Spring 2019 – Intro to Food Insecurity


IDEA Description

Food insecurity is all around us.  It is complex and not always visible.  The purpose of this course is to create a global learning community that will:

  • Examine various aspects of food insecurity via lecture videos, expert case studies, and articles
  • Explore attitudes about critical food insecurity policies and impacts, including your own views
  • Engage in discussions focused on decision-making about food insecurity
  • Design, develop, and share solutions-focused multimedia projects about food insecurity in your own community context

The course is five weeks long.  Each week will cover an overall topic with an expert lecture, and then two to three cases with ‘on-location’ videos and discussion boards will fall under that umbrella topic. The topics include children and college students who are food insecure, food insecurity and your health, food insecurity and poverty, as well as sustainability and where we go from here.

Module Descriptions

Week 1

We will focus on the basics of food insecurity and what it looks like for children and college students. We will have Dr. Jenny Dauer as the expert for the week and she will talk with us about food insecurity and how her students react to learning about it. We will also hear from Nancy Shank, the Director of the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center, and we will visit the Huskers Helping Huskers Food Pantry on the UNL City Campus. There will be a discussion prompt corresponding with each of our cases for the week.

You will then be asked to complete a short assignment, if you wish to participate. For this week, we are asking participants to track their grocery buying. This will be used for the assignment for module 2. If you are interested in receiving a certificate, you will also be asked to start thinking about what you want to do for your final multimedia project that’s due in in week five.

Overview:

  • Reading Material (2)
  • Introductory Lecture Video

Case 1: Children Classified as Food Insecure

  • Reading Material (3)
  • On Location Video
  • Corresponding Discussion Question

Case 2: Food Insecurity on College Campuses

  • Reading Material (2)
  • On Location Video
  • Corresponding Discussion Question

Case 3: Teaching About Food Insecurity (Maybe)

  • Reading Material
  • Expert Lecture Video
  • Corresponding Discussion Question

Weekly Assignment

Week 2

We will talk about how food insecurity relates to your overall health and the correlation between food insecurity and obesity. We will have Dr. Virginia Chaidez, an Assistant Professor of Nutrition and Health Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, as our expert this week. We will also talk with Jean Ann Fischer,  a Nebraska Extension Specialist who also focuses on teaching low-income families about getting the proper nutrients on a tight budget. You will be asked to give your opinion on discussion prompts related to the on-location videos and the readings for those respective cases.

For the weekly assignment, you will be asked to compare your grocery buying habits with the national averages. You will be given different scenarios that people who are food insecure face every day and will need to reflect on whether or not you or your family would be able to sustain your current habits.

Overview:

  • Reading Material (2)
  • Introductory Video

Case #1: Obesity and Food Insecurity

  • Reading Material (3)
  • Expert Lecture Video
  • Corresponding Discussion Question

Case #2: Food Insecurity and Your Health

  • Reading Material (4)
  • On Location Video
  • Corresponding Discussion Question

Weekly Assignment

Week 3

This week we will look specifically at those who live in poverty and how food insecurity affects them. We will visit the Center for People in Need in North Lincoln to tour their facilities and learn about the opportunities they provide for those looking for some extra help to improve their current situation. We will also hear from Morgan Hartline, a Nebraska Extension educator who works specifically with low- income families and teaches them how to grocery shop for nutrient dense foods on a tight budget. You will then be asked to give your opinions on discussion prompts related to the On-Location videos and readings in the corresponding cases.

For the weekly assignment, you will be asked to participate in a poverty simulator.

Overview:

  • Reading Material (1)
  • Introductory Video

Case #1: The Face of Hunger and Poverty

  • Reading Material (3)
  • On Location Video
  • Corresponding Discussion Question

Case #2: Working with Those in Need

  • Reading Materials (2)
  • On Location Video
  • Corresponding Discussion Video

Case #3: Government Assistance Programs

  • Reading Materials (2)
  • On Location Video
  • Corresponding Discussion Question

Weekly Assignment

Week 4

This week we will be talk about sustainability and the long-term effects of food insecurity. Dr. Simanti Banerjee from the Department of Agricultural Economics will be our weekly expert. We will visit a small-town grocery store that is located near Lincoln and Omaha to talk about the importance of those grocery stores, especially in a “food desert.” We will also look at how to sustainably use our food supply to reduce waste and feed the hungry with the Cecil Stewart of the Joslyn Institute. You will be asked to give your opinion on discussion prompts related to the on-location videos and the readings that are in those respective cases.

For the weekly assignment, those of you who are planning on completing the course for a certificate will have this time to work on your project due in the following module. If you are not interested in getting a certificate, you do not have an assignment this week. Next week, you will be able to view your fellow classmates’ projects.

Overview:

  • Reading Material (1)
  • Introductory Lecture Video

Case 1: Food Deserts and Buying Local

  • Reading Material (3)
  • On Location Video
  • Corresponding Discussion Question

Case 2: Sustainability

  • Reading Material (2)
  • On Location Video
  • Corresponding Discussion Question

Case 3: Where do we go from here?

  • Reading Material
  • Expert Lecture Video
  • Corresponding Discussion Question

Weekly Assignment

Week 5

This week there will not be much content from your instructors. For those that are interested in getting a certificate, this is the week you will turn in your project. The week will be mostly for participants to learn from each other, review one another’s projects, and learn about what food insecurity looks like in their communities around the state.

Submit projects to Community Knowledge Base and review fellow learners’ projects.

Sign up for the class