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The Appalachian

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The Appalachian

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The Appalachian

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Campus groups put on events to support hunger, poverty awareness

Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, a campus-wide attempt to make people aware of national poverty, hunger and homelessness, will begin Saturday, according to

Multiple campus organizations have set up events throughout the week.

The Black Student Association is partnering with Western Youth Network and Hospitality House to provide an opportunity for campus organizations and individuals to select one of 15 anonymous local families to send items that meet their personal needs, Aisha Cotton, BSA Public Outreach chairman, said.

This is the second year that the association has hosted an Adopt-A-Family event.

Cotton said the anonymous families provide the Black Student Association with a list of clothing sizes, interests and hobbies that will help registered organizations or individuals pick out items to package and return to the BSA.

“As it gets closer to the holidays, people tend to have a heart of giving,” Cotton said. “We want to provide an opportunity for people to give back and dedicate support to the community.”

Package drop-off is Nov. 22 from noon to 5 p.m. in the BSA office, Room 215 of Plemmons Student Union.

Registration for the event is open until Friday and forms are available at contact tables in the Solarium foyer.

Appalachian State University’s Amnesty International chapter will host three events for Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, to help shed light on poverty on a national and local level.

Amnesty International works to protect human rights worldwide with approximately 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers, according to Amanda Moore, senior global studies and public relations major, started the Appalachian chapter in April 2012.

The three events Amnesty International will host include two film screenings, “Homeless: The Motel Kids of Orange County,” at 6 p.m. on Monday in Room 114 of Anne Belk Library and “From Place to Place” documentary screening at 6 p.m. on Nov. 22 in the Three Top Mountain room of the student union.

“Homeless: The Motel Kids of Orange County,” will explore the world of children who reside in discounted motels within walking distance of Disneyland, living in limbo as their families struggle to survive in one of the wealthiest regions of America, Moore said.

“From Place to Place,” is a documentary that tells the story of the “invisible children” who grow up in America’s foster care system, Moore said.

The third event is a seminar-style discussion, titled “Given the Benefit of the Doubt: Dissecting Privilege and Oppression,” at 6 p.m. on Wednesday in Room 114 of Anne Belk Library.

Cameron Lippard, professor in the Department of Sociology, will run the discussion.

Moore said Lippard will explore the notions of privilege and oppression through various social identities, including race, social class, gender, sexuality and being able-bodied.

“I hope attendees will get a sense of the power of privilege and how it shapes the discussions of homelessness, hunger and poverty,” Lippard said. “While I think folks understand in some ways that they are better off than others, they don’t necessarily understand how they got these privileges. I want folks to see their privilege but to also understand that context can contort or even erase privilege and push them toward the other side of privilege – discrimination.”

All three events are free and open to the public. Moore said she hopes the events will spread awareness and encourage individuals to become involved and engaged in some form of helping address poverty and homelessness.

“It might seem small, but every little action helps,” Moore said. “We want to show that poverty is not just something that happens in Africa or Southeast Asia, but it is here at home and you can do something about it now.”

Appalachian’s Student Government Association will also participate in the week of awareness. SGA has planned two events, a Food Initiative Forum that will be held Sunday and an Oxfam Hunger Banquet on Monday.

SGA Senator John Queen worked to organize the Food Initiative Forum, which will include two speakers – Queen and Jim Atkinson, head of Watauga County Social Services. Queen said Atkinson will speak on poverty and hunger in Watauga. Queen will speak on the Food Initiative.

The purpose of the initiative is to establish permanent food receptors on campus to create an ongoing food drive, Queen said. The food will be donated to local food banks.

“Our hope with this first part is that it will one day become an Appalachian food bank,” Queen said.

The initiative will also reallocate $20 of the $2,940 that students pay in student fees toward a “Food Initiative Fee” to be used by the university to purchase food and vaccines for local food banks, Queen said.

The reallocation would amount to $340,000 annually to be given to food banks, Queen said.

He said the forum is part of the process of implementing the initiative because in order for SGA to pass a bill calling for a referendum, for students to vote on the initiative there must be an indication that students are interested in the initiative.

“We feel that the Food Initiative lines up perfectly with the academic and social responsibilities and goals of Appalachian State,” Queen said.



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