CASSTOWN — “Why was I born by complete chance to be privileged?”
This was a question posed by Ohio State University student Dustin Homan, who visited Marie Carity’s agriculture class on Thursday when discussing about food inequality throughout the world. Homan travels to different FFA chapters in the Miami Valley as a personal project to get young future farmers of America thinking about how to fight hunger.
“We have seen a similar program and wanted to bring it here,” Carity said. The presentation was also a perfect transition into a canned food drive and the Heffer International Project that Carity has in place to get her students inspired to give to hungry families.
Homan started his presentation with Carity’s eighth period class with students stating their names and their favorite foods. Some said ice cream, steak, and mozzarella sticks. Following that, students learned statistics about hunger that left many in disbelief.
Homan’s slide show, that featured information from TIME magazine, stated an American family spends about $342 per week on groceries, while a family from Chad, Africa spends $1.23 per week on food to survive.
Homan stated a child dies from hunger in the world every 11 seconds.
“That’s what keeps me going and want to help with this issue,” Homan said to the class. “This is happening to youth, what are we going to do about this?”
Students found out that hunger is not far from home.
“What we don’t realize is this is happening here,” Homan said. Students were surprised to learn 6,100 children under the age of 18 in Miami County are food-insecure. “That is one in four kids under 18. These are the kids downing their lunch in the cafeteria.”
Homan pointed out to the class of eight that two people in their classroom statistically would be food-insecure.
“They truly don’t know where their food is coming from,” Carity said to her students. “We just think (food-insecure students) are normal like the rest of us.”
Homan asked students to raise their hands if they will be involved in agriculture after high school. Only a few hands rose.
“Everyone is involved in agriculture,” Homan said, after stating that everyone consumes agricultural products and therefore all are involved. “This is our job, this is our responsibility … I want to do something about it.”
Alyssa Westgerdes, junior, shared what surprised her most from the presentation.
“I didn’t know it was happening so much in Miami County,” she said.
Even if one student is inspired by what they learned from Homan, Carity said it makes the program worth it. “It matters if we get one student,” she said.
“You’ll get someone get into conversation like that,” Homan said.
Reach reporter Amy Barger at (937) 451-3340 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall.