For decades, the Student PIRGs National Student Campaign Against Hunger & Homelessness has co-sponsored Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week with our partners at the National Coalition for the Homeless. This month, students and community members from across the country organized educational, service, fundraising, and advocacy events to combat the problems of poverty in their communities
In all, over 50,000 people took action at events around the country, and the #HHWeek hashtag was shared over 4,000 times and reached millions online. These events not only raised tens of thousands of dollars and collected thousands of pounds of items for the needy—from food to clothing to basic necessities—they also raised awareness and helped break the stigma around hunger and homelessness. Below are just a few of the many highlights from the week.
I take immense pride in the efforts of our partners and student leaders throughout Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week as they dedicated themselves to serving their communities. Our aspiration is that by increasing awareness, we enhance the likelihood of addressing this crisis at various levels—be it at the college, local, state, or federal level.
Florida PIRG Students | St. Petersburg, FL
Florida PIRG at Eckerd College’s Zero Hunger campaign ran their 3rd annual Indie Flea Market – where student artists sell handmade items at a flea market and pay for their time by donating non-perishable food, hygiene, and pet supplies. The event featured 41 total sellers, over 300 attendees.
The event allowed the college to officially launch the Eckerd College Food Bank, the first food bank on the campus which is open 24/7 to all students, faculty, and staff.
MASSPIRG Students | Amherst, MA
MASSPIRG at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst held a food drive and collected over 700 pounds of non-perishable foods for the Amherst Survival Center food pantry. The event was a partnership between the MASSPIRG chapter and a number of organizations including the UMass Amherst student government, several UMass sororities such as DKD and KPhig, as well as other clubs on campus.
Florida PIRG Students | Tallahassee, FL
Florida PIRG Students at Florida State University hosted two big service events during H&H Week: A first of its kind clean up event that acted as a beautification project for their community’s emergency shelter for the homeless that involved 19 student volunteers; And a community food distribution event with a local church.
WashPIRG Students | Seattle, WA
WashPIRG at the University of Washington organized an online educational panel with Representative Chopp and Senator Pederson to answer over a dozen questions submitted by UW students regarding hunger and homelessness in the city of Seattle.
ConnPIRG Students | Trinity, CT
ConnPIRG students at Trinity College organized a “Pie a Pi” fundraiser with the Trinity Homelessness Project and the Alpha Epsilon Pi and Pi Kappa Alpha fraternities to raise money for survival backpacks for middle and high school students. The students raised over $500 from dozens of students that donated for the chance to throw a pie in the face of the fraternity brothers.
OSPIRG Students | Eugene, OR
OSPIRG Students at the University of Oregon held a “Super Service Sunday” event where students collected, created, and distributed 75 food and clothing items for local communities in need. For two of the students, it was the first event that they coordinated with their OSPIRG chapter!
Restoration803 | Columbia, SC
The nonprofit Restoration803 held a full week of events including a “Lunch on The Lawn” serving over 100 individuals and families, a Thanksgiving food gift card giveaways, a “Lunch & Learn” training on navigating Medicare & Medicaid.
Lifeline Ministries | Holland, MI
Lifeline Ministries in Michigan hosted a “Sleep Out for a Cause” event to raise awareness of the struggles homeless people face. Forty people signed up to take part in spending the night outside. The local ABC affiliate WZZM 13 attended the event and interviewed Lifeline Ministries’ Pastor, Loren Stutzman. You can watch the news clip here.
Acadiana Regional Coalition for Homelessness & Housing (ARCH) | Lafayette, LA
ARCH hosted a “PechaKucha Night” event where a diverse set of speakers answered the question “what is home?” along with a food & household goods drive over the two consecutive weekends bookending H&H week. The local ABC affiliate KATC 3 covered the event.
Share Food Program | Philadelphia, PA
The Share Food Program served 160 meals at Cecil & Grace Bean’s Soup Kitchen in Norristown, PA. Share’s Montgomery County Program Director, Carla Clanagan says: “15 turkeys were cooked and sliced by YWCA Dignity Kitchen. We delivered turkeys and hot pans, and decorated the tables with hand-made holiday centerpieces.”
Horizon House | Indianapolis, IN
The Horizon House in Indianapolis worked with multiple community partners to give back during H&H Week. KSM & The Heritage Group donated 1,500 snack packs and made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for their neighbors. The Chapel Hill United Methodist Church provided sleeping bags for their neighbors living on the streets. And volunteer Ice Miller hosted a blanket drive.
|About The National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness
The National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness is committed to ending hunger and homelessness by educating, engaging, and training college students to directly meet individuals’ immediate needs while advocating for long-term systemic solutions.
NSCAHH has engaged tens of thousands of students, developed long-term projects such as food salvage programs and food pantries, raised millions of dollars for anti-poverty charities, and equipped young people with the skills to become effective organizers and advocates. NSCAHH is a project of the Student PIRGs.
|About The Student PIRGs
The Student PIRGs’ mission is to ensure students have the skills, opportunities and training they need to create a better, more sustainable future for all of us. Our youth civic engagement network of 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) student-directed and funded organizations across the country has nearly 300,000 dues-paying student members in 11 states. Each year, 4,000 students get their first hands-on experience in organizing and activism while volunteering with us. Every year, we reach hundreds of thousands of students and generate 150,000 grassroots actions. Since our founding, the Student PIRGs have trained over 1 million volunteers.