Campus seeks to raise awareness for Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week|
One week before Thanksgiving every year, the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness co-sponsor National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, bringing together numerous schools, communities and cities in a nationwide effort to raise awareness to the two social problems.
“By participating in this week, we hope to encourage a greater solidarity and understanding of the struggles many people face, and inspire our students to get involved in the future to end these two critical social issues,” said Kristen Mitchell Samuels, MSW, Misericordia Community Outreach coordinator. “Events, such as the sleep-out, homelessness panel discussion and hunger banquet, help participants realize the difficulties that hungry and homeless people face daily.”
Misericordia University Campus Ministry will host a simulated Hunger Banquet to raise awareness about global hunger and poverty on Monday, Nov. 12, from 5-6 p.m. in the Huntzinger and Alden Trust Rooms 218-219 in Sandy and Marlene Insalaco Hall. The public is invited to partake in the free event. The banquet will simulate different meal scenarios allowing participants to experience firsthand how food and resources are unevenly distributed throughout the world. The event provides opportunities to educate the participants on hunger issues, by statistically placing them into upper, middle and lower class, and providing a corresponding meal. A discussion on global hunger will follow.
On Tuesday, Nov. 13, Campus Ministry will sponsor a sleep-out in an effort to show solidarity with those who go without food and shelter on a daily basis. The sleep-out will be held in the Wells Fargo Amphitheater in the center of campus beginning at 8:30 p.m. This event is held to give students a firsthand account of what homeless people experience every day.
Misericordia University students will travel to the Commission for Economic Opportunity, Wilkes-Barre, Pa., on Tuesday, Nov. 13; Wednesday, Nov. 14, and Thursday, Nov. 15, to spend their lunch hour helping sort and bag food for the needy.
Also on Thursday, Nov. 15, the campus will host a Thanksgiving ecumenical prayer service in the Banks Student Life Center Dining Hall at 4 p.m. Following the prayer service, a panel of men will share their experiences and provide a personal account of the impact of hunger, homelessness and poverty in our area. The program, “Homelessness in Luzerne County,” is open free to the public. It will be held from 4:45-6 p.m. in Huntzinger Room 218 of Insalaco Hall.
Throughout the week, Campus Ministry will be collecting items for Sponsor a Family for Thanksgiving food baskets. Each year at Misericordia, different clubs, groups, and families provide a complete thanksgiving meal, including a variety of items from the turkey to the tablecloth, to families in need from the local area. Last year, 86 baskets were organized and delivered the week before Thanksgiving.
The community is welcome to make donations to the baskets. Those interested are invited to contact Samuels at (570) 674-8041 or drop donations off at the Campus Ministry office in the Banks Student Life Center.
Misericordia University student Sean Vitale of West Pittston, Pa., serves Betty Spencer a higher-income meal, complete with chicken, salad, pasta, vegetables, drinks and dessert, at the Hunger Awareness Banquet on campus in 2011.