Hunger, Homelessness awareness brought to campus

By Staff Writer
November 15, 2001

Amy Gassen

by Tanya McCausland

staff writer

The Hunger and Homelessness Campaign has been put into high gear since Thursday Nov. 8, and will continue until Tuesday Nov. 14. The Student Committee for Community Outreach is organizing the events to raise money and food for homeless shelters and to educate the campus community about hunger and homelessness. They are using the motto “advocate, educate, fill a plate” to make their cause a success.

Tonight from 5:30 to 7 p.m. the hunger banquet will be held on the second floor of the New Residence Hall. All are invited to come and experience living in a different part of the world and having very little food. Posters advertising the banquet read, “experience a life outside of your own.” Mary Laver, coordinator of leadership and service learning, says that it is all about “food, drama and teaching.” Attendees receive a card when entering the banquet that will identify where they are from and what kind of living conditions they will be experiencing throughout the evening. Food will be served according to the person’s assigned status and even the sitting arrangements will depend on where the person is from. It is a completely interactive event that is designed to help students understand poverty.

Students can also take part in the distributing of turkeys and other foods on Tuesday, Nov. 20, around mid-day. Anyone interested can call or stop by Campus Ministry to sign up. Volunteers will deliver the turkeys to Our Lady of Hope Church in North Philadelphia. From there needy people will be able to pick them up for their Thanksgiving dinners.

Boxes have also been set out around campus prompting people to donate canned goods, leftover ramen, and other non-perishable items. Donations will be taken to the Greater Philadelphia Food Bank and other local shelters at the end of the campaign.

Since the beginning of the campaign on Thursday, Nov. 8, there have been several other programs for students to take part in. On Tuesday, Nov. 13, a program called Arrested for Hunger was held in front of the Wig Wam. Arrest warrants had to be filled out and the person was then given a phone to rally up enough money to have themselves freed. Letters could be written to elected representatives concerning hunger and poverty.

On Tuesday, Nov. 13, from 7-9 p.m. an interactive program was held to inform students about how to help reduce hunger and poverty. The program was held as a partnership with Philadelphia Cares Program.

On Wednesday, Nov. 14, a fast in Solidarity was held. A group of students got together and fasted for 20 hours to raise poverty awareness. Money that they did not spend on food will also be donated. The hunger banquet this evening will be the conclusion of the fast.

Laver wants to remind everyone that although a special week has been set aside for raising money and food for people who are less fortunate, helping the needy is an ongoing process. Campus Ministry organizes two Saturdays every month where students help out at food banks and shelters.

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