November 12-20, 2011 is National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.
Hunger in America is a growing problem.
Since the American economy started to bottom-out in 2009, many families have felt the financial strain. As the US continues to react to the worst economy since the Great Depression, the crisis continues to grow.
- Home foreclosures, unemployment, poverty rates continue to rise.
- Foreclosures are forcing more families to become “newly homeless.”
- 44% of people experiencing homelessness in America are unsheltered; some congregate in tent cities as locations of last resort.
- A number of larger cities have created ordinances to limit groups from sharing food with homeless people.
- 700 people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness are killed from hypothermia annually in the United States.
- As the recession and foreclosure crises drive dramatic increases in poverty and homelessness, communities are looking for solutions for feeding those in need.
- In Wisconsin, 8.7 % are “living in poverty” (based on federal income guidelines.)
What is your first-hand experience with hunger and homelessness?
Are you able to donate or help out at your local food pantry — Or are you one of the people in line at the food pantry.
More and more people are finding it necessary to get help in order to provide enough to eat for their family. In my own family, we have struggled over the years with joblessness, crushing debt, and hospitalization. Through creativity and the kindness of others, we’ve gotten by. But many people are not so blessed and their day-to-day plight is lonely and difficult.
For them, this translates into what is known as “food insecurity” (that’s the phrase given to describe not having access to enough food on a regular basis), and according to the USDA’s 2010 report, Household Food Security in the United States some 14.5 percent of American households lack money and other resources for food.
Each year, one week before Thanksgiving, National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness co-sponsor National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. During this week, a number of schools, communities and cities take part in a nationwide effort to bring greater awareness to the problems of hunger and homelessness.
In our area, the Southwest Wisconsin Regional Housing Coalition is organizing a POSTER CONTEST for this year’s National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week to help bring greater awareness to the community in recognizing and understanding the struggles of those who go without food or shelter.
This contest is open to all K-5 students.
One of three winners will receive a $50 savings bond!
The format is simple:
Use 8.5” by 11” standard white paper
On the back of the poster include Student Name, Grade, School or Homeschool, Parent Contact Information.
Posters are due by October 31, 2011
Send the posters to:
Citizens First Bank
101 S. Main St., PO Box 471
Viroqua, WI 54665
608-637-3133, Ext. 126
*Please note that all entries will become the property of the Southwest Regional Housing Coalition and may be used to promote Hunger and Homelessness Activities throughout the year.
A selection committee will choose 3 winners from the submitted posters.
If you have any questions, please contact Michele Engh by email at Michele.firstname.lastname@example.org
In the spirit of thanks and giving, each year the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign against Hunger and Homelessness asks those concerned about the social ills of hunger and homelessness to set aside the week prior to Thanksgiving to honor National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week.
As Thanksgiving approaches, it is an appropriate time to show one’s appreciation by donating time, attention and resources to those less fortunate.
The Southwest Regional Housing Coalition is working together for the purpose of providing a stronger voice for housing needs in our communities, working together to build on strengths and ideas, and expanding educational outreach. The following 13 Counties are part of the Southwestern Regional Coalition: Adams, Crawford, Grant, Green, Iowa, Juneau, La Crosse, Lafayette, Monroe, Richland, Sauk, Vernon, Wood.
To find out more about hunger and homelessness, check out the following sites:
World Hunger Education Service, Hunger in America: 2011 United States Hunger and Poverty Facts, http://www.worldhunger.org/articles/Learn/us_hunger_facts.htm
Feeding America, http://feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america.aspx
Share our Strength, No Kid Hungry, http://www.strength.org/childhood_hunger/?gclid=CNHNtMWIiqsCFcJrKgodEjUYtw
USDA Become a Champion to End Hunger, http://www.fns.usda.gov/ech/
Why Hunger, Campaign 2015: Ending Childhood Hunger in America, http://www.whyhunger.org/about-why/the-american-dream/644-campaign-2015-ending-childhood-hunger-in-america.html