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Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

RoCoMagazine - December 20, 2017

Come early November, with the holidays nearing, people often take notice of what they’re thankful for—the roofs over their heads, the clothes on their backs, the food in their bellies— and many choose to donate their time, energy, and resources in an effort to help those who are less fortunate. Similarly, here at Rosemont, we feel as though it is our duty to raise awareness about the pressing issue of poverty in our country, particularly the 500-something thousand people who are without shelter and live on the edge of starvation, and we encourage our students and staff to attend at least one of the several service events Campus Ministry organizes during the holiday season.

This past fall semester, right before Thanksgiving, Rosemont participated in Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week (HHAW). Started at Villanova in 1975, HHAW was once a small event, only acknowledged by colleges in the tri-state area. In recent years, however, the event has grown significantly, developing into a nation-wide movement that more than 700 colleges, high schools, and community groups take part in. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, an HHAW sponsor, the movement aims to “educate the public, draw attention to the problem of poverty, and build up the base of volunteers and supporters for local anti-poverty agencies.”  

For this year’s HHAW, which was organized by the Cornelian Service Corps, Rosemont students volunteered at the St. Francis Inn, a soup kitchen in Kensington, Philadelphia. While some students prepped and served meals, others worked at the Inn’s clothing distribution center, Marie’s Closet. After the Inn, per the request of Rosemont student Deaynna Koskolitz, the group visited Rosa’s Fresh Pizza on 11th Street—a shop well-known for its unique “pay it forward” program which allows customers to donate slices of pizza to the less fortunate. There, the students donated several slices and left personalized notes on the wall of the shop.  

Aside from the service trips, many made an effort on our campus to raise awareness of Hunger and Homelessness. Over the week, faculty, staff, and students donated non-perishable food items to charity. Also, several students challenged themselves to dine conservatively in Cardinal Hall, recognizing their own food waste and challenging their ways of thinking.

Overall, HHAW proved to be an enlightening and rewarding experience. Rosemont is proud that so many students choose to take part in the events this year. We look forward to hosting more service trips in the near future, lending a hand to those in need, and we’d like to encourage all of our students to join us.