Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Open Your Eyes; The Reality of Hunger in Your Community

     In the United States, there is a lot of blindness when it comes to hunger. It’s very hard for people to understand something they cannot see; it’s not like starvation which exposes outlines of protruding bones through thin, malnourished skin and tired eyes. Hunger is an issues that hides in the plain view of many individual’s sight because people just don’t understand how incredibly prevalent it is in their own community when they don’t see it.

     In order to break this continuous blindness on such an important issue, I am going to create a website that touches upon the many color of hunger starting with the larger scale of the U.S as well as the local scale of Plymouth, NH. On the website, there are going to be multiple clickable topics for the viewer to choose with the intention of educating themselves about different issues that perpetuate, support and aid the mass issue of hunger. In order for me to conduct a deeper understanding of hunger for myself and this project, it’s important that there is a hands on approach to bring in research. With that being said, I am also going to conduct a survey within the academic and surrounding downtown community to bring in a variety to personal experiences and knowledge that is related to hunger on the individual level. I think this is one of the most important aspects of my project because with this collection of data either proves or disproves my understanding of people being educated about the hunger that surrounds them. This research will of course appear on one of the topics in my website and it will act as a grounding experiment to expose the amount of people who are aware of hunger in their community; I’m very curious for the outcome. 

     I am also going to link this project to my independent study which is focused on food recovery for PSU’s dining hall. I am going to document and have a tab on the website that will show the collection of information I have gathered over the course of the semester. I want to exposes viewers and PSU students about the many hunger issues that surround them while educating them about changing wasteful patterns. This project is not only educational, but it is also transdisciplinary because it requires a variety of stakeholders and people within the academics in order for it to function.
     This project could not fly if it were to rely on one, sole discipline. That’s why interdisciplinarity comes into play! For this project, I will be pulling from sociology, economics, nutrition and education to explore the many realms that involve hunger. To start off, sociology is important because it investigates and analyzes the development of social behavior. This is important because I want to understand the social pattern related to hunger in the U.S and with this discipline, I can not only research it but see it projected through the data I collect with my survey. The second discipline is economics which focuses on the production, distribution and consumption of materials within an economy. It relates to my project because through this lenses, I can look at food stamps in the U.S by asking the questions of: Who qualifies? What can you get with them? Who pays for them? And how do they impact our economy? On the local and larger scale.  The third discipline is nutrition which looks at what the average human needs to consume on a daily basis in order to be at their top health. Through this discipline, I am going to learn about what vital nutrition children and adults need in order for their bodies to function properly. This is relevant because it gives a background on what people should be consuming on a daily basis as well as looking into malnutrition and what the effects are on individuals bodies. The final discipline included is education. This plays the most important role because it involves transferring knowledge into a product that will act to educate individuals online and in my community about an issue that is so close to home for many of us. My entire project is based upon educating through social activist blogging and research and that is why education is a significant discipline to include.
     To check out what my timeline of work for this project looks like, click HERE !


  1. This is just awesome I can't wait to hear more about our dining hall in particular. It kills me that so much goes to waste there. I'm wondering what kind of survey questions you will be using for that part of your project? I would be cool to maybe have a brochure available to students about how to cut down on the amount of waste they create or something? Just a thought!

  2. This is a great topic. It is a current issue that affects many people even in America. I think that the survey will be very helpful and that it will be a great source for your research. For the survey, are you going to target specific group of people or is the survey going to be for anyone? I very like that your project is educational and I hope it will help to raise awareness about the problem of hunger.

  3. Hi Lindsay - This is a great project! I love the ideas linking education and potential action, grounded in our local community. How do you plan to get the information that you learn out to the greater community, in addition to the website? -Dr. O'Donnell

  4. I love this! It's going to be fantastic! BUT we do need to get more specific in a couple of areas. First of all, as you are aware I am sure, the survey is going to need a lot of development. It's a bit nebulous now; make sure you get some help from your social science peeps, since they are good at collecting data and designing survey questions so you really end up with something useable. I can't tell you how many horrible undergrad surveys I have seen done-- so don't be one of those people! We also need to make sure the paper has a good theoretical foundation in interdisciplinarity, since you don't talk about that much here, though the transdisciplinary angle is a good start. MAKE SURE YOU CITE YOUR PHOTOS ON THE BLOG!!! PLEASE FIX THIS!!! All in all, we are off and running, and this will really be great if it all materializes! Go for it!