Julie Uram, an Environmental Sustainability and Rhetoric, Media & Social Change double major at Drake University, is a student leader active in addressing issues of food insecurity. Since coming to Drake, she has been a leader with the Next Course Food Recovery organization that recovers untouched food from the dining halls and delivers it to local agencies. She presents to classes and groups to raise awareness about the structure of food systems and inqualities that exist. Julie is passionate about using her knowledge of rhetoric and environmental science to help others understand social systems and social issues in ways that are sensitive to inequalities and considerate of sustainable development.
As a double major in Environmental Sustainability and Rhetoric, Media, & Social Change, I recognize food systems to be at the intersection of climate change and social change. Because all people eat food, and most enjoy thinking and talking about food experiences, the topic of eating is an accessible and relevant starting point for recognizing and understanding food insecurity. I was excited when I first heard about food recovery, the process of redistributing edible food that would otherwise be thrown away, to people facing hunger. I now work as a Service Learning Ambassador for Drake University's Next Course: Food Recovery Network. Food recovery addresses the environmental impact of society by reducing material in landfills, while also demanding awareness about local food insecurity and local organizations that provide food assistance. Through various sociology courses at Drake, I have come to realize the terms "hunger," "community," and "obesity" to be emotionally powerful yet complex social constructs that allow vague understandings about food insecurity and nutrition to continue. My constant goal is to use my knowledge of rhetoric and environmental science to help others understand social systems and social issues in ways that are sensitive to inequalities and considerate of sustainable development.