Community Service

Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

November 15 – 23, 2014 

Each year, one week before Thanksgiving, the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness co-sponsor National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week. During this week of awareness, Northern Illinois University students and faculty/staff groups team up with community and student organizations to present a week of events in recognition of Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week (HHAW)! 

The goal of HHAW is to educate NIU students about hunger and homelessness in our local,national, and global community while introducing them to the variety of ways they can help end hunger. During this week, hundreds of universities, colleges, high schools, and community and religious groups held Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week activities, according to the National Coalition forthe Homeless.

HHAW 2014 logo

NIU Schedule of Events:

Saturday, November 15

Feed My Starving Children (Mobile Pack- Sycamore, IL)
Org./Dept.: Student Involvement & Leadership Development
Location: The Suter Company (Sycamore, IL)
Time: 12-2pm
Description: Volunteers will pack MannaPack meals, scientifically developed to reverse and prevent malnutrition. Then FMSC will donate the food to selected missions and humanitarian agencies worldwide, who use it to supply orphanages, schools, health care facilities, community feeding programs, and other institutions intervening in severe poverty. Students will be picked up at the bus turnaround at 11:30am. *Limited spots available! Pre-Registration Required. Email to register.

Box City: A Night without a Bed
Org./Dept.: Alpha Phi Omega
Location: Chick Evans Field House
Time: 9pm-3am
Description: The purpose of this event is to raise awareness about homelessness by having a lock-in at the Chick Evans Field House. Students participating in this event will be kept from their homes and beds for the night while will help them understand how important it is for every person to have shelter. There will be a guest speaker talking about their experiences of being homeless, as well as a number of activities aimed at helping people understand the difficulties of being homeless.

Sunday, November 16

“A Place at the Table” Movie Viewing
Org./Dept.: Huskie Student Food Pantry
Location: Grace Place Ministries
Time: 4-6pm
Description: Viewing of the documentary ‘A Place at the Table’ by Directors Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush. The film examines the issue of hunger in America through the lens of three people struggling with food insecurity.

Monday, November 17

Style Your TOMS
Org./Dept.: Campus Activities Board (CAB)
Location: New Hall Community Center
Time: 5-8pm
Description: A Style Your TOMS event is a fun, simple way to make a difference with the TOMS movement. Get together with your friends, family, classmates or colleagues; grab some art supplies, and customize your own canvas TOMS Shoes. Each hand-decorated pair of shoes represents the personal impact made on the life of another. Music and light refreshments will be available. For more information please email

Tuesday, November 18

Food Drive
Org./Dept.: Student Health Organization
Location: Wirtz Hall
Time: 11am-4pm
Description: The Student Health Organization will host a food drive that will benefit local food pantries. Canned and dry food will be accepted for the donations. Hosting this food drive will give pantries a much-needed boost in their inventory.

Huskies Can Build It! Competition
Org./Dept.: Student Involvement & Leadership Development
Location: Duke Ellington Ballroom
Time: 12-2pm (Viewing and judging of structures)
Description: Huskies Can Build It! is a competition meant to help gather food for donation to local food pantries. Out of the cans collected, teams will build a structure that represents this year’s theme: Foodies. Come check out the amazing structures made out of nothing but canned and dry goods and built by your fellow Huskies! Food will be donated to local food pantries.

Poverty/Inequality Issues Presentation
Org./Dept.: Poverty and Inequality Research Committee and the Center for NGO Leadership & Development (NGOLD)
Location: Holmes Student Center - Room 305
Time: 3-4pm – Reception to follow
Description: Like many other universities and colleges across the country, homeless students attend NIU. Most of them are invisible, sleeping where they can find a spot, doing what they need to survive, and some day, hopefully, graduate. As part of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, Diane Nilan, president of HEAR US Inc., a national advocacy organization for homeless families/youth, will show a short film she made featuring homeless youth and invite the audience to join a national grassroots campaign to change the way our nation deals with invisible homelessness.

