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K-State Today

February 17, 2016



A Day of Learning: Food Security Engagement Symposium

By David Procter

There is little question that access to healthy foods is one of the most critical issues facing K-State students, Kansans and citizens around the world. A 2012 Kansas Hunger Atlas found that more than 11,000 or 16.2 percent of Riley County citizens were food insecure while an estimated 15 percent of all Kansans — or more than 427,000 Kansas citizens — reported that they worried about their family's ability to purchase enough food. A 2014 financial stress campus survey found that nearly one in four K-State students did not have enough money to buy groceries on a regular basis.

As part of Provost April Mason's call for a week of action on food security, faculty, staff, students and concerned citizens are invited to join together for A Day of Learning about food security in Manhattan, Riley County and communities worldwide. As Mason said in her Feb. 9 letter, "Access to safe and nutritious food is an issue that affects us all, and it's an area that should unite us and bring together diverse partnerships that transcend sectors and academic disciplines." This is why we are bringing together faculty, staff, students, national thought leaders, and community partners to discuss engaged research, teaching and innovative strategies to address food security.

The goal of the symposium is to create a collaborative and informative space where we can learn from one another, share ideas and think about new ways of addressing the challenges of food security. The symposium will feature short presentations by faculty, staff, students and community partners dealing with food security issues. Following the presentations, attendees will participate in guided dialogue about ways to best move forward on the food security issue. We are also featuring keynote presentations from Provost Mason, Robert Egger, president and founder of the L.A. Central Kitchen, and Tim Eatman, director of research for Imagining America.

The engagement symposium will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, April 4, in the K-State Alumni Center. There is a registration fee of $25 for faculty, staff and community attendees. For students, the registration fee is $10. One half of the registration fee will go toward campus hunger efforts. To register, visit https://www.ksu.edu/cecd.

We invite faculty, staff, students and community to consider presenting at the Day of Learning. Does your research, teaching, work and/or outreach and service address issues of food security, household food insecurity, food deserts, or hunger? If so, you are encouraged to submit a proposal for either a poster or oral presentation at the symposium. Read more about the call for proposals and details about presenting at the engagement symposium.

This event is sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the Center for Engagement and Community Development, K-State Research and Extension, the Staley School of Leadership Studies and the Office of Student Life.

For questions, please contact David Procter at the Center for Engagement and Community Development at 785-532-6868 or dprocter@k-state.edu