2018 Hunger & Homelessness Week
More than 300 Georgia State University students participated in the 2018 Annual Hunger and Homelessness Week. This week began with the Sleep in Service Project that consisted of Georgia State male students performing various tasks at the Central Night Shelter, a local men’s shelter in the downtown Atlanta neighborhood. Throughout the week of activities, students had the opportunity to attend panels and participate in service projects throughout metro Atlanta and learn more about the plight of the homeless in Atlanta.
Byron Jones, Civic Engagement Assistant Director, shared feedback from a survey stating that students wanted to have more hands-on experience during Hunger and Homelessness Week. This served as Mr. Jones’s second year spearheading the week of festivities. He took their feedback into consideration by adding in more service projects that allowed students to interact directly with those who were less fortunate in the surrounding areas. Jasmine Payne, who serves as the Advocacy and Education Specialist for the Atlanta Community Food Bank, had the opportunity to provide students with an exercise through the Community Food Experience Lunch and Learn. Students were given a sheet with instructions on how to navigate through the society of a community food desert. It served as a powerful tool to engage, educate and empower the students to take action through service and advocacy. Ms. Payne shared that the students really appreciated participating in her session and at the end of the activity students felt empathy towards those who go through these experiences daily.
Ms. Payne also participated the following day in the Advocacy for Hunger Panel. Additional participants on the panel were: Lauren Waits (Director of Government Affairs, Atlanta Community Food Bank), Ana Bailie (Volunteer Coordinator, Central Night Shelter), Rev. Jones (Action Mission Ministry) and a former homeless Georgia State student. Another panel that took place during the week was Managing Money and Poverty Prevention. Julia Wigfall who serves as a Federal Work Study student through the Civic Engagement office thoroughly enjoyed the panel and how they shared with students how to function when they get out of college.
The week concluded with the Safehouse Outreach Service Project, Flip Flop Drive and Homelessness Walk that consisted of over fifty participants. Over thirty flip flops were collected and delivered to the Catholic Shrine at Central Presbyterian Church and Safehouse Outreach. The next Hunger and Homelessness Week will take place in 2019 during the month of November.