Wednesday, November 19

Northern Illinois Food Bank- Poverty Simulation
Org./Dept.: University Honors Program
Location: Regency Room (Holmes Student Center)
Time: 5-8pm
Description: The purpose of the program is to educate students on hunger in the Northern Illinois area and help students to understand how the Northern Illinois Food Bank works to reduce hunger in the community. The program will include a presentation by a representative from the Northern Illinois Food Bank which may include interactive activities such as a poverty simulation that will give students an opportunity to develop greater social-consciousness and awareness of the experiences of people in need. Minimum of 30 and maximum of 80 students plus 25 volunteers for the simulation. Registration required. Please e-mail Sandra Dawson at and put "Poverty Simulation" in the subject.

Thursday, November 20

Eat For a CAUSE- Pizza Sale
Org./Dept.: C.A.U.S.E.
Location: Barsema Hall Atrium
Time: 11:15am-1:15pm
Description: The Collegiate Association of Unreasonable Social Entrepreneurs (CAUSE) is selling deep dish pizza slices to help raise money to feed our hungry neighbors. Last year we raised enough money to donate over 1,000 meals! This year, all proceeds will be going to the Huskies Student Food Pantry. Pre-orders and delivery will be accepted for this event for those who buy a whole pizza. Each pizza costs $20 for one or $35 for two. Please use this link to pre-order pizzas: 

Feed My Starving Children (Aurora location)
Org./Dept.: Housing & Dining
Location: Feed My Starving Children in Aurora
Time: 6:30pm
Description: Housing & Dining and Grant Towers residential complex invites students to come engage in diversity by participating in its annual signature program, Project R.E.D (Residents Engaging in Diversity). Students will volunteer at Feed My Starving Children in Aurora, Illinois and hand-pack meals specifically formulated for malnourished children that will be shipped to feed children in nearly 70 countries around the world. Bus transportation is provided and will depart Grant North at 6:30pm. Pre-registration is required. To sign up, please email Becky Borowiak at with your name, NIU address, cell phone number, and email address.

Friday, November 21

Org./Dept.: First- and Second-Year Experience Office
Time: All Day – Discussion event at 4pm
Location: Altgeld 100
Description: The First- and Second-Year Experience Office will co-host a fast-a-thon with the Muslim Student Association. Students participating in this event will refrain from eating during the day. There will be a discussion and reflection event where students can reflect on what they learned from their experience fasting that day. Students will have an opportunity to donate money to the Huskies Student Food Pantry. It is suggested that they donate the amount of money that they would have otherwise spent on food. There also will be a pot luck arrangement of food from the participants.

Saturday, November 22

Northern Illinois Food Bank- Volunteering at Facility
Org./Dept.: University Honors Program
Location: Northern Illinois Food Bank (Geneva, IL)
Time: 8am-12pm
Description: As a follow-up to the Poverty Simulation, a group of students will volunteer at the Northern Illinois Food Bank from 9:30-11am. This program will both educate students on hunger in our local and regional community and engage students in a volunteer opportunity at the Northern Illinois Food Bank. A Huskie bus will pick up students on Normal outside the Holmes Student Center at 8:15am and take them to the Food Bank. Students can expect to return to campus by noon. Pre-registration is required. Please contact Sandra Dawson at and put "Food Bank Volunteer" in the subject line.

Ongoing Events

Tau Kappa Epsilon Food Drive
Org./Dept.: Tau Kappa Epsilon
Drop Off Location: Chapter House (934 Greenbrier Drive, DeKalb)
Time: November 9 - 22, 2014
Drop off dry goods and canned foods at the Tau Kappa Epsilon house. A box will be in a visible location at the entrance of the house. Make a difference in the life of DeKalb community members. All collected food will be donated to local food pantries.

Coats With Heart
Org./Dept.: Huskie Service Scholars
Drop Off Location: Altgeld 100
Time: All week (10/20/14 - 11/14/14)
Description: Huskie Service Scholars (HSS) is sponsoring the second annual “Coats with Heart” coat drive! “Coats with Heart” will be a campus wide competition between student organizations, offices, departments and other groups, with a prize rewarded to the group that has collected the most coats. Participating groups are asked to have all coats collected by November 14th, and dropped off at the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning in Altgeld Hall 100. During Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, HSS students and other willing volunteers, will go to community organizations to personal donate the coats to those in need. Please email Kathryn Olson at to register for the “Coats with Heart” coat drive competition.



Please contact if you have any additional questions or comments.