Arizona State University Student Balanding Manneh Awarded ScholarshipÂ for Commitment to Ending World Hunger
Raleigh, NC â€“ Stop Hunger Now and the NC State University Center for Student Leadership, Ethics and Public Service have named Balanding Manneh of Arizona State University as the 2016 President William Jefferson Clinton Global Hunger Leadership Award recipient.
Each year, undergraduate students across the globe with a passion to end hunger are invited to apply for the award named in honor of President Bill Clinton for his commitment to humanitarian causes, including the eradication of hunger. The award was first presented by President Clinton in 2009. Since then, the NC State Center for Student Leadership, Ethics & Public Service (CSLEPS) and Stop Hunger Now, a non-profit hunger relief organization, have presented the award to students from colleges or universities around the world.
â€œI envision a world in which people have access to quality food irrespective of their levels of income, social status or where they live on the planet,â€ said Manneh. â€œThere is no feeling so satisfying than knowing that this is an achievable goal.â€
Manneh, the eighth recipient of the award, has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to fighting hunger in his local community and abroad. In 2014, he founded the non-profit Rural Impact to help poor farming communities in his native Gambia, earning him an African Youth Excellence Award in Public Service nomination in 2015.
A sophomore at Arizona State, he has worked alongside scientists at the Global Institute of Sustainability at ASU on projects geared toward safeguarding livelihoods and fighting food insecurity in Senegal, West Africa. He was also awarded the SOLUR Award, which allowed him to design a research project to study the impact of locusts on crops and food security of rural farmers in Senegal.
Manneh counts his personal story as a major motivating factor in his dedication to the issue of global hunger. Â â€œItâ€™s one thing to see pictures of hungry people on television, but itâ€™s another thing to actually experience it first hand like I did growing up,â€ he said.
His life experiences have fueled a passion for eradicating food insecurity. In a speech at the 2015 â€˜Ignite at ASUâ€™ event, Manneh recounted that many of his childhood friends did not make it to their tenth birthdays due to hunger and malnutrition-related illnesses.
â€œBalanding is strongly committed to ending hunger and poverty and considers food security as central part of his personal vision,â€ says Assistant Professor & Senior Sustainability Scientist Arianne Cease. â€œHis actions reflect his vision.â€
The award will be presented at the Universities Fighting World Hunger Summit on February 27, at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri.
Previous Clinton Award winners are: Maria Rose Belding, American University (2015); Azeem Ahmed, Auburn University (2014); Brendan Rice, University of Alabama (2013); Ryan Oâ€™Donnell, NC State (2012); Gavin Armstrong, University of Guelph (2011); Sarah Nam, Harvard (2010); and John Coggin, NC State University (2009)
About Stop Hunger Now
For more than 18 years, Stop Hunger Now has been creating a movement to end hunger. Â More than 200 million meals have been packaged and distributed along with other aid to 73 countries impacting millions of lives. The organization is driven by a mission to end hunger in our lifetime by providing food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable and by creating a global commitment to mobilize the necessary resources. Â The Stop Hunger Now meal packaging program was created to give dedicated individuals the opportunity to participate in a hands-on international hunger relief program and to become educated, engaged advocates for the worldâ€™s poor and hungry. Â In 2015, Stop Hunger Now and its global affiliates packaged 51.3 million meals.
Aaron J. Thompson
Marketing & Communications Coordinator
NC State University Student Leadership & Engagement