Iowa State University affords students the opportunity to pursue their passions and tackle global challenges while they are still in school. A team of five students is doing just that – participating as finalists in the Thought For Food Challenge, an international competition to improve food security in 2050 and beyond.

The Iowa State team, Gung-Ho Globies, has created a mobile solar dehydrator that uses solar energy to dehydrate fruits and vegetables to preserve foods so they can be easily transported to places where fruits and vegetables are in short supply.

The Gung-Ho Globies include Global Resource Systems students Mikayla Sullivan, a junior; Ella Gehrke, a sophomore; Elise Kendall, a junior; Clayton Mooney, a senior; and Alexandria Wilson, a freshman in animal science.

“Our team cares about rural farmers and their livelihoods, and we want to work to increase their food production and decrease postharvest loss through sustainable implementations,” said Sullivan who started the group. “Our passion for global development and ending world hunger led us to the Thought For Food Challenge, a global competition that encourages millennials across the world to create unique and innovative solutions in the fight against hunger.”

The Iowa State team is one of 336 teams from 51 countries participating in the challenge and recently was chosen as a top 10 finalist. The Iowa State students will compete for the title by presenting their work at the Thought For Food Global Summit in Lisbon, Portugal Feb. 13-14.