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K-State Today

April 19, 2019

K-State group Joins WEALTH Day to connect Kansans with legislators, advocacy organizations

Submitted by Tom Hallaq

Hungry Heartland: A Food Desert Story

Members from K-State's "Hungry Heartland: A Multimedia Food Desert Story" team joined the Climate + Energy Project, or CEP, along with other partnering community organizations and businesses from across the state, to host a day of advocacy and education.

On March 12, Kansas WEALTH Day convened organizations, advocates and legislators to connect on Water, Energy, Air, Land, Transportation and Health — Kansas WEALTH. The Climate + Energy Project has hosted a day of education and advocacy around climate issues for over a decade. This year WEALTH Day convened 250 Kansans, 60 legislators and more than 40 organizations.

Throughout the day attendees engaged with legislators, participated in dialogs on each of the WEALTH topics — Water, Energy, Air, Land, Transportation and Health — presented by legislators and moderated by experts, enjoyed an address by Lt. Gov. Lynn Rogers where he made it clear that acting on climate is a priority for him and should be for all Kansans. Organizations and individuals had the opportunity to sample new ideas in the Solutions Showcase and meet with their legislators to discuss climate issues important to them either in scheduled meetings or over a local foods luncheon.

"The Hungry Heartland: A Multimedia Food Desert Story" team includes faculty from three different departments across K-State's campus: Tom Hallaq, journalism and mass communications; Han Yu, English; and Shreepad Joglekar, art. Together with students in their classrooms, these faculty members are telling stories of those living in food deserts across Kansas through video documentaries, photographs and social media content.

"WEALTH Day is an event that brings people from a multitude of backgrounds together to discuss issues that are important for the future of Kansas," said Dorothy Barnett, CEP executive director. "This is a great way to learn more about the great accomplishments of Kansas around climate issues and ways we can secure a brighter future."

WEALTH Partners — marked with an asterisk — and sponsors include the following: Climate + Energy Project*, Friends of the Kaw*, Kansas Rural Center*, Kansas City Kansas NAACP*, Metropolitan Energy Center*, Kansas Interfaith Action*, Grassland Heritage Foundation*, Kansas Natural Resources Council*, Audubon of Kansas, BuildSmart, Citizens' Climate Lobby, Clean Energy Business Council, Cromwell Solar, El Centro, Foley Power Solutions, Good Energy Solutions, Green Factor Insulation Inc., Heartland Renewable Energy Society, Hungry Heartland, JCCC Sustainable Agriculture, Kansas Action for Children, Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams, Kansas Appleseed, Kansas City, Kansas NAACP Branch, Kansas Farmers Union, Kansas Health Foundation, Kansas Permaculture Institute, Kansas Sierra Club, King Solar, Lawrence Ecology Teams United in Sustainability, League of Women Voters of Kansas, Lutherans Restoring Creation, Monarch Watch, National Nurses United, Oread Friends Meeting, Pittsburg State University, Project Rally, Prosoco, Shawnee County Democrats, SunSource Homes, The Merc Co+op, The Nature Conservancy, and Women for Kansas — Northeast Chapter.

The Climate + Energy Project seeks to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions in America's Heartland through the ambitious deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy, in policy and practice. Connect with the Climate + Energy Project on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.