November 21, 2014
Communications and Marketing
Thirty students spent a cold night sleeping on the College Quad Thursday evening, concluding a week of hunger and homelessness awareness programming on campus. The students built and then slept in rudimentary shelters composed of lumber, plastic sheeting, and cardboard. This followed an evening of programming devoted to learning more about the estimated 150 individuals in Manchester who go without shelter each night.
"We always welcome anyone who comes through our door," said Kevin Kintner, Program Director at New Horizons for New Hampshire to a group of students at an evening question-and-answer session. "I see lives in a state of emergency every day."
Kintner described the services provided by New Horizons' soup kitchen, food pantry and shelters to students as he answered questions and debunked myths about the homeless population in New Hampshire. A 2012 report found that 2,438 people were homeless in the state.
Bridget Sica, '16, one of the campus organizers of the Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week noted that the efforts are intended to "be a springboard for change."
"This is a time for us all to start to think about what we are thankful for, and a perfect time to share our compassion with our neighbors who are experiencing homelessness," Sica said. "The goal of this week is to not only bring to light the issue of poverty in our country, but also to join in the endeavor to end hunger and homelessness in our country."
COLLEGE BLOG: "Students Raise Awareness About Hunger, Homelessness." A reflection from Bridget Sica '16.
In 2013, an average of 70 people stayed in a New Horizons shelter each night. Their food pantry distributed 12,601 bags of food to impoverished individuals, children and their families. New Horizons Soup Kitchen served 98,162 meals including 2,806 children's meals.
Organized through the Meelia Center for Community Engagement, the hunger and homelessness awareness programming included the placement of large signs around campus, drawing attention to the topic throughout the week.