by BRETT MARSHALL, CSU Public Relations Assistant
The week before Thanksgiving is recognized as National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week (NHHAW).
The Origin Story and Purpose
The movement first began at Villanova University and has since spread across the United States. According to the event’s two primary sponsors, the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign Against Hunger & Homelessness, “more than 700 colleges, high schools and community groups across the country will come together during this week to raise awareness about the pressing issues of hunger and homelessness.”
“Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is designed to educate the public, draw attention to the problem of poverty and build up the base of volunteers and supporters for local anti-poverty agencies. Groups spend this week generating publicity about hunger and homelessness and holding a series of events to engage their communities,” the event’s official website reads.
Bringing Real Issues to Light
The need for the event stems from some rather alarming statistics. In the U.S. alone, more than 43 million Americans live below the poverty line, more than 500,000 are homeless on an average evening, 42 million are at risk of suffering from hunger and about 1 in 5 children are living in poverty.
Across the globe 795 million people don’t have enough to eat and 767 million live on $1.90 or less. In addition, six children die every minute from hunger-related illnesses. The events across the nation look to bring awareness to these issues and provide some support to them as well.
Partnerships and What You Can Do to Help
In addition to the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign Against Hunger & Homelessness, NHHAW has 32 partners that assist with awareness and programs to combat hunger and homelessness. Some of these organizations include The Campus Kitchen Project, Food Recovery Network and the College & University Foodbank Alliance.
At a local level, students interested in supporting NHHAW can check out some campus events including the annual Chili Cook Off Thursday, Nov. 9, in the CSU during the lunch hour. There will also be a sleep out students can participate in. More information about the awareness sleep out can be found by checking out Morgan’s article from this week.