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Hi! My name is Hannah Jenkins, and I am one of the copy editors here at the North Wind. I am a sophomore at NMU, and I love all things writing and editing-related. I am proud to be a part of this great...

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Opinion-- A list of regrets before I graduate
Opinion-- A list of regrets before I graduate
Sal Wiertella March 1, 2024

Trivia night raises awareness about food insecurity in the UP

Katarina Rothhorn
FUN FACTS — Dallas Wiertella (far right) explains different misconceptions about reasons for food insecurity, including laziness, high unemployment or the economy, when accessibility is the main driver of food insecurity. The trivia night was hosted by Marquette Ending Hunger to raise awareness and donations for the NMU Food Pantry.

Nearly 30 people gathered in Jamrich on Thursday night to play a game of Kahoot and raised $100 for the NMU Food Pantry in the process. Marquette Ending Hunger, a student organization dedicated to raising awareness about food insecurity in the UP, hosted a trivia night and used their platform to talk about the food pantry and encourage donations. 

“It is free admission but … any donations we get are going directly to the NMU Food Pantry,” said Jaiden Cunningham, secretary of Marquette Ending Hunger. “We did buy prizes for this, but we aren’t going to pay ourselves back for that. That’s our donation.”

Prizes for the top five winners included a Nintendo Switch Lite for first place, Apple Airpods for second, a holiday themed Donckers gift basket for third, a set of two Blossom Bird Bubble Tea gift cards for fourth, and a single Blossom Bird Bubble Tea gift card for the fifth place finisher. 

The trivia game was created by Marquette Ending Hunger through Kahoot and consisted of 32 questions. The questions covered a variety of fun facts in categories including history, biology and, most importantly, food insecurity. 

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After certain questions pertaining to food insecurity, Marquette Ending Hunger President, Dallas Wiertella, would elaborate on the topic and provide more context on the extent of the situation. 

For example, the correct answer to the trivia question “What is the food insecurity rate in UP?” was 14%. Wiertella added that this statistic is for the total population of the UP, regardless of other demographics. However for children in the UP, the food insecurity rate increases to 20%.

“Having awareness of food insecurity, especially in the UP, is very important, because a lot of people come here and they don’t really understand the economy of the UP,” said Sydney Butler, vice president of Marquette Ending Hunger. “And since this is a college town, it’s kind of in a bubble. People who come here and don’t pay attention to those other factors that are happening throughout the rest of the UP.”

Throughout the trivia night, participants learned that accessibility and location are the biggest factors for food insecurity in the UP, George Washington’s teeth were not actually made of wood and it would cost only $25 billion to end hunger insecurity in America.

“Honestly, learning the facts about the food insecurity in the UP was really cool, because I live just south of the UP, just over the border,” first year financial management major, Tristan Coolbaugh said. “It was really helpful to see the financial situation that the rest of the UP is in, and because I see a lot of it in my own town.”

Coolbaugh heard about the trivia night on the NMU Snapchat story and knew he had to attend as a self-identified trivia addict. Coolbaugh correctly identified 23 out of 32 questions and won the Nintendo Switch Lite in first place.

The trivia night ended with specific questions about NMU’s Food Pantry and encouraged people to spread information about the food pantry and all it offers. The food pantry is open to the whole campus community and is free to everyone. Hours are adjusted each semester and are updated on their website.

“We just mostly want to be able to raise awareness in a very safe environment for people to better understand food insecurity, and we want people to know about the food pantry,” Butler said. “And also trivia nights are just really fun.”

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About the Contributor
Katarina Rothhorn, Features Writer
The first message I ever sent from my Northern Michigan University sanctioned email was to the editor-in-chief of the North Wind asking if there was any way I could join the staff. Classes hadn't even started yet but I knew if there was one place I was going to be in college, it was going to be in the news room helping create an archive of campus life. Being a part of the North Wind has shown me a sides of NMU that I would not have known existed otherwise and has given me a platform to raise up the stories of those who are often overlooked. After being a copy editor, features editor and now the editor-in-chief, I feel so grateful to be a part of an excellent staff and have the opportunity to learn, grow, and make mistakes along side a great support system.