At a time when nearly 900 million people are hungry and one in five American kids lives in a household that runs out of food, World Food Prize laureate David Beckmann has a plan.
He’ll talk about what each of us can do and share new ideas that he believes can end world hunger in our lifetime in “Exodus from Hunger: Changing the Politics of Hunger,” 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17, in Harris Center Cinema.
“The economic turmoil has been a huge setback for hungry people. … But the long-term trend has been a reduction of hunger and poverty. Even now the fraction of people in developing countries who are hungry is still lower, despite what’s happened the last couple of years, than it was in 1975,” he says.
Beckmann, a Lutheran pastor and economist, has already had a significant impact in shaping international development programs and reducing hunger and poverty — first through his work at the World Bank and then as head of Bread for the World, a Christian citizens’ group urging U.S. decision-makers to end hunger at home and abroad.
Sarah Purcell, associate professor of history and director of the Rosenfield Program, says, “Beckmann brings a rare combination of policy, faith-based, and NGO [nongovernment organization] approaches and has done amazing things bringing organizations together to end world hunger.”
“World hunger is a great liberal arts issue,” she adds, “with discussions involving science, history, philosophy, economics, religion, and more. We are lucky to partner with the World Food Prize. We’ve had scientists, policymakers … Jo Luck from Heifer International. Students have a great opportunity to learn from world leaders.” This year, she adds, students from Grinnell’s Oxfam America Club arranged to host Beckmann at their world hunger dinner before his talk. Past speakers have visited classes and met with students, as well.
The lecture is part of an annual statewide dialogue for World Food Prize Week on issues of great importance in providing a nutritious and sustainable food supply for the world’s people. In 2010 David Beckmann was co-recipient of the $250,000 World Food Prize for his landmark achievements in building and leading Bread for the World.
The lecture is open to the public. For more information contact Sarah Purcell, 641-269-3091.
Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. The Harris Center Cinema is located on the Grinnell College campus at 1114 10th Ave. Accommodation requests may be made to conference operations at 641-269-3235.