Hall Hunger Initiative moves into the Fitz Center at UD

The Fitz Center. Contributed by University of Dayton

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The Fitz Center. Contributed by University of Dayton

Both organizations say they want to collaborate to end hunger in Montgomery County.

The Hall Hunger Initiative is moving into the Fitz Center for Leadership in Community at the University of Dayton. Both organizations say the move will help them work to end hunger in Montgomery County.

University of Dayton will provide space to the Hall Hunger Initiative, which was working out of the United Way of Montgomery County. UD won’t be providing funding, both organizations said, but they plan to work together in the future on education and programs.

Tony Hall, founder of the Hall Hunger Initiative, which works to solve the issue of hunger in Montgomery County, said about 90,000 people suffer from hunger in the county. About 20,000 of those people are children.

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“At one time, five years ago, we were one of the hungriest cities in the country,” Hall said. “We’ve been working on that and we’re much better, but we have a problem.”

He said the partnership with UD would help them educate and teach people about hunger.

Hall is a former U.S. congressman and ambassador to the United Nations’ food program. He founded the Hall Hunger Initiative in 2015.

Nancy McHugh, executive director of the Fitz Center, said the fit felt right. She noted the Hall Hunger Initiative works to feed people, but also works on systemic strategies for change, and the Fitz Center works similarly.

“There’s also very much shared goals and alignment and values,” McHugh said.

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UD and the Hall Initiative will work together on programs, McHugh said, but they also plan to get students involved in the project.

UD President Eric F. Spina said there is a role for everyone at UD in the Hall Hunger Initiative, from students who are actively studying food science to students in the arts, business engineering and math.

“Students, faculty and staff in partnership with HHI will strive to replace hunger with a just and equitable food system that works for everyone,” Spina said.

Hall was the chair of the fundraising campaign for Gem City Market. The nonprofit also worked on Miami Valley Meals, which provides jobs for the unemployed and prepares food for the hungry.

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