Feeding change

During Hunger Action Month, see how the SMU community takes on food insecurity and sustainability through research – at the graduate, undergraduate and alumni levels.

Student gardening


Keeping it fresh

Khengdauliu Chawang ’24, a Ph.D. student in electrical and computer engineering at the Lyle School of Engineering, has developed a tiny pH sensor to detect when food has gone bad in real time. A rural region in her native India – which relies heavily on agricultural crops – inspired her. “The need to prevent food waste motivated me to think of a device that is not expensive or labor-intensive to develop, is disposable and can detect freshness levels,” she says.


Jake Stavely

Hands-on research

Undergraduates like Jake Stavely ’25 get hands-on experience with real-life applications through the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. This summer, Stavely worked alongside other SMU students as well as students from other universities to analyze data and hone the definition of food deserts. “We were using data science tools for analysis and social good,” he says.

Learn more about REU

Beyond the classroom

Engage Dallas

Engage Dallas

A desire to infuse service projects into the Residential Commons led to Engage Dallas – an initiative that helps students organize community projects to create a richer experience for all residents.


SMU Serves

SMU Serves

Every spring, SMU takes part in a nationwide service day called The Big Event – but efforts gear up in January with Feed My Starving Children. “No one should worry about where their next meal is coming from,” says The Big Event Executive Director Julian DiBona ’24.


Boaz Commons

Boaz Commons

At Boaz, residents volunteer with North Texas Food Bank, CitySquare, Mission Oak Cliff and more to help those in need and gain a deeper understanding.

Learn about Boaz

Claire Babineaux-Fontenot

Alumni spotlight:
Claire Babineaux-Fontenot ’92

As the chief executive officer of Feeding America, Claire Babineaux-Fontenot ’92 oversees a national nonprofit network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and programs. It’s safe to say food insecurity is a cause close to her heart. In 2021, the Dedman School of Law graduate was honored among the SMU Distinguished Alumni Award recipients for her work in the fight against hunger.

Watch her story

Sustainable solutions

Hands-on solutions

The Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity, housed inside the Lyle School of Engineering, is dedicated to developing and scaling sustainable and affordable technologies and solutions to the challenges facing under-resourced communities. Initiatives on hunger and food insecurity are just part of what Hunt Institute students, faculty and fellows are tackling head on.

Learn More

Sustainability solutions lab

Sustainability Solutions Lab

This lab empowers students to be problem solvers and contributors on economic and environmental topics. Topics include enhancing food production productivity and understanding the needs of communities in food deserts.

Learn About the Lab

Social Enterprise Program

Social Enterprise Program

Scholars here take on social and environmental problems. One example is partnering with Restorative Farms, started by SMU professors Owen Lynch and Doric Erle, which provides access to fresh food and employment.

See More Solutions

Sustainability + Development Program

Sustainability and Development Program

This program is built around a three-course core with customizable coursework. Students work on capstone projects in South Dallas, New Mexico and Tanzania.


Take the Hunger and Sustainability Quiz now and discover your impact!

Test your knowledge!