A window inside life at Augustana College

Solving World Hunger–this weekend!

Hello from Detroit, Michigan!

I am writing to you from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) World Hunger Leaders Convention! Fellow Augie student, Claire Behnke, and I were selected to go to this nation-wide convention because we are leading a group on campus that helps to promote hunger awareness and raise money for ELCA World Hunger.

We have been here since Thursday, and so far it has been the experience of a lifetime! There are people from all over the country from California to Connecticut and Montana to Texas! Our first night was a general introduction to the convention and then a “speed dating” event where we got to chat for a short while with a LOT of people! (Don’t get too excited, most of them are 35-65-year-olds, so I didn’t try to hit it off with any of them, although the reverse wasn’t so true…) After a good night’s sleep we woke up early Friday morning for devotions, speakers-including the executive director of ELCA World Hunger, and lunch. We then headed out on field trips around the city to learn about hunger-related projects in Detroit! I was fortunate to be able to visit the Central Detroit Christian Community Development Corporation. We visited an urban neighborhood where this organization has helped to increase the residents’ access to nutritional food through a community garden, produce store, produce truck, and healthy-options restaurant! We learned how in this neighborhood, there is only one small, low-quality grocery store, and 23 liquor stores! Since the grocery store is far away and expensive, people get most of their food from liquor stores which sell processed, nonperishable food. Milk at these stores is very expensive and often way past the expiration date. CDC has made it their mission to increase the accessibility of produce in this neighborhood and others through their initiatives and it is obvious what an impact they have had in this area! I had no idea what a problem access to food was in this city or anywhere in America. Suddenly my half-mile bike ride to Hy-Vee doesn’t seem so bad! We finished our visit by helping to retire the garden for the season and harvesting the remaining produce. It was a lot of fun to work together on this project and get a little dirt under our fingernails!

Today we were bused over to the Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit where there were a variety of breakout and large-group sessions for us to attend to learn more about the work of ELCA World Hunger and its affiliates as well as get ideas for things we can do in our own synods and congregations (or campuses!). Unfortunately, I started to feel ill and had to come back to the hotel for the afternoon, but I am hoping to be ready to go tomorrow for our final day!

Overall, this has been an incredible experience and has re-energized me to continue my work with ELCA World Hunger. Claire and I are excited to come back and share what we have learned with the Augustana Campus and to make a difference in the world through this fabulous organization!

Hope you enjoy these pics from my field trip!

The tomatoes I helped harvest from the garden (minus the few I ate...)

A liquor store in the neighborhood, where people used to get most of their food before the CDC worked its magic!

Kate, the Nutrition and Gardening specialist for the CDC ringing up some produce

If you’re interested in learning more about these organizations, check out their websites.
www.elca.org/hunger

http://www.centraldetroitchristian.org/Peaches_and_Greens_Vision.htm

Katrina

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