On January 12, over 200 high school students from the Twin Cities area joined MCEE at the University of Minnesota for a College in the Schools Field Day on the economics of food security using MCEE's Global Food Challenge curriculum. This was the third annual field day where students got to dive into creative problem solving and teamwork to address issues relating to food security in the United States. The day started with keynote speaker Dr. Lisa Harnack, Professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota where she addressed current research into the SNAP program, food security, and nutrition. A panel of experts, including Dr. Harnack, Tikki Brown from the Department of Human Services, Colleen Moriarty from Hunger Solutions Minnesota, Mike Zerr, economist at Cargill, and Steve Langlois from General Mills, discussed broader issues surrounding food security, both in the United States and internationally, as well as the SNAP program.
Students worked in committees to address the SNAP program and food insecurity in the United States from various angles, including Policy-Maker, SNAP Program Administrator, and Non-Governmental Organization. Presentations were judged by the teachers attending and the best from each category was chosen to present to the entire group. This year's winning teams included students from Ubah Medical Academy, Tartan High School, Blaine High School, Shakopee High School, Champlin Park High School, South High School and Humboldt High School. MCEE's Global Food Challenge curriculum explores the economics behind food markets, food trade, food safety, and food security. In the Food Security unit, students research how public policies impact critical issues of hunger, famine, and nutrition. The Global Food Challenge is a FREE MCEE curriculum - see how you can use it in your classroom!