UI hosting annual hunger conference this week on campus

UI hosting annual hunger conference this week on campus

CHAMPAIGN — University presidents and student leaders from throughout the country will gather at the University of Illinois this week to share ideas about how to fight hunger, both on campus and around the world.

The conferences at the I Hotel and Conference Center include a free session open to the public Thursday that will highlight initiatives to fight hunger on all three UI campuses. It will be followed by roundtable discussions on how to address hunger at the local and international levels. No registration is required for that session, scheduled for 4 to 6 p.m. in the Chancellor Room at the conference center, 1900 S. First St., C.

"We'd like to have a lot of people from our area churches and communities," said UI agricultural engineering Professor Prasanta Kalita, who helped organize the event.

The conferences are the annual meetings of two organizations, the Presidents United to Solve Hunger Leaders Forum and Universities Fighting World Hunger.

Notable speakers include Ertharin Cousin, executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme from 2012-17 and now a distinguished fellow with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs; Roger Thurow, a senior fellow on global food and agriculture with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs; Kenneth Quinn, president of the World Food Prize Foundation and a former career U.S. Foreign Service Officer; Brady Deaton, former chancellor of the University of Missouri; and Ruben Canedo, a research and mobilization coordinator at the University of California-Berkeley.

Students will also participate in a service project to package 22,000 meals to be distributed to those in need.