Over the past week, the University of Connecticut Praxis has taken part in the national campaign of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, gathering donations and creating panels to address the issue in America.
“This is about our second year of participating in the campaign,” said Srimayi Chaturvedula, UConn Praxis’ campaign coordinator. “As well as promoting advocacy, we plan to actively work on these issues through food and winter clothing donations.”
While the food donation drive ended on Tuesday, Srimayi, a seventh-semester political science and business management major, and Nicholas Smith, a seventh-semester political science and communications major, said they want to encourage donations to the winter apparel drive happening through Dec. 6. They said students can bring sweaters, mittens, scarves and other winter clothing to designated boxes at Homer Babbidge Library, the Student Organization Center in the Student Union and dining halls across Storrs campus.
“We will be providing the donations first to students at UConn in need of these clothes — the rest we will donate to a local homeless shelter,” Smith said. “If you are in need of winter clothing, UConn Praxis Hunger and Homelessness Campaign will be sending an anonymous Google form soon.”
A panel sponsored by the campaign discussing Afghan refugees met on Wednesday night with Connecticut congressional candidate Muad Hrezi, director of community engagement for integrated refugee and immigrant services Ann O’Brien, and Steve Lane, who has worked to help resettle Afghan refugees in Connecticut. The event was also sponsored by UConn UNICEF, Huskies for Refugees and Huskies for Human Rights.
“Hunger and homelessness never goes away. Our efforts are centered around this week, but the people experiencing it do so 24/7,” Srimayi said. “These problems impact people every day, and we should be working to help and raise awareness of it 24/7.”