Dr. Giunta’s marketing and human resource students attended the 17th Annual World Food Day panel to learn how hunger is not exclusively a global concern, but an issue in Westmoreland County as well.
Sophomore, Jamie Blotzer is a member of the Human Resource Outreach Group that organized the event. “The speakers were very interesting. It was interesting to see the different problems caused from being hungry in the different subjects, such as, biology and economics.”
Professor of Economics, Dr. Doina Vlad, spoke about hunger in relation to economics worldwide, noting the factors that influence food production. On the global spectrum, “15 million children die of hunger every year. Yet, in the U.S. alone, 40% of our food is never eaten, due to large restaurant portion sizes and ready-to-eat food.”
Texie Waddell, Project Manager of the Westmoreland County Food Bank, spoke about hunger in our own backyard, primarily, while offering methods for addressing this issue. “We serve 15,000 people each month from 45 pantry sites in Westmoreland County. Keep in mind that 4,000 of our recipients are children.”
After Vlad and Waddell spoke, a brief recess allowed students to ask questions and speak to the panelists personally before the final speaker. Concerns about local hunger and how to take action were common inquiries.
Dr. Jamie Fornsaglio, Associate Professor of Biology, concluded the event by lecturing on the biological consequences of world hunger. “Children can experience stunted growth, inability to think properly, weakness and impaired fetal development. If cells are hungry, there are biological consequences.”
The World Food Day panel delivered an educational view of hunger on both a world scale and a local scale. According to Giunta, “World Food Day is an annual event that occurs every October. Its purpose is to make students conscious of hunger as a problem locally and globally, while providing methods that students can undertake to make a difference.”