International Hunger Fund PDF Print


In 1987, First Presbyterian Church initiated a program to help alleviate food and hunger problems in developing countries of the world, with a special initial focus in Africa.  Since then, this fund has given more than $58,000 to over 38 students from more than 20 different countries to help in their research.

Some background:

As an outgrowth of a six-week adult education series on international hunger problems, an informal church steering committee was formed.  This committee was quickly convinced that a worthy church project would be to directly support students who are researching ways to eliminate the causes of hunger in their home countries.  With some extra support from First Presbyterian, these students can complete their research and return to their home countries to apply what they have learned.  This particular mission also has the benefit of building personal connections to the student recipients.


The primary purpose of this effort is to provide supplemental research funding for one or two international graduate students whose work shows significant promise in alleviating food and hunger problems.  The funds may be used to add technical assistance, equipment, or other needed resources to implement the thesis research.

A second purpose is to involve and educate church members on a country's hunger issues.  Fund recipients visit the church to receive their checks in front of the congregation and to speak during worship and during the adult education hour.  They may also offer special programs about their research projects.  The congregation follows the students' progress, and members often establish one-on-one relationships with a student.

Criteria for Eligibility:

To receive an award, the applicant(s) must...

  1. committed to returning to his/her country to work on food and hunger problems;
  2. enrolled in a field of study at Cornell University that is likely to contribute to hunger alleviation (i.e. agricultural production, nutrition, education, communication, food policies, and water hydraulics);
  3. (preferably) in the second or third year of graduate study;
  4. ...have plans for doing thesis research in the home country and in cooperation with others working on hunger problems in the area;
  5. ...present a project plan that shows how the funds will be used;
  6. willing to share plans and experiences with Ithaca church supporters and to assist in stimulating interest in hunger and malnutrition problems.


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