Carly, the Program Coordinator in the McGovern Center, was interviewed by our campus media department about the upcoming 2017 Hunger Summit, happening here at DWU on Wednesday, November 8th. Check it out:
What exactly is the South Dakota Hunger Summit?
The Hunger Summit is hosted by the McGovern Center and several other partners across South Dakota to spread the word about issues of hunger and food security that are happening locally, nationally, and internationally, as well as encourage people in our state to get involved. The McGovern Center seeks to honor the legacy of Senator George McGovern and Eleanor McGovern and their commitment to fighting against hunger in our world. Each year, we bring in a keynote speaker and have breakout sessions about various topics related to hunger. There’s informational booths about organizations that help fight hunger in our area and we give the McGovern Hunger Ambassador award, which goes to someone who has made a significant contribution in the fight against hunger here in South Dakota. We also host the Mitchell High School’s Empty Bowls Lunch during the Summit– attendees can purchase a student-made pottery bowl as a “meal ticket” to participate in the soup lunch that day.
When did it first begin?
We hosted our first Hunger Summit at DWU in 2015.
What is so significant about it?
Sometimes we don’t realize that hunger happens right here in our own backyard. This event is important to me because not only do we raise awareness about hunger and food security, but we try to provide opportunities for anyone– students, farmers, community members, business owners, etc.– to learn about how they can get involved in the fight against hunger. It’s also pretty amazing to see the wide variety of partners we have and the people who attend– we’ve had Hunger Summit attendees from all over the state!
What is your favorite part about the summit?
I like the community aspect of the Summit. People all have a different reason for attending, but they are each involved in food security or hunger issues in some way. It’s great to have a space to come together, learn about what’s already being done in our community, but also network together about what we can do moving forward. I’ve seen significant community changes that have come out of Hunger Summit conversations.
Why did you choose M.J. Altman to be the speaker?
M.J. is the editorial director for World Food Program USA and is also a co-creator and host of the podcast, Hacking Hunger. (https://wfpusa.org/series/hacking-hunger/) She’s been involved in a lot of hunger initiatives and has traveled all over the world, but we’re excited about her interest in young people, media, and her commitment to spreading the word about hunger in new ways. She will not only be giving our keynote, but she and her colleague, Ash, will also be offering a breakout session about storytelling– particularly as it has to do with telling the story of those facing hunger– at 11am.
Would you like to include information about ambassador award nominations?
We would love to have people nominate someone for the McGovern Hunger Ambassador Award. We’re looking for someone from South Dakota who has made a difference in the fight against hunger. They can fill out the application here: http://www.partnersagainsthunger.org/mcgovern-hunger-ambassador-award-application/
Is there any other specific information or input that you would like us to know?
People can come for any part of the day– so even if you can only make it for the keynote, for a breakout, or for lunch, come join us! Registration for the Summit is encouraged, but not required. More info here: http://www.partnersagainsthunger.org/hunger-summit/