Actress Kate Hudson said she taught women in Cambodia how to sustain crops for their families and local schools during a service trip with the United Nations World Food Programme.
The Undergraduate Students Association Council Campus Events Commission invited Hudson and fashion designer Michael Kors to campus to inform students about ways to get involved with WFP, said CEC Speakers Director Sharon Lee. Kors and Hudson were joined by WFP Chief of Staff Rehan Asad. Their work included supplying over 17 million meals to developing countries.
Campus Events Commissioner Alley Madison did not reply to request for comment.
WFP, a humanitarian organization dedicated to delivering food and improving nutrition in deprived communities, reports that one in nine people worldwide do not have enough to eat.
Each year, WFP distributes about 12.6 billion rations to roughly 80 million people in 80 countries, according to WFP’s website. Asad said the average cost for a single meal is $0.31.
Kors and Hudson said students have more influence on social media than they might think. They went on to say students can have an impact even without fame or wealth.
Kors said he was able to use his platform in the fashion community to promote awareness and involvement in the food security movement.
“Fashion can be thought of as very frivolous.” Kors said. “But you can take your love of style and give back.”
Lee said she hopes students learn that individuals can make a difference from the event.
“In this day and age with social media, everyone has the power to influence communities and individuals from around the world,” Lee said.
Kors said he became involved with WFP in 2013 to raise money and awareness for the worsening hunger issue. Hudson said she joined these efforts in 2015.
WFP named Kors an ambassador in 2015 and Vice President Joe Biden gave him the McGovern-Dole Leadership Award in 2016. Kors has been involved in food philanthropy for more than 20 years.
Hudson, who was recently named Goodwill Ambassador for WFP, said supplying local schools food increases the likelihood children, especially young girls, will go to school.
“Young girls are often not allowed to go to school, but the (WFP) has started school programs that allow students to take food home,” she said. “So young girls are being sent to schools to get food to feed the family.”
Sareeta Young, a third-year film student, said she appreciated CEC was able to bring prominent figures to expose students to international advocacy.
“I learned that it’s important to be connected to community and to get outside of your bubble,” Young said.
Presley Moreno, a first-year undeclared student, attended the event and said the event made her see hunger in a different way.
“To hear the statistics and data and hear of ways to help, really makes you realize anyone can help out, even us as students,” Moreno said.
Kors and Hudson said they hope students will be inspired to take action against world hunger.