On Thursday, Nov. 11, the Center for Leadership and Service held the Stand Campaign workshop, honoring Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week in the Miron Student Center [MSC], room 315B.
Students had the opportunity to make their own signs drawing attention to this issue and learning about hunger statistics.
Campus food resources were provided and donations such as socks, gloves and toothpaste were collected and donated to homeless veterans.
The signs will be displayed on campus during Hunger and Homelessness Week which is from Nov. 13-21 to stand in solidarity with those that are less fortunate.
Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is an annual program where many people across the nation come together by hosting workshops, having fundraisers, along with community events to advocate for those struggling to find a home and access to food.
The program has various partnerships with other nonprofit organizations in the country.
Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week began at Villanova University in 1975 where an event was held to educate the public and bring attention to the problem of poverty through various activities. Since then, there are about 700 schools per year that partake in this initiative.
"The goal of the Stand Campaign is to use statistics and posters to make people think about homelessness and how it affects the community in different ways," said Jaime Brennan, service specialist for hunger, homelessness and housing.
Per data from the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, New Jersey had 9,662 people experiencing homeless as of January 2020, pre-pandemic levels.
Of that amount, 1,081 were family households, 595 were veterans, 514 were young adults aged 18-24 and 1,743 were experiencing chronic homelessness.
Concerning hunger, 762,530 people in New Jersey faced hunger. Approximately 192,580 are children with this data provided by Feeding America.
"We used to hold the posters and sit outside the MSC Patio," continued Brennan. "This year, the posters will be posted around campus. I think this will make people be aware of homelessness and how it could affect people while creating a sense of empathy for those experiencing homeless and hunger."
The Center for Leadership and Service commits to providing students with opportunities for community service involvement and volunteering. For more information about the center, their page can be found on Cougar Link.