Tom Colicchio Headlines Kean’s Human Rights Institute Conference

Tom Colicchio Headlines Kean’s Human Rights Institute Conference


We’re here today at the 12th Annual Human
Rights Conference where we have Tom Colicchio speaking. He’s from “Top Chef” and he does a lot
about food advocacy and policy. And we have Karen Washington and Lovely Randle,
who were also talking today about food insecurity. Often we think of hunger in other countries. So, we think of famine; we think of war as
sort of leading causes of hunger. But we have hunger right here in this country. We grow enough food. We waste enough food. That food is not getting down to the people
that need it the most. So, that’s where we need to start. You can’t ask people to eat healthy, when
they don’t have healthy food options, that’s number one. It’s not rocket science, the fact that cheap,
processed food ends up in poor neighborhoods – urban or rural – and healthy food is in
wealthy neighborhoods. It’s not a rocket science. Whether it’s food access or access to healthy
food as a whole, it’s better for everyone to be involved. And so, I’m hoping that this will spark
interest from all of the stakeholders, from our policy makers, from our community organizations. Just for everyone to just get around the table
and see how we can combat this issue. The lack of adequate nutritious food is the
most basic human rights violation in the world today. That is why the Human Rights Institute has
chosen to shine a light on issues related to hunger and food insecurity, and to educate
our students, colleagues, and community members about what we can do to help end hunger in
our lifetime. The annual Human Rights Institute awards,
place a spotlight on individuals and organizations who are committed to addressing human rights
violations around the world and in their own backyard. When we created the Human Rights Institute
about a dozen years ago, the idea was not only to educate our students, and our teachers,
and our staff and members of our community, but everybody around here that has an interest
in human rights. The idea of knowing how to take scraps of
food and turning them into breakfast the next day or working them into lunch was something
that used to be taught in school. And, it’s not anymore. So, we do have a huge problem. Again, 40 percent of what we produce in this
country is wasted. At the same time, we have people that are
hungry.

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