On November 6th, the on-campus student organization, IC Food For Thought, was awarded at Ithaca College's Community Honors Event: Spotlight On Hunger. The ceremony recognized professors, alumni and student organizations that help to alleviate hunger in Ithaca, NY and beyond.

IC Food for Thought or "FFT" is a non-profit organization that aims to educate individuals on global malnutrition, hunger, poverty and education. I got the chance to sit down with the org's president, Rilya Greeslamirya, to learn more about the club, the award and how to get involved.  

Why is it important for college students to think about hunger in the Ithaca community and more importantly, take action?

"It’s closer to us than we might think. Some students at Ithaca College aren’t able to afford a meal plan, Bonus Bucks or ID Express. It’s important to take action because we need to help support our community and our friends. There is a stigma on hunger and not being financially able to afford food. And so we should play our part and reach out to those who need help and support."

What kind of events do you throw throughout the year? 

"Every fall semester, our major event is the annual Walk for Plumpy’nut, which is raises funds for a nut-based nutritional paste that can help provide malnourished children with daily nutrients...This year, we also collaborated with Swipe Out Hunger, IC Challah for Hunger, IC Environmentalists and the Poor People’s Campaign to organize a panel discussion on food insecurity and food justice. 

Every spring semester, we have the Hunger Banquet, which is a simulation where participants get tickets randomly signifying their socioeconomic class (lower, middle and upper). They will get food based on which ticket they get...From the type of food that they get, it [will] show participants a little bit of the experience that their respective socioeconomic classes go through daily.

We also do Rise Up For Rice, which is a competition that we hold between many student organizations on campus to see who can donate the most rice using www.freerice.com. The student organization that donates the most rice wins a prize from a local business in Ithaca."

What does this recent award mean to you and the club?

"This award means a lot to us because we have been working to help alleviate hunger in the smallest way we can for years. Although it feels great to be recognized for it, this doesn’t mean that our job is done. We still need to do so much more, and we’re excited for what’s coming next."

What’s your favorite part of FFT?

"One of my favorite parts...is the people and the community that we have. Not only am I referring to the club and the members, but also the other clubs, businesses and professors who have helped us along the way and who have reached out to us to collaborate. Building a community spreads the word about this issue, and it allows us to meet others who are also passionate about the same thing. And it’s great. Being able to combine my passion for this cause and to meet others while doing it is a great experience that I don’t think I will get anywhere else."

How can other students get involved?

"It would be really cool for other students to participate in our events. If not, they can show up [to] our bi-weekly meetings. They can also get involved by being a part of other hunger-related organizations on campus."

IC Food For Thought has meetings every other Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Friends 209.