Former congressman and ambassador to the United States, Tony Hall, spoke to a group of students in regard to food security and hunger on Apr. 19 at an event sponsored by UD’s Student Government Association held in Kennedy Union.
Congressman Hall and his long-time associate, Rick Carne, spoke about a variety of hunger-related projects in the Dayton area, mainly The Hall Hunger Initiative working in partner with the United Way.
Hall is the Executive Director Emeritus of The Alliance to End Hunger, a nonprofit in Washington D.C., which works withcorporations, schools, government agencies and other agencies to end hunger.
The inspiration to end world hunger for Hall began with his work as a congressman, representing Dayton’s district, while serving on the select committee of hunger. While he was on that committee, he traveled to Ethiopia during their civil war and he witnessed many refugees dying from hunger.
“I never got over that” Hall said. The images of thousands of people dying of hunger catalysed mission to feed people both in the US and abroad.
After working abroad and in Washington D.C., the issue of hunger has brought him back to here, Dayton, OH., his hometown.
“Dayton is the fourth hungriest city in the country” Hall said “No other city in Ohio is in the top 25.”
He called attention to some of the economic factors contributing to the sharp influx in poverty, followed by hunger, citing the massive loss of manufacturing jobs as the main cause for the area’s downfall and hardship.
Hall extended praise to those in the community such as Mission of Mary, the folks behind Garden Station, and University of Dayton student organizations such as the Food Recovery Network for their efforts in feeding those with limited access to health foods in urban neighborhoods.