College conducting second annual Hunger and Homelessness Week

With an all-you-can eat buffet just minutes away, and a new residence hall being constructed off of Seventh and Putnam streets, it is hard to imagine what it would be like to go without food and shelter.

 

Marietta College’s Office of Civic Engagement, as well as various organizations around campus, is working to bring awareness to the issues that so many people face, including those in the Mid-Ohio Valley. The second annual Hunger and Homelessness Week, a weeklong series of events created to spread awareness about homelessness and hunger in surrounding communities, will run from April 1-8 on the Marietta campus.

This event, which was planned by the Office of Civic Engagement and four student coordinators, Drew Schulte ’12 (Parma, Ohio), Sarah Brunner ’13 (Horsham, Pa.), Sydney Maltese ’14 (Massillon, Ohio) and Meagen Rinard ’12 (Newport, Ohio), seeks to provide a better understanding of the difficulties facing those in our community.

“Hunger and homelessness does not solely exist in large urban centers, or developing nations, it is everywhere, even Washington County,” Schulte said. “The week's events present students with unique opportunities to learn, reflect, and act to on resolving issues of hunger and homelessness.”

Starting on Sunday, April 1, Circle K International will be screening the film “Kicking It” in the Foof Room of McCoy Hall starting at 8:30 p.m. This film is about how the lives of homeless people are changed through an international soccer competition. The film follows six players as they set off for Cape Town, South Africa, to play in the Homeless World Cup. Following the movie will be a discussion.

On Monday, April 2 the Alpha Xi Delta sorority is hosting an event to showcase some of Marietta College's various teams, groups, and bands as part of the Stomp Out Hunger campaign. A donation of any canned food items is appreciated at this event. The Stomp Out Hunger Kick Off will be hosted in the Gathering Place at 9 p.m.

One of the more impactful days of Hunger and Homelessness Week is the Daily Bread Kitchen Community Meal. Sponsored by the Marietta College Teacher Education Association (MCTEA) and Rotoract, students will have the opportunity to help individuals and families in Marietta/Harmar lift the burden of acquiring a meal for themselves or family. Volunteers will help prepare, serve and eat with community members in need.

Those interested in volunteering are asked to sign up through the Office of Civic Engagement, which is located on the second floor of the McDonough Center for Leadership and Business. This event will take place at the Daily Bread Kitchen from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday, April 4.

Wednesday evening, Shake America will be sponsoring a panel on the Faces of Homelessness from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Alma McDonough Auditorium. This panel will consist of former and current homeless individuals from the surrounding area. Shake America hopes that the panel will provide some powerful insight into the real-life struggles of homeless individuals.

The 24-hour fast, which is sponsored by Chi Omega, begins Thursday, April 5. Chi Omega and the Office of Civic Engagement invite all to partake in a 24-hour fast from all meals starting at 1 p.m. On Friday, participants will break the fast together in Lower Gilman, where they will debrief on the experience. All who will be fasting will receive a special pin to create awareness within that 24-hour period. Pins will be distributed in Upper Gilman and the Office of Civic Engagement.

Delta Tau Delta is sponsoring a Sleep Out in the Kremer Amphitheatre starting at 9 p.m., Thursday. Students are encouraged to take the challenge and procure a sleeping arrangement that you would want to sleep in if you were in dire need of shelter for one night. There will be a bonfire and students will discuss the experience.

Shake America is hosting the Food Insecurity Community Resource Trolley Tour from 10-11:30 a.m., Friday, April 6. The trolley ride will go around the Marietta community to various groups and organizations that focus on food insecurity in the surrounding area. Tickets are free and can be reserved through the Office of Civic Engagement.

The week concludes with a Candlelight Vigil sponsored by the Newman Community and The Vine. Marietta College students, faculty, and staff are invited to commemorate those who have lost their lives to hunger and homelessness around the country as well as the globe. This will take place at 8:30 p.m., Sunday, April 8, at the Amphitheatre.

Events that are ongoing throughout the week include the “A Day in the Life” Challenge sponsored by Sigma Kappa and Decorate the Mall sponsored by the Panhellenic Council. The “A Day in the Life” Challenge encourages participants to endure a weeklong simulation of what it would be like to be homeless. Sign up to receive a daily email with instructions on how you will be living each day similar to someone living in homelessness. Sign up by emailing Emily Kennedy at elk001@marietta.edu. Panhellenic encourages students to decorate the Christy Mall using chalk with facts that will educate the community about the issues surrounding poverty on a local, national and global scale. Students are encouraged to decorate a T-shirt that will be worn on Monday.

“If anyone would like to help during the week, planning the process for next year’s week, or with opportunities to be of civic service to the region. Please contact us at ras003@marietta.edu, sab006@marietta.edu, or aj002@marietta.edu for interests,” Schulte said.