Zero Hunger

We waste too much food while people go hungry.

America produces more than enough food for everyone. The hard work and ingenuity of people growing our food delivers plenty. We should save the food and resources that would otherwise be wasted and get it to the people who need it.

Plenty Of Food
In fact, we produce so much food that we waste 40 percent of it. And yet millions of Americans are going hungry. That should not happen. We should not be literally throwing away the solution to hunger in our country. We should save the food and resources that would otherwise be wasted and get it to the people who need it.

We should have Zero Hunger in America.

People Still Go Hungry
People go hungry in many places, including some you might not expect. In one study, just under half of all college students report that at least occasionally they don’t know how they’ll find their next meal. At least one in five college students report not having enough food to eat on a regular basis. One in 10 students at community colleges report having to go an entire day without eating. The stereotype of a college student is one of privilege and entitlement. But most students, especially outside the elite schools, don’t fit that profile.

The problem, of course, is bigger than college students. In total, 41 million Americans struggle with hunger. We’re focused on college campuses because, as self-contained and often tight-knit communities, they’re a good place to start to show how we can end hunger. The students who work for Zero Hunger on their campuses will become the next generation of leaders, capable of driving toward the same goal in their communities.


Zero Hunger Means Getting The Plenty To The People
How do we move toward Zero Hunger? We need to know who is hungry, know where there are underutilized resources, and make a comprehensive plan to get these resources to people who need them. That’s a commitment to Zero Hunger. There are three steps for each campus or community to take to move toward Zero Hunger.

First, campus administrations and student organizations can work together to provide dignified ways of identifying who needs food.

Second, each campus needs to understand and plan for where it has underused resources. There are some common places to look. Dining halls make more food in a day than people are going to pay for with their meal plan; restaurants on and around campuses cook more food in a day than people buy; students often have more food in their dorms or Greek houses than they can use; some students buy more “swipes,” or credits, to use at campus dining than they’ll use in a semester. Each example is an opportunity to rescue food from going to waste and get it to people who can use it.

Finally, to implement a plan that connects people who need food with the food that is available on and around campus, we need people willing to do the work. Campus staff, faculty, student governments, fraternities and sororities, cultural associations, any and all groups on campus can help with the logistics of collecting and moving food and resources to where it can help hungry students.


Starting On A Campus Near You
Over the 2018-19 academic year, we’re working to persuade 10 campuses to commit to Zero Hunger. It starts with recruiting the people on campus who can implement a Zero Hunger commitment, building the base of support to achieve the goal.

A country with more than enough food to go around should not tolerate anyone being hungry. Meeting the needs of every hungry person is not just about fulfilling the potential that each person has to contribute to society; it’s also a measure of our generosity and compassion. Zero Hunger campuses can show that, in a world of abundance, there’s no need for anybody to go hungry.

We’ve wasted enough food and enough human potential. Let’s not waste any more time. Let’s commit to Zero Hunger wherever we can. That can start with you.

Commit To Zero Hunger

We can end student hunger in your community if we save the food and resources that would otherwise be wasted and get it to the people who need it. Help make your community a leader in addressing student needs by committing to a goal of Zero Hunger.


Campaign Updates

Media Hit | Hunger

UConnPIRG Confronts Hunger on Campus

Earlier this month, a national study on food insecurity on college campuses was produced by several campus-based organizations.

Some of the organizations that authored the report include the College and University Food Bank Alliance, the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness and the UConn Storrs chapter of the Public Interest Research Group, also known as UConnPIRG.

The study found that 48 percent of students surveyed reported experiencing food insecurity within the past 30 days and 22 percent of students had very low food security and thus qualified as “hungry.”   

The study was conducted across 34 two and four year institutions including Norwalk Community College in Connecticut.

“While UConn students weren't surveyed, the study reflects the feelings of food insecurity experienced by students on college campus nationwide,” Matthew Talley, UConnPIRG’s Hunger and Homelessness campaign coordinator and third-semester history and economics double major, said.

UConnPIRG is a nonprofit student activism and advocacy group at the University of Connecticut that is currently working to help combat hunger on campus and in the larger community, according to its website.

The report found that 43 percent of students who had a meal plan still experienced food insecurity.

“Meal plans are expensive and commuter students usually don't opt for one. And for those with meal plans, the dining halls only have limited hours. UConn students are busy people with busy lives who don't always know when their next meal will be,” Talley said.

The report also found that 56 percent of food insecure students have paying jobs and 75 percent receive financial aid.

“When we have so many students who are doing everything right but still can’t afford food, it means we’re failing to provide these students with a viable path to success in their higher education,” Talley said.

One of UConnPIRG’s main projects right now is the Hunger and Homelessness Campaign.

“The campaign has three main components. The first is fundraising, the second is service, and the third is education,” Talley said.

Some of the programs and initiatives that UConnPIRG is working on starting up include holding a spare change drive to support My Sisters’ Place Inc. in Hartford and planning trips to local soup kitchens, Talley said.

“We're also in the beginning stages of holding events to raise awareness on campus about hunger not only being a problem, but also a reality,” Talley said.


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Resource | Hunger

Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week Toolkit


Download this resource for everything you need to know to organize a Hunger & Homelessness Awareness week on your campus.

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Resource | Hunger

Hunger and Homelessness Project Packet



Download this resource for everything you need to know to organize the Hunger campaign on your campus.


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Blog Post | Hunger

Homelessness Sleepout

Thanks to everyone who attended our annual Homelessness Sleepout on the quad last night! This was one of our biggest ones yet and it could not have been possible without all of you. The event is designed to raise awareness about homelessness in our community. 

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Blog Post | Hunger

Hunger Text-To-Give Table

We were in the Northwest Dining Hall today raising money for famine relief in Somalia through a text-to-give program that instantly sends $10 to Oxfam's relief program. We raised $800 which will provide instant relief to families in need in the middle of this crisis.

The thing I find most shocking is how little attention the famine is receiving, so if this is news to you….Somalia is the first U.N. declared famine since 1985; where crop failures, government shutdown, and territorial warring has caused the death of at least 90 children per day from starvation.

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