Denison Students Organize Activities To Aid Hunger/Homeless Agencies
Posted: November 11, 2002
GRANVILLE - A small group of Denison students, as part of the Hunger/Homelessness Awareness Week activities on campus, will spend four nights (Monday through Thursday, Nov. 11-14) as homeless individuals. They will abandon their room keys, meal cards and money and - for four days - have only the use of any public facilities in campus buildings and will need to rely upon a single gift certificate to purchase a limited amount of food from the Granville IGA.
In conjunction with Hunger/Homelessness Awareness Week on the Denison campus, shoes provided by the Licking County Coalition for Housing are displayed in front of Slayter Hall to represent the 1,186 homeless individuals in the county between July 1, 2001 and June 30, 2002.
On Thursday evening (Nov. 14) they will be joined by other students participating in the one-night "Sleep-Out Against Homelessness" event that faculty and staff have also been invited to attend. These participants will be allowed to bring blankets or sleeping bags and something (appliance cartons, for instance) to provide shelter. In the event of rain, they will gather inside a Denison building.
The Thursday evening sleep-out begins with a screening of the 1994 movie "With Honors" starring Joe Pesci and Brendan Fraser. It tells the story of a group of college students who learn the realities of homelessness by befriending a homeless man. Amy Ard, chaplain at Denison, will lead a reflection on the night's events at midnight.
Several committees in the Denison Community Association are sponsoring activities throughout the week of Nov. 11 to raise awareness of the issues of hunger and homelessness in central Ohio and the world as well as taking positive steps to aid local agencies in the fight.
Members of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity have conducted a food drive on campus in recent days that will benefit the Licking County Food Pantry. Last year, the Denison chapter gathered contributions of food and cash amounting to 102,000 pounds of food in the annual North American Food Drive sponsored by the national fraternity in the United States and Canada. A $5 donation provides 20 pounds of food in this drive. The Denison chapter has set a goal of 125,000 pounds for this year.
On Monday (Nov. 11) a local woman who was homeless will participate in a panel discussion on the "Faces of Homelessness" at 7:30 p.m. in Slayter Auditorium. The evening begins with a video/slide show highlighting the facts of homelessness. On Wednesday (Nov. 13) in Slayter Hall, the Bread for the World committee will ask students to write letters to their Congressmen urging them to reauthorize the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Act.
Students, faculty and staff who sign up to participate in the Hunger Banquet at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday (Nov. 12) on Slayter's Third Floor will be randomly given an identity which places them in a low, middle or high income group. Only 16% will be placed in the high income group and be served a full course meal prepared by Assistant Professor of Biology Fardad Firooznia. Some 30% will be assigned to the middle income group and will be served a meal of rice, beans and water. The remaining 54% will represent the world's poor and will be served rice and water in communal containers. (These percentages are taken from Oxfam America statistics.) Denison participants will be given a new name, nationality and family and work situation for the banquet. Donations from this event will go to local shelters and charities.
On Friday (Nov. 15), Denison community members will be able to "PB Jam" at a table set up in Slayter Hall. Participants can prepare peanut butter and jelly/jam sandwiches which will go to three Columbus agencies -- The Open Shelter for Men; the Interfaith Hospitality Center, the main center in Columbus for the homeless; and The Inn at Broad Street, a family shelter. The goal is 700 lunches. Panhellenic Council members will staff the Slayter sandwich-making table and are also sponsoring sandwich making sessions at member sorority houses. Other lunch food, such as apples, are being donated or purchased with monetary donations made to the cause. The lunches will be delivered to the shelters on Saturday.
Students also will participate in a mural painting session at the Licking County Coalition for Housing, volunteer at a local food pantry, and donate scarves, gloves, hats and mittens or money to benefit local organizations that fight homelessness and hunger. Monetary collections for the Licking County Coalition for Housing will be taken at events throughout the week.
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