Hunger Awareness Month events empower students to get involved

Campus Ministry is sponsoring a number of activities to raise awareness about world hunger this month. These activities, which include everything from fundraisers and educational programs to service projects are being held all this month since November is Hunger Awareness Month.

The “Dime-a-Day” drive, an event held on Tuesday, was one of the activities held in recognition of Hunger Awareness Month. The event was a fundraiser where the proceeds raised went towards purchasing pigs for a village in Guatemala.

Widian Nicola, a resident campus minister and one of the coordinators of the Dime-a-Day Drive, said 100 students participated in gathering donations all over campus. She added that students collected money in homemade piggy banks.

“The students have responded with more enthusiasm than we originally envisioned,” said Nicola.

The money raised during Tuesday’s event is going to be presented to a representative from the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) during the Poverty Forum, a Hunger Awareness Month event in St. Thomas More Church, where discussions will be held on domestic and international poverty. CRS will be responsible for purchasing the pigs, according to Nicola.

She added, however, that the impact of the fundraiser could not be measured by monetary value only.

“This event is more than just about raising money,” Nicola said. “It’s about empowering students to make a difference here and around the world.”

There were also a number of educational activities held earlier this month.

One of these events was “Day of Fasting,” held on Nov. 5. The event culminated with a night of solidarity, when students experienced what it felt like to go to bed hungry.

Nicola said this year’s line-up of events have done much to help energize students to want to help.

“We do a lot of service here at St. John’s, but we’ve tried to find ways to come up with events that will help energize students and get them more excited about reaching out and giving their time to help others,” she said.

There are other projects that are ongoing all year on campus, but are also highlighted during Hunger Awareness Month, including the Midnight Run and Mobile Soup Kitchen, which are two other initiatives developed with the purpose of feeding the homeless.