Western Kentucky University joins community to promote Hunger & Homelessness Awareness

homelessness simulation


According to the 2010 Point in Time Count, there are 6,623 homeless men, women, and children in the state of Kentucky. In Bowling Green alone, more than 400 individuals are homeless or “precariously housed” according to the Count. The Western Kentucky University ALIVE Center for Community Partnerships is organizing efforts to promote awareness of poverty-related issues and encourage individuals to serve through multiple events during Hunger & Homelessness Awareness week November 13-19th.

The activities for the week will begin with the Share a Swipe project coordinated by a group of students in the WKU Honors College. On Sunday night in the university center, students can use their leftover meal plans to purchase items in the café court to be donated to the Salvation Army. The group collects items from 5:00pm-9:00pm every Sunday. In addition, the Campus & Community food drive will begin. Individuals and groups are encouraged to donate nonperishable items throughout the week to the Salvation Army and HOTEL INC with additional drop off locations at the ALIVE Center and Starbucks on Scottsville Rd.  The groups that donate the most cans will win ten pizzas from Mancino’s or ten entrees from Fazoli’s. 

Monday, November 14th, campus and community organizations will provide information about poverty locally, nationally, and abroad. Groups will share the stories of their specific causes and how others can get involved in the WKU Downing University Center from 10am-2pm. In addition, Monday begins the Gain the Grain challenge between schools, youth-serving organizations, and individuals to donate the most grain by visiting freerice.com. The ALIVE Center is partnering with KidStuffAroundTown.com to coordinate the event and provide prizes for the winners. 

Tuesday, November 15th, the WKU Hill House students are working with the South Central Kentucky Coalition on Homelessness to provide the opportunity for dialog with campus and community members to discuss poverty-related issues and hear from nonprofits leaders that work in those areas. Representatives from local human service agencies will speak at the forum which takes place at 9:00am at Christ Episcopal Church in Bowling Green.

Wednesday, November 16th, students with Universities Fighting World Hunger will begin their Hunger March at 9am in Egypt parking lot, and they will march to Bowling Green City Hall for the Proclamation Signing at 10am. 

After the proclamation signing, the ALIVE Center and ICSR will host a World Hunger Banquet that begins at 11:30am at the BG Parks & Recreation Community Room. This banquet dramatizes the unequal distribution of food in the world. The banquet will leave many hungry, some with just enough, and very few with full stomachs. After the meal, the participants will have a chance to discuss what they learned and what it was like to put themselves in the perspectives of those who have little and just enough food. The $5.00 admission will banquet will benefit the Bowling Green Backpack program.

Thursday, November 17th, campus and community members will join together for an interactive program on homelessness and how you can be actively involved. The program will feature a presentation from Dr. Courte Voorhees, Assistant Professor in Interdisciplinary Studies, and a panel of three students and recent graduates that have experience with hunger and homelessness. 

Friday, November 18th will be the last day to participate in the Gain the Grain challenge, and items will be collected and delivered for the food drive.

Saturday, November 19th, volunteers can help with Habitat for Humanity. This organization is founded on the idea that every man, woman, and child should have a decent, safe, and affordable place to live. Volunteers will learn how working together affects building a community. In addition, community members that may need a meal can attend Let Us Break Bread Together at Eleventh Street Baptist Church. They will provide a free meal between 11-2pm or until food runs out that day.

For a full listing of activities for Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week, visit http://www.wku.edu/alive. Feel free to call the Center at 270-782-0082 if you have any questions about the week. The ALIVE Center for Community Partnerships supports community development locally and abroad through campus and community partnerships. The ALIVE CCP connects students, faculty, staff, and community members to resources and opportunities for meaningful service and engaged scholarship.


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