The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

World Food Day event informs students

The Food and Agriculture Organization has celebrated World Food Day every year on Oct.16 since its commemoration in 1945. This year, on Oct.16, Dr. Barrett Brenton’s medical anthropology class opened the door for St. John’s students to come and learn what World Food Day is all about.

“How many of you have been to Montgoris?” Brenton initially asked the audience. Almost every hand in the class was raised, including his own.  “Okay. Think about how much food we waste when we go to Montgoris. We put way more food on our plates than we actually eat, then we just throw it away. We all waste food here.”

Brenton explained that World Food Day is all about raising awareness about the overwhelming issue of world hunger. He presented facts, including the statistic that 15% of the world suffers from hunger and malnutrition, and nearly 49.1 million people in America live in food-insecure households, backed up by statistics from the USDA.

Hunger has not overlooked New York City either. Brenton brought his presentation closer to home by stating that Queens is the second most “hungry” borough behind the Bronx.

“Hunger is a human rights issue,” Brenton said. “And St. John’s students need to help.”

In his medical anthropology class, Brenton’s students are already raising awareness for the cause. “He has us write posts in a Facebook group about food and security and we also work with other schools, all through CRS, the Catholic Relief Services,” said Krista Thomasevich, a freshman biology student in Brenton’s class.

The CRS promotes Fair Trade products for consumers to buy such as chocolate, coffee and bananas—where the producers in poor countries will receive a fair and stable price or wage for their products.

Brenton and other professors from St. John’s belong to a CRS-sponsored group called ‘Scholars in Global Solidarity’ and their goal is for St. John’s to pass the Fair Trade resolution: for the University to have Fair Trade integrated into relevant courses and meet with campus outlets to promote Fair Trade.

From Nov. 2-6, St. John’s Campus Ministry and CRS are sponsoring “#100HoursofPoverty” where they will urge St. John’s students to live on the food stamp budget of $4.44 per day.

“Today, we wanted to educate and advocate, to spread awareness and leave with a goal, and that is what we accomplished,” Brenton said.

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