Award marks 30 years of awareness

Jordan Botticello

In recognition for its 30 years of promoting activism and service through Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Home-lessness presented the University with a National Build a Movement Award, which is currently on display in the library.

The NSCAHH recognizes that Villanova was the first to hold a Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week in 1972 and has continued the tradition annually.

The week, which began last Sunday and lasts until tomorrow, is co-sponsored by the Coalition for Homelessness and the NSCAHH. Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week was first promoted as a national event in 1988.

The University’s chapter of Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is sponsored primarily by Campus Ministry, with other organizations helping to implement activities throughout the week. Co-chaired by senior Rita Oroho and junior Melissa Wibbens, the 30-member committee is in charge of coordinating all the events that take place during the week. One of the most prominent events is the annual Father Ray Jackson Run for Hunger; however, other events include the international craft sale, the Night Without A Home sleep-out, the hunger banquet, a fast day and a speech by U.S. Sen. George McGovern. The proceeds from the week will go to famine relief in South Africa.

“The award really goes to the 30 years of individuals who helped to keep the event going,” Wibbens said. “I hope that realizing what an effect Villanova has had will encourage students to get involved in the week’s events.”

Since its creation 15 years ago, the NSCAHH has promoted the idea of Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. It is currently the largest student network fighting hunger and homelessness in the country and has 600 participating campuses.

Building on the idea that the University started, the NSCAHH helps other schools start similar programs. It also holds an annual conference, establishes Food Salvage programs and raises over $1 million in domestic and international relief.

Oroho, who helped run a workshop on implementing a Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week on campuses, said it “was amazing to be involved in working with students from across the nation” to plan an event similar to that which Villanova started.