, as well as where students can go to get help and where resources are in the community.

“We know that in our community and in our state we’ve got poverty and food insecurity issues,” Beth Gillespie said. “(Michael Gillespie) is going to break it down and share with us some things that we need to know about it right here for our students on campus.”

The intent of Hunger Action Month will be to educate the campus community about local poverty and food insecurity issues as well as giving them the tools and knowledge to do something about it, something Beth Gillespie said is new this year.  

“We wanted to add in an academic component since we are a college campus,” Beth Gillespie said. “That is the primary reason why all of our students are here is to gain knowledge and gain skills and gain the ability to be paying attention to whatever community they end up in when they’re done at Eastern.”

Crystal Brown, the assistant director of civic engagement, agreed that the academic aspect of the talk was important.

“We are a college campus,” Brown said. “The students are here for academics and to continue to always learn, and it’s a great opportunity to have one of those inspiring but also impactful lectures outside of the classroom about what is happening in our community and to their peers.”

Beth Gillespie said the event will be important for students to attend not only because it is a learning opportunity about the topic itself, but also because students can learn how to get help if they are struggling.

“They will learn different ways they can get involved and do something about (hunger and food insecurity),” Beth Gillespie said. “If they are a student who is struggling to put food on the table for three meals a day, seven days a week this would be a really easy and safe way to come and learn about places they could get help without having to ask ‘Where do I get help?'”

Mercury Bowen can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].