Students at Plymouth State University will endeavor to demonstrate a bit about the affects of hunger and homelessness during a week of events on and off campus November 13 – 18.
Throughout the week, the PSU baseball team will partner with Hannaford of Plymouth in sponsor a food drive. Hanaford and Chase Street Market will have receptacles outside their stores beginning the week of November 7 so that students and community members may contribute nonperishable food items, which will be collected by Panther baseball players and contributed to the Plymouth Food Bank. Receptacles will also be located at various sites on campus.
Toiletry items will also be collected throughout the week and the University library will display of books about hunger and homelessness.
Events begin with a three mile Crop Walk from 12:30 – 3 p.m. Sunday, November 13, leaving from the Plymouth Congregational Church on Main Street. Crop Walks help feed local families by raising funds through pledges for local hunger-fighting initiatives. To participate, call Preston Fuller, 535-2327.
On Monday, November 14 at 7 p.m. at the HUB fireplace lounge,, students will sponsor a roundtable discussion on “the livable wage” with panelists representing a variety of constituencies. For information call Andrew McLean at 535-5692.
To simulate what it might be like to be a person who is homeless, students will build an encampment of tarps and cardboard boxes on campus Tuesday night, November 15, and camp outside from approximately 9 p.m. to 7 a.m., forgoing hot meals and other comforts. The annual sleep out is sponsored by the campus Nicaragua Club and residence hall assistant directors.
An Oxfam Hunger banquet on Wednesday, November 16will demonstrate conditions of hunger throughout the world. An Oxfam Hunger Banquet is a banquet without much food. Each person attending is randomly assigned a role. Fifteen percent of the participants are placed in the high income group; these people sit at a table and enjoy a three-course meal. Twenty-five percent of the people are assigned to the middle income group; they sit in chairs and eat rice and beans. Sixty percent of the attendees sit on the floor, and receive only rice and water. They are the low income group, and for one meal, they suffer the fate of the millions of people throughout the world who live in poverty. The Hunger Banquet will be held at the Plymouth Congregational Church beginning at 6 p.m. Tickets are $3 and may be reserved by calling Jackie Johnson, 535-5934. Some tickets may also be available at the door.
Guesst speaker at the Hunger Banquet will be Matthew Works, who has been living on the streets of Boston for more than seven years. He speaks about his experience through art, verse, song and protest.
The Lifetime movie “Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story” will be shown Thursday, November 17 at 7 p.m. in the Hartman Union Building multipurpose room. Liz Murray grew up extremely poor and her parents were drug addicts. Murray’s mother also suffered from mental illness and AIDS. At 15, Liz found herself alone and out on the streets. But instead of crumbling, the troubled teen clung to hope. Her determination took her all the way to Harvard University. There is no charge for admission to the film, which will be followed by a discussion.
Students on a University meal plan are invited to give up a meal between Monday and Thursday. Approximately $2 per meal skipped will be donated by the campus dining contractor, Sodexho, to the Pemi Bridge House in Plymouth.
Special events wrap up with an Opportunity and Action Fair from 10 a.m. – noon Friday, November 18, to provide information for students who are left wondering “what can I do?” after an intensive week of events. Representatives from organizations such as Oxfam America, Habitat for Humanity, the Plymouth Community Closet Food Bank, The New Hampshire Food Bank, D Acres certified organic farm and educational homestead, Common Ground, PSU Women’s Services and Gender Resources, PSU Democrats and ALSO gay-straight alliance will provide information and talk with students who are seeking information and opportunities to volunteer.
Student organizations participating in Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week include PSU Volunteers, PSU Student Senate, PITCH, AWARE, the Nicaragua Club and PSU athletics. For information contact Andrew McLean at (603) 535-5692 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.