Goal 2: Zero Hunger

SDG 2: Zero Hunger Icon

Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

About two billion people in the world do not have regular access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food. A world with zero hunger is a key piece of building a better future for everyone. But a multi-dimensional approach is needed to ensure food security for all — from ensuring proper distribution and protection, to transforming food systems to achieve a more inclusive and sustainable world, to limiting food waste and supporting local farmers — everyone can play a role in helping to eliminate hunger in their own way.

Why It Matters Infographic

Sustainable Development Goal #2 explores several ways communities (big and small) can help fight hunger, improve nutrition and make more sustainable food choices. At the University of Minnesota, agricultural research and state-wide outreach work is at the heart of the University’s land-mission. This includes providing programs across our campuses and our state to decrease food insecurity, reduce food waste, and promote more nutritional and sustainable food options, partnering with farmers and food producers to develop best practices and share knowledge that will help improve not only the end product but the environmental impact of their work, and educating future generations of students to be hunger fighters in their communities and aware of food insecurity and its ties to sustainability worldwide. 

Campus Food Waste
Student Food Insecurity and Hunger Interventions
Nearly one in five University of Minnesota Twin Cities students worry whether they will run out of food before they have money to buy more, or have run out of food in the past year. There are a number of programs that monitor and address student food insecurity at UMN campuses. Several of them are highlighted below:


SNAP for Students Coalition Website.

The SNAP for Students Coalition, led by the School of Public Health, is a statewide working group for college and university stakeholders to share resources and gain new information related to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) access for college students.

Learn More

College Student Health Survey Reports Website

The College Student Health Survey (CSHS) measures eight key areas: Health Insurance and Health Care Utilization, Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drug Use, Tobacco Use, Personal Safety, Financial Health, Nutrition and Physical Activity (including food insecurity prevalence data), and Sexual Health.

Twin Cities 2018 Results      Duluth 2018 Results

Being aware of the issue and having programs that monitor and develop potential solutions to student food insecurity is one thing but UMN campuses are also addressing the immediate needs of students and staff with several hunger intervention programs. Several of these programs are highlighted below: 


Nutritious U Food Pantry Logo.

Boynton Health’s Nutritious U Food Pantry provides fresh and healthy food to students who struggle to get enough to eat.

Learn More

Champ's Cupboard sign.

Champ’s Cupboard is a free food shelf offered to all UMD students. Students can pick from a variety of non-perishable items including rice, pasta, soups, sauces, and vegetables.

Learn More

Food Resource Guide graphic.

University of Minnesota Rochester has a variety of food resources options for students including a local food resource guide, an on campus food pantry, a Food 411 mailing list and SNAP program information for students.

Learn More 

Swipe Out Hunger logo.

As part of Swipe Out Hunger's nationwide effort to combat college student hunger, each semester UMN students with meal plans can donate up to three guest meal swipes online or in person at Swipe Out Hunger drive tables in the UMN dining halls. The donated meal swipes are distributed to students who struggle to get enough to eat.

Learn More


Sustainable, Healthy and Affordable Food Choices and Purchases
All campuses have a commitment to sustainable food choices. Sustainable choices include sustainable sourcing, local food sourcing, vegetarian and vegan choices among others. 


Earth with greens and fork.

The Twin Cities campus has a broad commitment to providing sustainable food choices including ensuring foods are sourced responsibly, food waste is minimized and leftover food is donated when possible. 

Learn More

STARS logo.

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS®) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. This particular STARS report highlights UMD's plant-based food and beverage purchases from July 2018-June 2019. 

See the Report

Vegetables with locally grown tag.

The Morris campus is a founding member of the Pride of the Prairie which promotes local use of foods grown in west central Minnesota. Additionally, the Morris Healthy Eating project, funded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, is working to expand the consumption of fresh vegetables and fruits on campus, within the city of Morris, and in Stevens County. 

Learn More

Across the UMN system campuses, there are a wide-variety of healthy and affordable food choices for students. 


UMD Dining.

At the University of Minnesota-Duluth, the dining services website has information on dining locations and information on how menus are labeled with food allergy and dietary preferences (vegetarian, vegan, pork).

Learn More

UMN residence hall food options.

