03:45 AM

Buckeye Nation mobilizes for a week of events focused on alleviating hunger

The Ohio State University is harnessing the power of its alumni and community to tackle one of the most compelling problems of our time: hunger and food security.

The university will convene the first Buckeye Summit on April 14, with an inaugural focus on food security. The summit will bring together hundreds of alumni, volunteers, business and community leaders, faculty, staff and students for an interactive town hall.

Buckeye Summit is part of a new prototype for engagement that connects Ohio State researchers and passionate students over discussions of real solutions to societal problems. This first conference reflects an institution-wide commitment to invest at least $100 million in food security over the next decade.

Thousands of Ohio families, 17.4 million U.S. households and nearly 1 billion people around the world don’t have enough to eat. This global problem demands collective action — and Ohio State is devoting the collective energy and wisdom of Buckeye Nation to have a major impact on reducing hunger in the community and globally.

The breakout and group discussions at the summit will address four broad areas:

Farming and environment: From rural farmland to urban gardens, how can each community feed its citizens?

Health and nutrition: What's at stake when children don't have enough to eat?

Business and entrepreneurship: Can industry help feed the world?

Policy: How do government policies affect the issues that impact food security, from unemployment to lack of transportation?

Leading up to the summit, the Ohio State Alumni Association is tackling hunger on a local level with a food drive from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 9, at the Longaberger Alumni House, 2200 Olentangy River Road.

As part of National Volunteer Week, and in support of the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, the association is mobilizing Buckeye Nation to help feed local families with donations of canned goods and other non-perishable food items. The most needed foods include chili with beans, canned fruit, tuna, vegetables and meat, peanut butter and soup with vegetables.