Events to educate about hunger and homelessness

The nationally recognized Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week will take place Nov. 15-20.
Kappa Sigma Fraternity, Linfield Alternative Spring Break, the Chaplain’s Team, the Associated Students of Linfield College along with the Office of Community Engagement and Service are sponsors of the week’s events.
“I think that it’s going to be an amazing collaborative effort by several student groups on campus. It’s certain to educate many people on our campus and in the community,” Jessica Wade, community service coordinator, said.
A hunger and homelessness educational panel comprising Elise Hui, executive director of the Yamhill County Housing Authority; Tricia Harrop, director of the Yamhill County Food Bank and Lee Means; executive director of the Yamhill Community Action Partnership, is set to discuss the impact homelessness has on Yamhill County on Nov 15.
“With our educational panel, we’re going to focus on the issues and how they are impacting our local community, what we’re doing about it, how you can advocate and how you can understand the issue enough to form an opinion about what can be done,” Wade said.
She said the intent is to empower students.
“The educational panel is important in the sense that we really want to give our students a chance not only to experience a little bit of the homelessness and experience the hunger but to hear about the issues from people who are dealing with them right here in Yamhill County,” AmeriCorps Vista Volunteer Lizzie Martinez said.
The panelist discussion is scheduled for 5 p.m. Nov. 15 in the Fred Meyer Lounge.
“One Night Without a Home” will take place on the same date at 6:30 p.m. on the Intramural Field. Participants will receive an opportunity to experience homelessness by sleeping on the field for an entire night in tents and sleeping bags.
New to the event lineup is a 20-hour famine. It is intended to help people discover what it feels like to have an empty stomach.
The time period, Martinez said, provides a “tiny sliver” of the physiology of hunger.
Snacks will be served to begin the famine at a gathering set for 9 p.m. Nov. 16 in the Fred Meyer Lounge.
To open participants to questions and discussion while increasing awareness, a ribbon, or another sort of identifying piece will be distributed at that time, Martinez said.
Famine observers will not eat until after 5 p.m. the following day, she said.
An interactive demonstration of the inconsistency of global wealth will be created at the Hunger Banquet, which will take place at 5:15 p.m. on Nov. 17 in Jonasson Hall.
Diners will receive a ticket that places them within the top 10, the middle 40 or the bottom 50 percentile of wealth.
Martinez said the idea is to provide a visual in which everyone will be served according to their income level.
The “wealthiest” ticket holders will be served a complete meal catered by Linfield’s food service provider, Sodexo.
A global poverty discussion will take place after the banquet, she said.
“It’s focused on that global angle that even if you’re poor in America, you’re rich anywhere else,” Martinez said.
There will be food barrels set up around campus to collect donations for a week-long food drive to benefit the Yamhill Regional Food Bank.
Barrels will be inside of Walker, Dillin and Graf halls and at each of the week’s events.
Volunteers will collect donations door-to-door on Nov. 18.
“Students feel like they can’t make a difference, and they can make a difference, right here, right now, and we’re providing them with several ways to do that,” Martinez said.

Septembre Russell/Copy chief
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