By Amanda Heersink | University Communications
AURORA, Colo. - Hunger is a problem facing more than 165 million people across globe. The organization ONE
, co-founded by U2 front-man Bono, is dedicated to fighting extreme poverty, hunger and preventable disease -- particularly in Africa.
Today on World Food Day, ONE organizers hosted events at six different locations nationwide, including The Anschutz Health and Wellness Center
and featuring celebrity chefs and food taste tests. On hand in Aurora were chef Hosea Rosenberg, winner of "Top Chef" season five, and former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, as well as many staff members from the Health and Wellness Center.
John Peters, chief strategy officer for the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center, said, "These are kids who are so malnourished that they will never fully develop."
A spokesperson for ONE noted that what happens in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life will shape the rest of their life.
Today's activities are a part of a new campaign from ONE that is calling world leaders to make a commitment to reduce chronic malnutrition for 25 million kids by the year 2016. One tactic was sending a mass tweet to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, asking her to put global hunger on the agenda.
One solution offered in today’s demonstration was the use of the sweet potato.
Chef Rosenberg spoke about the qualities of this tuber. “It is really high in nutrients and is very easy to grow.” He added, “It thrives in the environment of Africa, it stores well and it is easy to cook with many different ways to prepare it.
“It is not about sending sweet potatoes to Africa but rather educating them how to grow it themselves,” Rosenberg said.
To illustrate the message, many of the speakers quoted the parable, “Catch a man a fish and feed him for a day. Show a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
Ritter has a special place in his heart for the nutritional needs of children in Africa, “My wife and I spent three years in Zambia working in a nutrition clinic. I have seen these children’s faces up close. Thirty-five percent of kids in Africa are malnourished or severely undernourished.”
Ritter added, “It isn’t that these children are inactive, they still do everything a normal kid would do, but their quality of life is drastically diminished.”
Ritter concluded by saying, “These people matter. The ONE campaign is a heroic one and offers real potential for change.”