Students fight hunger
Organizers of Students Fighting Hunger are preparing for annual Hunger Awareness Week by scheduling events to raise money and canned goods and trying to inform the Dartmouth community about the problems of poverty around the world.
"We've been doing it about 14 years," said Tucker Foundation volunteer coordinator Randall Quan '92. "As far as I know, we have had one of the largest planned hunger weeks in the country. We take pride in that, and we hope to get a lot of people in the community involved."
Students Fighting Hunger is a division of the Tucker Foundation. Hunger Awareness Week starts Sunday and runs until Nov. 20.
Student volunteer Mike Popowitz '94, who helped organize the events said that this year, with winter temperatures appearing early, food pantries in the Upper Valley are concerned about the availability of food.
"They are in dire need of food," Popowitz said. "It's so cold. The food pantries are really worried."
Food pantries are non-profit organizations that provide food to the needy.
All food donations and half of the monetary donations gathered during the week will be distributed to shelters and food pantries in the Upper Valley. The remaining half of the monetary donations will be given to organizations in the Sudan and Thailand that Students Fighting Hunger has been supporting.
The organization hopes not only to gather donations, but also to awaken people to the issues of poverty, Popowitz said.
"We're really pushing the Dartmouth community to not only give, but to open up their eyes and ears," he said. "We want people to learn a little something about the issues of hunger and homelessness. We want to encourage them to make that small step."
Quan said he hopes that if people become informed they will be more likely to take action.
"We hope that people feel compelled to think about [hunger] and are compassionate enough to encourage change," Quan said. "There are ways to eliminate hunger. We just need the people and the attitudes to do so."
The fundraising and informational events will begin Sunday with the five-kilometer "Race for Hunger." Registration for the race is Sunday from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the Green.
Sunday evening there will be a Hunger Banquet and discussion at 6:30 p.m. in Brace Commons. The evening will feature the viewing of "1993 World Food Day" and a discussion with Environmental Studies Professor Andrew Friedland.
"We've been doing the dinner for the last 14 years," Quan said. "The people are divided up into specific countries and regions and then are given to eat what people in that country would eat."
Monday, people are encouraged to bring clothes, sweaters, coats and other such items to the Top of the Hop at 5 p.m.
At 7 p.m. Tuesday a discussion is scheduled in Cook Auditorium with David Shumway of Headrest, Mary Feeney of The Haven and members of the Tucker Foundation's Housing and Homelessness Group.
Quan said the presentation Wednesday by Patrick Giantonio titled "Footsteps into the Change: A Humbling African Odyssey" will be particularly interesting.
"It's an amazing thing," Quan said. "The guy walked across Africa, and he will go in-depth about the problems facing Africa. It's a multi-media sort of slide show."
A fast begins Wednesday at 6 p.m. and will end at 6 p.m. Thursday with a "Break the Fast Dinner" at Thayer Dining Hall.
For the weekend, there will be a panel discussion on malnutrition and hunger on Friday, at 4 p.m.
On Saturday a food drive will be sponsored at the Hanover Co-op and Grand Union parking lots. The week's events will end at 7 p.m. with the Sign-Along Benefit Concert featuring The Rock-a-pellas, the Decibelles and the Aires. Admission will be three cans of food or $3.
"The students organize this entire week of events," Quan said. "It's a great accomplishment, and they do a great job."