WSU Hunger Initiative Team Presenting at the 2014 Kansas Hunger Dialogue

2014 Kansas Hunger Dialogue

On Feb. 26, we presented two main sessions at the Kansas Hunger Dialogue in Hyatt Regency Hotel in Wichita, Kansas. We presented on three topics with the time allotted. For each topic, we are sharing our presentation materials here for any Kansas Hunger Dialogue participants as well as any interested individuals who cannot attend the conference to use. Click on the links below to get the materials to build upon your initiative.

The WSU Hunger Awareness team urges you to adopt our five-pillar model when you are doing your action planning. We are also using the Google service as our main technology platform to join hunger-fighting efforts, creating the connectivity for sustainability.

1. Five-Pillar Model: Collaborators, Media, Events, Research & Community Engagement

2. Strategically Planning Your Own Initiative (Action Planning)

3. Utilizing Technology to Unify Universities: Building the Kansas Hunger Space

Round Table session in Southwest Popular Culture Conference

To share our knowledge, the WSU Hunger Awareness team is presenting our five-pillar model on Feb. 22 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Albuquerque, NM. The presentation focuses on our five-pillar model and its application for those who wish to start their own hunger initiative. The PowerPoint for the conference is shared here for the public use.

After this conference presentation, the team will have the two following events:
1. The 4th KS Hunger Dialogue
    Date: Feb. 25, 26, 2014
Location: Hyatt Regency Hotel in Downtown Wichita, KS
2. The 9th Universities Fighting World Hunger Summit
Date: Feb. 28, 2014 ~ March 1, 2014
Location: The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center in Auburn, Alabama

If you are interested and want to get a copy of our presentation materials, we will be updating the information on our social media channels. Follow us here at the WSU Hunger Awareness blog or on Facebook or Twitter. Join us in the hunger space and make a difference!

Yummy chicken soup and a cookbook recipe call!

Wichita State University Hunger Awareness:

Affordable and delicious. Take a look at this recipe from our guest blogger, Dr. Ballard-Reisch.

Originally posted on Deborah's Deliberations:

Chicken soup for the soul, or how to make a quick and easy chicken soup that feeds 5 for under $15

Total cost: $13.89 with leftover food in most categories for a second batch

Necessary tools:

To me, the most indispensable item to have in your kitchen to help college students (and families) to eat well with minimal prep time is a crockpot or other slow cooker. One warning: you cannot keep a soup in the crockpot for 3 weeks and then think it will still be good. My daughter learned this the hard way and the stench that wafted through her small apartment when she took the lid off the crockpot should guarantee that she doesn’t make that mistake again. It is best to eat the first helping of whatever you make and store the rest in the frig in serving sized containers for later consumption. If you…

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Karen’s 16 Hints for Mindful Shopping by Karen Coen (Guest Blog)

1.     Check the cabinets to see what you have and what you might need.  Tape a list inside the cabinet and when you notice you need something, write it on the list, then you have a shopping list started for when you have to go shopping.

2.     Make a weekly menu. Sometimes this changes because you may not have something or forgot to get it, or ran out of money.  Be flexible and creative. You may have to make a meal with foods that you might not ordinarily see together as a meal, but if it is nutritionally good and your family will eat it, then it will keep them from going hungry.

3.     Make a grocery list of needed items, and stick to it.  NO extras.  There will be times that you can, but not always. If there are children and you have a little extra, get something they all like, or something that one likes and maybe next time get something that someone else likes.  Be fair.

4.     Buy store brands when possible.  Compare prices, sometimes a name brand is cheaper because of a sale.

5.     USE COUPONS!! But don’t buy something just because it’s a good deal. Buy it only if you need it.

6.     Take a calculator to the store.  Be aware of the tax rate and know how to add this to your amount. Don’t get to the register and act surprised that you don’t have enough money, and have to put things back. Not only is it embarrassing, it causes more time in line for you, the cashier, and other customers. Besides, in an attempt to hurry, you may put something back that you REALLY needed.

7.     Watch the sale ads.  Sometimes you can get extra of something and freeze it.

8.     ALWAYS check the “Clearance” aisles.  Sometimes stores will put things on clearance that haven’t even got to the shelf date.  Breads that you can get for $.49 and freeze.

