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Utah State University recommits to ending hunger on its campus

President Elizabeth Cantwell (right) holding a poster with Heidi Kühn (left)
Anna Johnson
President Cantwell and Heidi Kühn after signing the commitment to the PUSH campaign

At the Food Security and Solutions Symposium Wednesday, Utah State University President Elizabeth Cantwell recommitted to the Presidents United to Solve Hunger or PUSH campaign.

PUSH is a pledge to pursue activities and policies that prioritize food and nutrition including research, teaching, outreach and student engagement in the community, starting on campus.

USU became the first university in Utah to join the campaign in 2015 under then-president Stan Albrecht.

Cantwell said this commitment means the university is serious about addressing the issue of food insecurity and hunger.

“A recent survey of our campus found that about 60% of our student respondents had low or very low food security," Cantwell said. "Hunger in Utah is a serious issue and it is equally serious at Utah State University.”

Along with the commitment, World Food Prize winner Heidi Kühn spoke to students about her organization, Roots of Peace, which removes landmines from war-torn countries and helps convert the land to agricultural production supporting both food security and jobs in the area.

“As we remove one landmine from the face of this earth, we are not only removing the seeds of hatred from the soil, but from the soul," Kuhn said.

Student groups also presented their projects studying food issues in Utah from the resiliency of local supply chains for restaurants to the sustainability of USU’s student nutrition access center.

Kühn said the work these students are doing are the next steps in creating a world without hunger.

“When you think you can’t make a difference, think again. We are the wisdom keepers, but we can support you in building off the foundation of this concept of peace," she said.

Kühn also spoke with Tom Williams on Access Utah on Wednesday. You can learn more about her organization by tuning in here.

Anna grew up begging her mom to play music instead of public radio over the car stereo on the way to school. Now, she loves radio and the power of storytelling through sound. While she is happy to report on anything from dance concerts to laughter practice, her main focus at UPR is political reporting. She is studying Journalism and Political Science at Utah State University and wants to work in political communication after she graduates. In her free time, she spends time with her rescue dog Quigley and enjoys rock climbing.