Carnegie Mellon University

photo of someone handing someone else oatmeal

CMU and Waynesburg University Partner to Battle Food Insecurity

This past spring, four instructors from Carnegie Mellon University and Waynesburg University taught a one-credit “micro” course on the issue of food insecurity in rural areas. In this “micro” course, ten students from each university worked  towards addressing this issue, then proposed possible solutions to the commissioners and the Greene County Food Security Partnership for implementation.

Rural transportation is more scarce than public transportation in urban communities and this increases the issue of food insecurity for low-income families. The Department of Energy awarded a grant to Waynesburg University and Carnegie Mellon University to help study the issue of rural transportation.

Waynesburg’s President, Douglas Lee describes this conquest to end food insecurity as having “national consequences” and extending far past the limits of Greene County or Allegheny County, as these solutions could impact rural communities across the country.

“They may get access to food, but it may be the convenience store up the road, and it may be a bag of potato chips instead of nutritional food. That’s food insecurity,” Lee said during a recent news conference.

Another instructor, Rick Stafford, a distinguished service professor of public policy at Carnegie Mellon University, recognizes the importance of fighting food insecurity and getting his students in Pittsburgh involved.

“[Rural issues] don’t affect our students as much. Food insecurity — and this is certainly something both Waynesburg students and CMU students carried away for sure — it exists in urban areas, it exists in rural communities. It’s there, in a big way,” Stafford said.

There is optimism  from both ends for the future of the partnership and identifying solutions to combat this issue!

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