A week to think: climate, energy, hunger, sustainability

In the hope of spreading awareness for two interconnected issues, the Committee of 19's Hunger Week and Climate and Energy Week will go hand in hand to emphasize the connection between hunger, sustainability and energy concerns.

An interclass coin drop competition, faculty battle of the bands and tailgates are just a few of the events occurring on campus this week for an awareness campaign for hunger, climate and energy issues.

The week's events kicked off Monday with a coin drop competition between all four pharmacy classes.

The Beat Bama Food Drive also began Monday at the Athletic Center, featuring women's basketball coach Nell Fortner.

Climate and Energy Week events are sponsored by the German Embassy in partnership with Auburn's Office of International Education to bring awareness to issues of international climate control and energy as a part of the Transatlantic Climate Bridge.

"Our purpose is to team with the German people to raise awareness and let students know that choices make a difference," said Andrew Gillespie, coordinator of international research and outreach activities.

Most of the events are being planned by the Auburn Sustainability Action Program.

"Auburn Sustainability Action Program is a group that focuses on sustainability initiatives--campaign initiatives that strive to get things changed on the University level," said Nathan Warner, senior in biosystems engineering and ASAP president.

"Climate change, which causes disasters such as the recent flood in Bangladesh, will tend to reduce global agricultural production, increase food prices and intensify the risk of hunger and malnutrition," Warner said. "The number of people at risk of hunger is projected to increase by 10 to 12 percent by 2050 as a consequence of climate change."

Impacts on food security could be higher according to a 2009 study by the International Food Policy Research Institute, which projects an increase of 24 million malnourished children in 2050 because of climate change.

"Sustainability, in a broad sense, is our concern," Gillespie said. "Energy, food security, water security--these are the issues that have and will cause wars in the lifetimes of our students."

There will be a table on the Haley concourse Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., where more information about getting involved can be found.

Tonight, Sigma Chi fraternity will host the Beat Hunger Bash. There will be live music, free food and a grill-off competition. To enter, each student must bring two nonperishable food items that will go toward the Beat Bama Food Drive.

The International Student Organization's Peace Dinner will be held tonight at 6 p.m. in the Student Center ballroom. Students can come for free to taste food from various countries around the world. Students are encouraged to bring canned goods.

Saturday is World Food Day, so the Division of Student Affairs, Office of Sustainability and the Committee of 19 are hosting a tailgate on the Green Space three hours before the Arkansas game.

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