SDG Observatory

Goal 2: Zero Hunger

End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.


Zero Hunger Globally

The United Nations presents Zero Hunger as Sustainable Development Goal 2, with the broad goal of ending hunger worldwide by 2030. Unfortunately, the world is not on track to achieve this goal. Currently, the World Food Programme estimates that 135 million people worldwide suffer from acute hunger, with an additional 130 million people at risk because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Achieving Zero Hunger by 2030 is a lofty goal. However, the United Nations has provided measurable targets to assess the world’s progress. They include ensuring access to nutritious food, ending all forms of malnutrition, doubling agricultural productivity, and maintaining genetic diversity of seeds.

Read more about the targets.


Zero Hunger Locally

In Texas, the household food insecurity rate is 18.4%, about 4% higher than the national average. In Dallas, 27% of children live in households that have struggled with food insecurity in the last year. Green Dallas has identified several local issues that contribute to food insecurity, including food deserts, food waste, and food supply disruption.

When a college student (PDF [Portable Document Format File] ) suffers from food insecurity, they are more likely to experience mental health and academic performance issues. No student should have to make the decision between buying a textbook or groceries for the week.

The University of Texas at Dallas strives to ensure that students have sufficient access to healthy food through programs such as the Comet Cupboard. We also work to reduce food insecurity in our local area through outreach programs such as the Food Recovery Network and fundraising campaigns.

Read more about the work we do here at UT Dallas for Sustainable Development Goal 2 below.



Comet Cupboard

SDG 1: No Poverty
SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being
Comet Cupboard volunteers pose with food donations.

Comet Cupboard volunteers pose with food donations

The Comet Cupboard is an on-campus “food pantry initiative dedicated to helping students in need. Its primary mission is to provide necessary food and personal care items to members of the UT Dallas community, but its impact reaches much further. The Comet Cupboard acts as a service-learning component of the undergraduate academic experience and strives to cultivate a campus culture where the community is valued above individualism.”

All UT Dallas students are eligible to receive assistance from the Comet Cupboard. UTD has led a variety of fundraising campaigns to support the work of the Comet Cupboard. For example, Student Government joined 8 other universities in Texas in December 2020 to lead a Texas Sized Christmas campaign, raising over $8,000 for the Comet Cupboard and local food banks. Campus departments also participate in the annual Raising Cans competition, transforming food donations into small sculptures. The Comet Cupboard has continued to support students during the COVID-19 pandemic in a safe and socially distanced manner, offering food distribution on Thursdays from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Since its founding, the Comet Cupboard has become a known entity on campus to support students in times of need.


Food Recovery Network

SDG 1: No Poverty
SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
Food Recovery Network volunteers celebrate donating 959 pounds to Hope’s Door in 2019.

Food Recovery Network volunteers celebrate donating 959 pounds to Hope’s Door in 2019

UT Dallas is home to a chapter of the Food Recovery Network, a national organization that works to reduce food waste and donate leftover food items to those facing food insecurity. In Spring 2018, student volunteers donated over 1,224 pounds of food to Hope’s Door, a shelter that helps women and children who are victims of domestic violence. Since 2016, UTD has donated over 5,000 pounds of leftover food to the shelter. Through the Food Recovery Network chapter, UT Dallas is both preventing food waste and addressing food insecurity in the Dallas area.


UNIV 3310 North Texas Food Bank

SDG 4: Quality Education
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals
UNIV 3310 students pose at North Texas Food Bank.

UNIV 3310 students pose at North Texas Food Bank

In the Spring of 2020, students in a sustainability service-learning class funded by a UT System Grant worked to raise money for North Texas Food Bank. The class, entitled Sustainable Development Goals and Local Action had a goal that semester of addressing hunger through supporting the North Texas Food Bank. When the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic occurred, students in the class quickly developed a campaign to raise money to help those in immediate need.

Read more about the #WhooshAwayHunger campaign.


Community Garden

SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
SDG 15: Life on Land
Students volunteer for Comet Cupboard on campus.

Students volunteer for Comet Cupboard on campus

UT Dallas is a home to a Community Garden, in which campus community members can reserve their own plot and grow produce. The Community Garden has 19+ plots. Led by the Office of Student Volunteerism, the Community Garden also offers work days for students to participate. The Office of Sustainability has worked to distribute produce from the Community Garden to those in need on campus. During Earth Week 2019, volunteers worked to donate 12 pounds of onion, kale, and lettuce harvest. Student volunteers also transplanted 16 tomato, melon, and paper plants into the Community Garden. In June 2020, following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Community Garden had donated over 60 pounds of vegetables to the Comet Cupboard. We hope to continue donating in the future.


“Pop Up Farmer’s Market”

SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being
SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
Three men in kitchen uniforms and one man in a suit in front of a stand full of baskets of food.

Executive Chef Gene Christiano (center) stands with Vice President for Student Affairs Gene Fitch (right) and two other workers on the first day of operation for the Pop-Up Farmers’ Market; The market will be open the first Tuesday of every month until November

Hosted by UT Dallas Dining Services, the “Pop Up Farmers Market” makes an appearance at the Plinth on the second Tuesday of regular semesters. This educational campaign works to teach students about sustainable and healthy food options. Students can also shop the produce and prepared foods prepared by the Farmer’s Market. Buying local is one way to reduce one’s carbon footprint, as shopping from farmer’s markets can support local businesses and reduce the transportation required to transport food long distances.

Read more about the launch of the Pop-Up Farmer’s Market.


Goals / Future Work

  • Expand educational programming around nutrition and food insecurity
  • Increase awareness and accessibility of the Comet Cupboard to students on campus
  • Continue building partnerships to end food insecurity in DFW [Dallas / Fort Worth]  community
  • Increase access to fresh produce on campus through the Community Garden


Other Work We Do

The programs highlighted here are just one piece of the work we do on campus to reduce food waste and help end food insecurity. View the full dataset (PDF [Portable Document Format File] ), guided by the Association of Advancement in Higher Education (AASHEAssociation of Advancement in Higher Education)’s Sustainable Development Goal translation guide.


Learn More

  • Check out SDG Academy to take interactive educational courses pertaining to SDG 2 [Sustainable Development Goal 2] : Zero Hunger
  • Learn more about the targets and indicators at the UN Global Goals website
  • Check out the Comet Cupboard to donate or receive needed resources
  • Visit the North Texas Food Bank to learn about food insecurity in the greater Dallas community