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Honors Students Participate in Summit on Campus Hunger


Kaleb Webb of Cabot, Riley Swafford of Beebe, Elizabeth Noel of Paragould,

and MaryJayne Umeora of Jonesboro at the Arkansas College Hunger Summit.

JONESBORO – Arkansas State University students explained A-State’s efforts toward alleviating hunger during the first Arkansas College Hunger Summit, hosted by the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance and Honors Arkansas at Heifer International in Little Rock.  The purpose of the summit, sponsored by the Garcia Family Arkansas Fund, a component fund of the Arkansas Community Foundation, was to raise awareness in the fight against college hunger.

Four Honors College students represented A-State on a panel and shared their poster about the Food Pantry and its services to students and faculty. Kaleb Webb of Cabot, Riley Swafford of Beebe, Elizabeth Noel of Paragould, and MaryJayne Umeora of Jonesboro were joined by Rebecca Oliver, director of the Honors College, and Bekah Hickman, representing the Leadership Center and Volunteer A-State.

“I knew a lot about food insecurity on the A-State campus. I had no idea, however, just how much of a statewide issue food insecurity really is, and all of the different components that can contribute to it,” Swafford said.  “It was inspiring to hear from so many college campuses that have a food pantry and are trying to help solve this issue, but there's only so much that us as students and advisers can do.

“I knew if we could encourage state legislators to help solve hunger on college campuses, we could make a lot of difference. If students have the resources they need, they can focus less on finding food, and more on their studies, which positively impacts not only Arkansas State University, but also the Northeast Arkansas area,” she continued. “I'm proud of A-State for talking about food insecurity to raise awareness of the issue, and hopefully find solutions so that no student has to go hungry.”

Students and faculty from about 30 Arkansas colleges and universities met during the summit with state legislators and leaders from the nonprofit, private and public sectors to talk about hunger issues on campus.

More details about the A-State Food Pantry and its services are available online.