9.     Try not to go shopping with children – so you don’t have “can I have this?!” or “can we get that?”

10.  Try not to buy too many convenience foods - (foods that are already cooked, and all you have to do is warm them up). They are more expensive and have more preservatives.

11.  Watch your portions!  Know what an actual serving size is.  Americans have more health and weight problems because we don’t pay attention to this.

12.  Don’t eat out!  Not only is this expensive, but here again is prepared foods which have more caloric values than something you could have fixed at home.

13.  Feel like you don’t have the time?  Teach the kids to help with some of the food preparations.  Added bonus, if you teach them to make menus and lists, when they are adults they will have a better chance to make wise choices and live healthy.  Take the time so that your family will be healthier.  Be an example!  Turn off the tv for a few minutes and go cook something.  Prepare for the next day.

14.  Buy fresh fruit and vegetables when you can.  If this is not an option, canned will work.  Buy fruits in juice or water.

15.  Find ways to stretch your food.  Make casseroles.  If you are making Hamburger Helper, use ½ pound of meat and add  a handful of macaroni, and a couple of slices of cheese, or you can add a can of vegetables into the mixture and have a different vegetable on the side.   If you are making a Mexican dish, add a can of pinto beans or black beans.  Makes the meal go farther.

16.  If you can get samples or reduced price items, try them. If you like them, you can buy them again. If not, you don’t have to.

This is My Reality by Hannah Coen

Recently, I took the SNAP Challenge. For anyone who has not followed our Facebook or Twitter, the SNAP challenge is an effort to raise awareness of the difficulties of those who live on food stamps. This experiment has gained local and national media attention from congressional representatives and senators taking part in the challenge to the CEO of Panera bread. The WSU Hunger Awareness Initiative decided to take the challenge of living off of $4.50 per day for a week.

My initial reaction to the challenge was that I would eat like I did as an intern in D.C.—pbj’s, ramen and microwave meals. I talked about the project and the initiative so much that my mother decided she would also take part in the challenge. She created a shopping list and a meal plan with caloric count and tally’s for fruits, vegetable, grains and proteins. Needless to say, her plan sounded like a better idea than my ramen-plan did. We drove to Aldi’s and I decided that I would try it my mom’s way. Frankly, I could always learn how to eat better on a budget.

I was impressed at my mother’s organization and planning skills. I learned many lessons throughout this process. First, eating out is expensive. I spent $30 for a week of food. It really put into perspective how much food is marked up at restaurants. Additionally, meal planning is the most important aspect of eating healthy on a budget. I also was able to evaluate my food intake on a level that I never had done before.

Throughout this process, my mom sent me texts while I was at work or at school “Why aren’t you eating?” or “You haven’t touched your food.” I didn’t think much about it. Like mother’s do, my mother stresses that I don’t eat enough –every semester. At the end of each semester, I get sick. Like, I potentially should see a doctor but I don’t have health insurance sick, but that’s another blog for a different day. As insane as this sounds, I never made the connection because I’ve not lost weight or suffered from fainting spells. By day four, I looked at my little shelf stacked with food for the week. I still had over half of my food left.

I noticed several “themes” in my eating habits.

  1. I do not have time to prepare food. As a working college student, I would rather sleep an extra 30 minutes than prepare my food for the day—this is my reality. I can suffer through being hungry, but I can’t function without coffee.
  2.  Now, I’m also an emotional eater. Stress mixed with colder days and mild depression, I don’t want to go anywhere, I don’t want to see anyone, and I can hardly stomach a full meal—but let’s not talk about my love affair with the Donut Hole.
  3. As a working college student, I go from classes to work, and eating is not on the top of my priority list. I may grab a cereal bar to eat with my coffee on the way out the door, but I won’t have a meal until I get home in the evenings around 8 or 9 p.m., which we all know isn’t healthy either.


I gave myself $4.50 per day for a week, or roughly $30, and I didn’t even eat half of what I bought. This is my reality. This is the reality of many people in academia. However, I feel almost a sense of elitism blogging about my week-long experience. My current food insecurity is a result of my hectic schedule; whereas, other’s food insecurity is an everyday occurrence.

