Alternative Week of Learning (AWOL) and Then Feed Just One are having events during International Education Week which runs from Nov. 12- Nov. 16 to raise awareness for hunger and poverty awareness.
The Volante reported that in 2016 Clay County had a food insecurity rate of 16.8 percent. Today, according to the 2016 census the poverty rate in Vermillion is 35.7 percent.
Kim Albracht, assistant director for academic engagement at the Center for Academic and Global Engagement and advisor of AWOL, said having this cultural exchange will help students.
“It’s an initiative by the U.S. Department of State and Department of Education to really increase awareness of the need for cultural exchange and understanding and helping students become better global citizens through exchange,” Albracht said.
Albracht said students need to be educated on poverty issues.
“Sometimes poverty can be somewhat hidden and you have to really kind-of open your eyes and start asking questions to understand how our community is affected by poverty,” Albracht said. “Clay County, for example, is one of the highest levels of insecurity for food (and) housing difficulties.”
Rachel Kewitsch, junior strategic communications major said the mission of Then Feed Just One is to educate students.
“What we do is we focus on trying to bring attention to world hunger on campus because it’s something that a lot of people I think don’t necessarily think about,” Kewitsch said. “We kind of take it for granted. There’s a lot of stuff to eat in the MUC, there’s a lot to eat at home, in the grocery store.”
Kewitsch said the organization tries to have one packing event in the fall and spring semester.
“We try and do them every semester… What we do is we have tables and we’ll set it up and then we’ll package food (such as) rice, some sort of protein and vegetables.”
The packing event runs from two times slots. The first is from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and is free to all students and the 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. time is open to students and community members, however, there will be a $20 charge per person.
Another event that the organization participates in is a documentary viewing, Kewitsch said.
“Other events that we’ve done recently (is) we had a documentary viewing where we saw someone trying to live on a dollar a day in Guatemala and how they would do it and how their incomes aren’t stable enough to actually be a dollar,” Kewitsch said. “So somedays you would have four dollars, some days you would have none.”
Meetings are held once a month for the organization and they hold other fundraisers such as selling Krispy Kreme donuts. The money went toward funding the packaging events that take place.
Connor Jallo, senior accounting major said he enjoys volunteering at the packing events.
“I like to participate in Just Feed Just One because it allows me to positively impact others that I will very likely never meet,” Jallo said. “It is humbling to think that a fraction of my time can go such a long way for others.”