Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week at McKendree, Nov. 13-19

Lebanon Ill. ---- November is the month in which we remember those family, friends, and special gifts, talents, and numerous things for which we are thankful.

McKendree University students will raise money and awareness for those who are less fortunate during Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, Nov. 13-19. Members of the Community Action Team, a branch of the university’s Lyn Huxford Center for Community Service, plan several activities during the week. Local residents are welcome to participate in a concert and two fundraisers.

Acclaimed Australian Christian singer and compassion activist Grant Norsworthy will share his story of efforts to defeat child poverty around the world on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 9 p.m. at Bothwell Chapel. Community groups should make a reservation with Rev. Tim Harrison in the Chaplain’s Office at (618) 537-6962.

Food will be served at both the “Empty Bowls” luncheon and a “Hunger Banquet,” although this may seem to be inconsistent with the titles of the events. An “Empty Bowls” Brown Bag Lunch will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at Piper Academic Center, Room 222, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free soup will be served upon arrival and Sister Stephanie, of the Room at the Inn social justice ministry, will be the guest speaker. Buy a bowl of homemade potato soup, served in a plastic bowl for $5 or a handmade ceramic one for $10. Proceeds will benefit Room at the Inn.

The Hunger Banquet will take place on Thursday, Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the Piper Academic Center lounge. It will be hosted by Oxfam organization of McKendree University. “This is a unique feast that dramatizes the unequal distribution of wealth throughout the world,” said Courtney Motl, one of the student organizers. All are invited to join students, faculty and staff for dinner and discussions. Admission is free but donations are appreciated.

An outdoor sleep-out on the quad beginning at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15 will demonstrate “the harsh realities of homelessness, as students spend a chilly night in cardboard box structures,” Motl said. Students will also have an opportunity to help out at a homeless shelter on Wednesday evening, Nov. 16.

Throughout the week, Alpha Kappa Delta will sponsor a winter coat, hat and glove drive, with donation boxes placed around the campus. Hunger and Homelessness Week concludes with a Service Saturday project on Nov. 19.

For more information, go online or contact the Lyn Huxford Center for Community Service at (618) 537-6900.