National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week

By Kimmi Devaney

As we give thanks for our families, friends and good health, let’s not forget the less fortunate. Throughout the week of November 12-20 the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness are co-sponsoring their annual National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. Throughout this time, a number of schools, communities and cities take part in a nationwide effort to bring greater awareness to the problems of hunger and homelessness. 

The numbers are shocking. According to their Web site, one in six American families live below their respective poverty thresholds; fifty million Americans live in food insecure households, with millions of children going to bed hungry each night; and three and a half million Americans will experience homelessness this year, including many United States military veterans.

Last year, more than five hundred high schools, colleges, community groups and faith-based groups from cities across the United States came together to bring awareness to the issues of hunger and homelessness by holding local and regional H&H weeks. They hope to inspire others to get involved and hold their own National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week.

Here’s an excerpt from their web site about how to get started with your own Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.

How to Get Involved:

First things first: you need a team. Putting together a dedicated and enthusiastic team is important for a successful week. You may already know many people who would like to join the effort. Don’t be afraid to ask those whom you think would not be interested – you may be surprised. Look within community organizations that you are involved with. Even if you are not active in a particular group, you can look around for groups that may already be active in hunger and homelessness. It is important to talk to people about your ideas both to promote interest and to get feedback. Discuss some of the events that you plan to do and be open to changes and new ideas. It is important to know the community you will be working with and to try to adapt the events accordingly. After forming a team, it is important to decide on the logistics as soon as possible. Here is a sample check list of some, but not all, questions which need answers:

  • How many and which events should we plan for?
  • When should the events take place?
  • How many people should coordinate each event?
  • Who should handle publicity?
  • What is the best meeting time (preferably weekly) for everyone?
  • What community organizations would help us by co-sponsoring the week?
  • Who knows how to organize things in the community well?

For more information about how you can get involved, visit http://www.nationalhomeless.org/projects/awareness/index.html.

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