I am writing on behalf of the University of Guelph to thank the community for helping with our campaign to fight global hunger. On Saturday, hundreds of people from the city and beyond gathered on campus to assist our students, faculty and staff in packing more than 315,000 emergency relief meals in one hour, which surpassed our goal by 100,000.
By working together, we set a new world record. More importantly, we improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in the West African country of Mauritania, where the food will be shipped. One of the poorest countries in the world, Mauritania has been affected by severe drought and the plight of its people is devastating.
It is at once moving and inspiring to see what people can accomplish when they join forces, and I continue to be humbled by the giving nature of our community. It is heartening that the university and city have a history of recognizing our collective responsibility to help others who are in need, be they near or far.
Nearly a billion people in the world don’t get enough to eat. Hunger kills more human beings every year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. Those of us fortunate enough to live in a healthy and prosperous community, where food is easy for most people to afford and come by, run the risk of losing sight of this global tragedy.
Defeating hunger, whether here in Guelph, elsewhere in Canada or abroad in distant lands, is a struggle that resonates in the hearts of people on our campus and in this city. To see so many conscientious volunteers turn out in full force to strike a blow against this global scourge is as touching as it is unforgettable.
Now that is a record we can be proud of.
Alastair Summerlee, President, University of Guelph