By Naushaba Khan
Although most students at Santa Clara never have to question when or from where their next meal will come, millions of people throughout America and around the world are in a constant state of worry about this.
Educating students about the issues of hunger and poverty and explaining how these impact the daily lives of many people are the two main goals of Santa Clara’s new club – Bridging the Gap: Alleviating Poverty. This week, BTGAP joined the Food and Agribusiness Institute to host Hunger Week.
Christine Cate, a founder of BTGAP, said, “We are hoping to raise awareness about hunger, poverty, food justice and environmental impacts of food production in America and also globally.”
Problems of poverty and starvation around the world are escalating, demanding even more attention from people such as Santa Clara students to help make a significant change.
“(Hunger) is more common than most students think,” said Cate, “yet, all preventable and fixable.”
BTGAP has been posting facts about hunger and poverty throughout Hunger Week via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and encourages Santa Clara students to join them in raising awareness.
The club hosted its first event for Hunger Week on Monday in Benson Memorial Center, bringing together club members and all others interested, to view the documentary “A Place at the Table.” The documentary’s focus was on poverty, hunger and undernutrition in America.
Cate said that it is a sad truth that there are “50 million people in the U.S. – one in four children – that don’t know where their next meal is coming from, despite our having the means to provide nutritious, affordable food for all Americans.” The event was considered an “eye-opening” and “heartbreaking” experience by the attendees.
“In our country, hunger is an issue for so many people. In the Santa Clara bubble, this sometimes seems impossible to students as they toss out half-eaten taco salads, but the issues is still prevalent in the world,” said freshman Hannah Baker. “I grew up with people who did not know where dinner was coming from, and that is scarier than anything I’ve ever dealt with. Helping to alleviate this fear from a child or an adult’s life is ever poignant and important.”
BTGAP hosted “Food for Thought – Feeding10Billion,” on Tuesday, which featured a lecture series given by Paul Matteucci from Feeding10Billion. Matteucci discussed his project, which involves exploring creative and sustainable solutions for the world’s growing need for food.
On Wednesday, the club hosted an event at Santa Clara’s Forge Garden to bag beans into individual portions. The bags are to be distributed to local farm workers and their families, so students have the opportunity to directly impact the lives of individuals and their families.
Today, a day-long feast will mark the end of Hunger Week 2013. Students are welcome to raise awareness of hunger and show their support for the cause by wearing the yellow wristbands that may be attained during club tabling hours throughout the week. BTGAP hopes the events throughout the course of the week will help Santa Clara students and locals realize that something can be done to alleviate the problem of hunger and poverty in the world.