Hunger is on the rise globally. This can be observed in increasing rates of wasting and stunting in the past three years (UNFAO, 2018). Malnutrition has been compounded by unprecedented climatic and food price volatility, resulting in decreased food security and widespread instability in both conflict-prone and peaceful regions of the world. Unfortunately, these challenges are expected to become greater as we struggle to feed a projected world population of 9.7 billion by 2050.
Closer to home, a recent study revealed alarming rates of food insecurity on U.S. university campuses, including within the University of Tennessee system (Hagedorn, et al., 2019). People experiencing food insecurity have limited or uncertain access to food. College students who are food insecure are at greater risk for stress, anxiety, and depression. This poses a threat to the welfare and academic success of UT students*. Given the global and local scope of this challenge, it is imperative that academic institutions engage in efforts to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goal 2 of Zero Hunger by 2030 (UNSDG, 2015).
*Feeding America, 2019