News & Events
Mars Hill College Hosts Hunger Week
A canned food drive, a poverty simulation, and an event calling attention to homelessness will be part of Mars Hill College’s upcoming Hunger Week, November 10 – 17, 2012.
Hunger Week is an annual event at Mars Hill which is designed to raise awareness and provide practical support for local agencies and charities which address food insecurity in Madison County and beyond. The event is coordinated by MHC’s LifeWorks program, in cooperation with a Hunger Week Committee made up of students and staff at Mars Hill.
Hunger Week will kick off with the Lions Against Hunger Food Drive. Students will distribute grocery bags in the Mars Hill community on Saturday, November 10, and pick up the full bags on the following Saturday, November 17. All food collected will go to Madison County Neighbors in Need.
On Monday evening, Mars Hill will host a showing of the documentary Food, Inc., followed by a discussion about modern agribusiness.
A poverty simulation will take place in Bentley Fellowship Hall on Tuesday evening. The simulation, hosted by Just Economics of Western North Carolina, is an experiential learning tool that exposes participants to the real life struggles of the working poor. Participants are assigned identities based on real low-income people and must complete the everyday activities of their families, like going to work, paying bills, applying for public benefits, etc.
Wednesday’s Homeless on the Hill project will help students better understand the experience of homeless persons. Students will participate in a soup kitchen line and live in temporary cardboard houses on the lower quad. They will also hear from Emily Ball, Director of Community Engagement at A-Hope Day Shelter, and MHC Bonner Scholar and volunteer Steven Bryan.
In conjunction with Hunger Week, Chartwells Food Service will conduct Project Clean Plate. For two consecutive weeks, Chartwells will weigh food waste from Pittman Cafeteria, and then donate food to Neighbors in Need in an amount equal to the weight of the savings.
Finally, the MHC Black Student Association will hold a dance on Thursday evening, for which the entrance fee is either $2 or a canned food item. All proceeds will go to Neighbors in Need.
According to Mars Hill student Christina Dalamangas, who helped to coordinate Hunger Week, the event helps students to take responsibility for their community.
“Whether we are from this area or not, Madison County is our home while we are students at Mars Hill College and we need to take responsibility for those around us,” she said.
According to Dalamangas, Hunger Week events are designed to simulate the experiences of food insecurity and poverty, and to help participants empathize with people in these situations.
“I think most people have sympathy with those who experience hunger, poverty or homelessness, but my hope is that Hunger Week will help us develop empathy, and really identify with those struggles. Sympathy is good, but empathy motivates us to action,” she said.