Showcasing National Hunger Week

As Thanksgiving, a holiday when we are all encouraged to remember what we are grateful for, approaches, the Puget Sound campus celebrates the month of November as National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Month and the week of November 14-20 as National Hunger Week.  Amidst excitement for the upcoming holiday of bounty and food, students are encouraged to participate in several activities planned in recognition of hunger and the homeless.  According the CIAC’s e-newsletter, “Participating in National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week will not only bring greater awareness to our community, but also helps to promote the national endeavor to end hunger and homelessness.”

There are three main activities that will allow students to engage the problems of hunger and homelessness.  Points donation, which began on November 8 and ends today, allows students to donate their meal plan points.  As the end of the semester nears, some students may begin to realize that they have more points than they will need.  They are able to donate up to a 1000 points each, or $10.  The points will be converted into cash today and the money will be donated to Tacoma Avenue Shelter or the Phoenix Housing Network, which are both Tacoma-based organization that work with the homeless.  There will also be a hunger banquet on November 15th in the Murray Boardroom from 5-6 pm.  The banquet will help attendees visualize and understand the maldistribution of food and wealth in today’s world because not everyone will be allowed to have the same amount of food.  Only a few people will be given a normal amount of food (by our standards), representing the relatively small group of people who have enough money to eat a lot.  Many attendees will only be allowed to eat a small amount of simple foods, which may include rice or bread.  The distribution of food and the amount of people assigned each food amount are based on actual statistics.  Students can sign up for the hunger banquet in the SUB and are asked to bring a canned good to the event for donation to a food bank.  The last activity planned is Food for Fines, which allows students to pay their overdue book fines by donating canned goods to a food bank.  Food for Fines will take place from November 15-29.

According to the National Hunger Coalition, a sponsor of National Hunger Week, these events “help people realize the difficulties that the hungry and the homeless face daily.  We must work together to eliminate the myth that homelessness is someone else’s problem and embrace the reality that ending homelessness is possible.”