ASU recognizes Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week

Various clubs are participating in a national campaign to raise awareness about homeless issues

A week before celebrating thanks with family and friends, many colleges across the nation participated in Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week. ASU is recognizing this week with film screenings, food discounts and a chance to volunteer.

ASU kicked off the campaign on Nov. 13 on Hayden Lawn, where students shared their stories about hunger and homelessness. Throughout the week, participating restaurants are offering discounts to students who show them the flyer below. The final event will allow students to volunteer with Feed My Starving Children.

Global studies junior Matthew Jernstedt serves as the student co-chair of the coalition of student organizations for Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week at ASU

Jernstedt said that the goal of the campaign at ASU is to engage students and educate them about hunger and homelessness so that they can take action in their own communities. 

“On a personal level, I know what it feels like to lack a stable home environment, and in my experience, very few students understand how hunger and homelessness can affect anyone,” he said. “There tends to be a misconception that people who are in these situations are at the bottom of society.”

Jernstedt said this is an important event because anyone can be affected by hunger and homelessness — friends, peers or family. With this in mind, many people are open to helping out and advocate for the cause.

“If this week conveys anything, I hope it is that hunger and homelessness are multifaceted issues, but they are not unsolvable and that working together as students the issue can make some forward progress,” Jernstedt said. 

Political science and French senior Billy Pierre is a campus leader for ONE Campus, a campaign and advocacy program focusing on extreme poverty and preventable diseases. 

Pierre said ASU has a lot of energy because he said each student can use their fields of study to address the issue of poverty. He also believes that students have the power to get the word out through social media. 

On Sunday, ONE Campus previewed Hunger & Homelessness Awareness week by screening Mama Rwanda, a film about four women who take on motherhood and entrepreneurship in Rwanda. 

“This movie will show you the story of those women,” Pierre said. “It is very important because there are actions that we can be taking here. Their situation can encourage us as students.” 

Science of health care delivery sophomore Amber Andrade is the marketing director for Devils Pitching In, a student service organization. She said anything students contribute can make a difference. 

“At ASU we are trying to get Sun Devils to participate in this event and hopefully tell their friends, and give them statistics on how people are hungry and homeless — how a lot of people are suffering and that any little thing that they do can help,” Andrade said. “Whether it is donating or just sharing a post on social media, anything helps.” 

Reach the reporter at quindrea.yazzie@asu.eduor follow @quindreayazzie on Twitter.

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