By the way, my mom, Karen is writing guest blogs for us on how to eat healthy on a budget. Her tips and insights will be posted here next week. Stay tuned!

A Week in Their Shoes by Joseph Mutata

Last week as part of Wichita State University`s Hunger Awareness program, I participated in the SNAP challenge.  I was going to live on $4.50 a day and experience what it is like to live on food stamps. As a group, we decided to take this challenge in response to recent developments in the US capitol to cut $ 40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program. I mentioned the challenge to some of my friends and they said that the people on food stamps should go out and get a job. I took the effort to explain to them that most people on SNAP already have jobs that do not pay a living wage.

I did my best to be faithful to this challenge. I would politely decline offers of meals from friends. It was tough trying to get by on $4.50 a day.   In order to make it work, I was buying managers` specials on items such as, milk, meats, vegetables and fruits. I also bought the day-old bread and  canned goods such as tomato paste to supplement regular tomatoes. Living off canned goods, pasta and ramen noodles was not the most nutritious way to survive but I got by. I now have an appreciation for why families on food stamps do not buy nutritious food. How many times have we been at the grocery store and seen families buying fruit punch which is nothing but sugar instead of real orange juice? After taking this challenge, I now see why these families have no choice but to sacrifice quality nutritious products and purchase products that would last them longer.

The hardest part was staying away from snacks and finger foods at the grocery store. On day 5, I splurged and treated myself to a Chicken sandwich and fries at McDonalds for $ 2.35.  I had $ 2.15 left to spend for dinner that evening. I am attaching a photograph of the meal for day 5.


The meal consisted of coleslaw, mixed vegetables, and chicken livers (in the white tub).

I ate coleslaw and sautéed chicken livers. When I was shopping for the ingredients, I had to stick to my budget. There were a few snacks that I would have liked to purchase but I had to walk away. This was a very tough decision to make. This shopping experience has taught me to be more forgiving of children who cry at grocery stores. Perhaps they have seen a snack that they like and the parents have told them that they cannot afford it. The children may not understand why they are not allowed to buy the snack and so they vent their frustration by crying and tantrums.

After this week, I am more aware of the meal decisions that families on government assistance have to make. Their choices are not as varied as ours and they are not able to get the most nutritious foods for their bodies.  From a public health perspective, I can see why families that are food insecure buy foods that are filling but have little or no nutritional value.

My Place in the Hunger Space by Casey Donnell



ImageMy name is Casey Donnell; I emigrated from Canada to the United States when I was three. I have always been part of the food, and by extension, Hunger Space. My family owned Everfresh Meats Inc., the first company to export Canadian pork and beef to Nicaragua, and a major supplier of meats to canned food companies in Mexico. My grandfather made a living off of knowing the characteristics of different meat consistencies. He was able to advise meat producers’ use of substitutes that would traditionally have been waste products i.e. chicken livers or hearts for proteins that were more expensive on the market, but could not be textually distinguished inside of the soups or canned meats. This business practice made it more profitable for Mexico to import meats from Canada than to continue to use domestically produced poultry, since it was not possible for domestically produced chicken breasts to be priced competitively with imported chicken hearts (functional waste) from Canada. His success guaranteed that my family and I would never personally suffer from food insecurity. My parents, after moving to Wichita worked at Dean and Deluca, a retailer of fine foods. Their positions afforded me the opportunity to taste and enjoy a wide array of exotic foods. Growing up I was never in a position where food and access too it concerned me. When I was younger, food was very central to my home environment; mealtime was family time. My mother taught or showed rather, with repeated displays of majesty in the form of meals that sprung from the humblest beginnings, me how to cook just as her father and mother had done for her. As I moved into College I had some brief encounters with food insecurity, while living in the fraternity house. My parents were always willing to give me premade meals, but a desire to feel independent and schedule restraints interfered with even that support. I realized, while living in a fraternity house, that access to proper tools could waylay attempts at food production. The kitchen that we shared was often so dirty or lacking in equipment that cooking seemed impossible. Today I still have a deep appreciation for high quality food and give special attention to what I prepare whenever opportunity affords.