NIU students recognize hunger, homelessness, collect canned goods, pack food, raise money

NIU students packed 3,000 pounds of food that would provide 2,307 meals to families around northern Illinois.

NIU students packed 3,000 pounds of food that would provide 2,307 meals to families around northern Illinois.

Hunger and homelessness is recognized nationally each November during Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, where organizations across the country plan and host activities related to raising awareness about these issues in their communities.

NIU focused this year on service projects and educational activities, ranging from packing food for the hungry, both at the local and national levels, to hosting a campus-wide food drive competition to see which group could gather the most food to donate to local pantries.

The week also included a screening of “The Pursuit of Happyness” and a teach-in hosted by NGOLD which spoke on hunger and homelessness in DeKalb.

At the end of the week, students were able to see the measurable difference they made by the number of meals they packed, the money they helped raise and the cans they collected to donate.

Students packed 3,000 pounds of food that would provide 2,307 meals to families around northern Illinois at the Northern Illinois Food Bank. Through the Feed My Starving Children MobilePack in Sycamore, NIU students also helped the community pack 69,336 pounds of food that would provide 190 meals to hungry children around the world for an entire year.

A photo of dozens of canned goodsTwo hundred and eight students also participated in the Fast-A-Thon, where students were encouraged to not drink or eat from sun up until sun down. Eduardo’s, Road Ranger, Steve Roman and the DeKalb Interfaith Network for Peace and Justice donated $1 for every student who fasted, up to a certain amount.

Collectively, NIU students helped to raise $475, which will be donated to Hope Haven. During the final Hunger and Homelessness Awareness event, more than 420 cans were collected from student organizations and donated to Hope Haven and the Feed’em Soup Community Project.

This year’s Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week was even more successful than last year, but would not have been possible without the participation of students and support from the Muslim Student Association, NGOLD and the NIU Interfaith Iserve Committee.

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