The Twin Cities Dining Location & Menus homepage shows the current locations for residential dining. Clicking on the locations will pop up menus categorized for vegan, vegetarian, whole grains, eat well, and plant forward options. A meal calculator is also provided. 

Learn More

Crookston Evergreen Grill dining room.

The Crookston campus uses the SodexoMyWay website to help students make informed food choices. Click on a meal to find menus including calorie and nutritional content and dietary allergy and preference information (vegan, vegetarian, mindful). The nutrition calculator supports informed dietary choices.

Learn More

Sustainable food purchasing, including from local farmers, is an integral part of the University's plan to reduce food waste while ensuring the UMN community has access to high quality and desirable foods. 


Locally grown produce on a table.

On the Morris campus, they focus on eating locally sourced, sustainable and healthy food. They are a founding member of the Pride of the Prairie, one of the longest-running local food efforts in Minnesota higher education, which promotes local use of foods grown in west central Minnesota.

Learn More

Students working in the field at the UMD Land Lab.

The UMD Land Lab is a food justice and environmental research and outreach center located just five miles from the UMD campus. It consists of 10 acres of actively-managed transitional organic farmland and a five-acre apple orchard and produces thousands of pounds of produce for Duluth campus dining services.

Learn More

Campus club waiter with food.

The UMN Campus Club is a Twin-Cities campus, member-based restaurant that prides itself on sourcing locally grown and produced foods. Food partners include both on-campus (Cornercopia and U of M Dairy) and a number of local food businesses and cooperatives.

Learn More


Graduates in Agriculture and Aquaculture
Photo of grad showing 439 students graduated from the UMN with ag related degrees in 2020.
Share Food Security Knowledge

Below are just a few of the University outreach programs where a key component is to share food security knowledge with the community. 

Gardens at the MN Landscape Arboretum.

Operated by The College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS), The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum strives to be a leader in sustainability and horticultural best practices by sharing examples of sustainable practices and dynamically teaching these practices to Minnesotans. 

Learn More

Inside a deep winter greenhouse in Northern MN.

UMN Extension’s Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP) supports research and outreach on passive solar greenhouses which are designed to extend small- and mid-scale farmers’ growing seasons and limit the amount of fossil fuel required to grow crops during cold winters.

Learn More

Turtle image.

Extension’s Federally Recognized Tribal Extension Program focuses on securing traditional Ojibwe food systems by building and strengthening capacity of diverse networks of community members, Tribal and natural resource professionals. This work includes a number of published resources related to the stewardship of lands and water as well as gathering wild grown plants for food and medicine.

Learn More

Free Events for Farmers and Producers
Below are just a few of the programs targeting local farmers and food producers.


Forever Green graphic.

UMN Extension and CFANS regularly partner to offer free field days for farmers, consumers, businesses, and others who are interested in learning about new winter annual and perennial crops that offer ecosystem benefits. The Forever Green Initiative focuses on developing new crops to ensure agricultural production to strengthen economies while protecting water and other resources.

Learn More

High tunnel with students in background.

UMN Extension's Local Foods College is a free interactive distance learning opportunity for gardeners and farmers interested in community-based food systems. During Covid-19, a special "Rapid Response" series was developed to help small farm and food communities connect, network and share information.

Learn More

Blazing Trails.

Organized by the UMN's Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, "Blazing Trails" is a project that brings free workshops about local food regulations to every part of Minnesota. The goal is to ensure the entire state has access to information and resources about how to navigate food regulations to help individual food entrepreneurs and local food systems move forward.

Learn More

Facilities Open to Farmers and Producers
Several University of Minnesota programs provide public access to university facilities and technology to improve sustainable farming practices. A few examples are provided below: 


ROC Map.

UMN is home to 10 Research and Outreach Centers in communities throughout Minnesota. The centers support needs-driven research to enhance agricultural production. Significantly, each individual center focuses on regionally relevant agricultural research.

Learn More

Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships

The Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships pairs communities throughout Minnesota with UMN Extension to advance sustainable food and agriculture systems based on input from 5 regional community boards. Scroll down the page to see the Food Systems programs currently being implemented. Note the ability of members of the public to submit idea briefs for RSDP support.

Learn More

Students working in the field at the UMD Land Lab.

The UMD Land Lab serves as an incubator for solutions-based research to meet community needs in addition to being a demonstration site for sustainable agricultural practices.

Learn More