Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness

Resolve to Fight Poverty

No one should have to worry about whether they will have food on their plate or a roof over their head. But the reality is that hunger and homelessness are widespread problems that affect far too many people.

In the U.S.: Many Americans are living on the edge, forced to choose between basic necessities like purchasing food, paying rent, or going to the doctor. In 2014, almost 46.7 million Americans were living below the poverty level, and on a typical night, more than 578,000 Americans were homeless.

On Campus: Poverty isn’t exclusive to any one community. Even college campuses are not immune. Our latest research suggests that one in five students may currently experience hunger.

Worldwide: At the global level, the problem is even more serious. While there has been slow but steady progress over the past thirty years, there are still 795 million people – or one in nine people in the world – who do not have enough to eat. 896 million people in developing countries live on $1.90 a day or less.

We have the resources and knowledge to eliminate hunger and homelessness in our time, but it remains to be seen whether we have the political will to do so. Fortunately, on campuses across the country, there are students like us who are dedicated to making their communities a better place, and improving the lives and well-being of those around them. Our Hunger Campaign takes this passion and dedication and harnesses it through a combination of direct service, fundraising events, and political advocacy.

As students, we have the ideas, solutions and resources to make change – and by joining together, we can end hunger and homelessness.

Issue updates

Media Hit | Hunger

UConnPIRG Confronts Hunger on Campus

Earlier this month, a national study on food insecurity on college campuses was produced by several campus-based organizations.

Some of the organizations that authored the report include the College and University Food Bank Alliance, the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness and the UConn Storrs chapter of the Public Interest Research Group, also known as UConnPIRG.

The study found that 48 percent of students surveyed reported experiencing food insecurity within the past 30 days and 22 percent of students had very low food security and thus qualified as “hungry.”   

The study was conducted across 34 two and four year institutions including Norwalk Community College in Connecticut.

“While UConn students weren't surveyed, the study reflects the feelings of food insecurity experienced by students on college campus nationwide,” Matthew Talley, UConnPIRG’s Hunger and Homelessness campaign coordinator and third-semester history and economics double major, said.

UConnPIRG is a nonprofit student activism and advocacy group at the University of Connecticut that is currently working to help combat hunger on campus and in the larger community, according to its website.

The report found that 43 percent of students who had a meal plan still experienced food insecurity.

“Meal plans are expensive and commuter students usually don't opt for one. And for those with meal plans, the dining halls only have limited hours. UConn students are busy people with busy lives who don't always know when their next meal will be,” Talley said.

The report also found that 56 percent of food insecure students have paying jobs and 75 percent receive financial aid.

“When we have so many students who are doing everything right but still can’t afford food, it means we’re failing to provide these students with a viable path to success in their higher education,” Talley said.

One of UConnPIRG’s main projects right now is the Hunger and Homelessness Campaign.

“The campaign has three main components. The first is fundraising, the second is service, and the third is education,” Talley said.

Some of the programs and initiatives that UConnPIRG is working on starting up include holding a spare change drive to support My Sisters’ Place Inc. in Hartford and planning trips to local soup kitchens, Talley said.

“We're also in the beginning stages of holding events to raise awareness on campus about hunger not only being a problem, but also a reality,” Talley said.

 

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Resource | Hunger

Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week Toolkit

Summary

Download this resource for everything you need to know to organize a Hunger & Homelessness Awareness week on your campus.

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Resource | Hunger

Hunger and Homelessness Project Packet

Summary

 

Download this resource for everything you need to know to organize the Hunger campaign on your campus.

 

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Blog Post | Hunger

Homelessness Sleepout

Thanks to everyone who attended our annual Homelessness Sleepout on the quad last night! This was one of our biggest ones yet and it could not have been possible without all of you. The event is designed to raise awareness about homelessness in our community. 

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Blog Post | Hunger

Hunger Text-To-Give Table

We were in the Northwest Dining Hall today raising money for famine relief in Somalia through a text-to-give program that instantly sends $10 to Oxfam's relief program. We raised $800 which will provide instant relief to families in need in the middle of this crisis.

The thing I find most shocking is how little attention the famine is receiving, so if this is news to you….Somalia is the first U.N. declared famine since 1985; where crop failures, government shutdown, and territorial warring has caused the death of at least 90 children per day from starvation.

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