USG Students Fighting Hunger in Montgomery County (VIDEO)
Students from The Universities at Shady Grove (USG) hosted an expo to fight hunger in Montgomery County. They also presented a series of proposals part of Hunger For Solutions Challenge to a panel of business owners, experts, and county officials.
The Hungry for Solutions Expo took place on April 16 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., and the program was part of USG’s Civic Engagement Series 2015.
“Today we’re talking about who is fighting for food security in Montgomery County. We have community partners. There are fifty-one agencies in Montgomery County that actually fight hunger in our community,” said Susan Callahan, chef and faculty advisor for the University of Maryland Eastern Shore at the Universities at Shady Grove.
MyMCMedia’s Aline Barros talked to students, USG faculty, county officials, and members of nonprofit organizations about food rescue, backpack feeding programs, and repurposing food.
“If we were going to meet the gap of the number of people that are still hungry in Montgomery County and if we are going to reduce the food waste; we have to think of new ways,” said Jackie DeCarlo, executive director of Manna Food Center.
In an email to MyMCMedia, USG official shared information about each challenge and the approach taken by each group.
Challenge: Create entrepreneurial business approaches to use recovered food
Student worked with Montgomery County Food Security Collaborative.
The mission of the collaborative “To significantly reduce hunger in Montgomery County by 2020 by redistributing fresh, perishable food and increasing collaboration among businesses, non-profits, food providers, and families in need.”
Proposal of Solution Presented by: Annah Seo, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Challenge: Create an approach to greatly enhance the percentage of Montgomery County food waste that is recovered and repurposed with a focus on composting
Students collaborated with Growing Soul.
Twenty-three percent of solid waste in Montgomery County is Food; some of this food can be used to support those deemed as food insecure; some might be used to feed animals, and some might be composted.
Proposal of Solution Presented by: UMES Hospitality and Tourism Management Students: Armando Mendez, Hayan Kim, Louis-Nicolas Le Ber, Maria Silva
Challenge: Create a data collection and analysis solution to lead to new outreach strategies to food insecure Montgomery County Public School students K-12.
Student worked with Manna Food Center
There are 30,000 FARM kids in MCPS elementary schools. Manna reaches only about 2,300 of them.
Proposal of Solution Presented by: UMES Hospitality and Tourism Management Student: Kenneth Brewer
Challenge: Create nutritious and family friendly meal programs with recipes highlighting seasonal produce and encouraging purchases at Farmers’ Markets
Students worked with Crossroads Community.
How can families registered with the Maryland WIC program be encouraged to shop at local farmers markets with and even beyond the limit of their $25 of FMNP (Farmers Market Nutrition Program) coupons?
Proposal of Solution Presented by: UMES Hospitality and Tourism Management Students: Derek McBrayer, Prashant Kunjeer and Piyush Rangra.
Challenge: Develop a five-year plan to assist the non-profit Nourish Now in expanding as a social entrepreneur business in Montgomery County.
Students collaborated with Nourish Now.
Nourish Now works to alleviate food insecurity in Montgomery County and beyond by reducing the waste of unused fresh food. Nourish Now has forged relationships with restaurants, caterers, and other licensed food providers in order to secure donations of surplus food. The team collects, repackages and distributes donated food to families, at-risk youth and other organizations that assist in feeding those in need.
• Create a five-year plan, using growth in the past three years and project new business opportunities and partnerships?
• Identify logistics for growth such as how much space, how many employees, what else you can be doing.
Proposal of Solution Presented by: UMES Hospitality and Tourism Management Students: Jennifer Hendricks and Jessica Maltese.