Villanova University Celebrates the 40th Anniversary of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, November 16-20

Annual awareness week originated at Villanova and has spread to 500 campuses and communities nationwide

Villanova University Celebrates the 40th Anniversary of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, November 16-20

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University will observe the 40th anniversary of Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week (HHAW) November 16-20 with a full slate of activities that aim to educate, advocate and serve those whose lives are afflicted by these poverty-induced conditions. Now a national observance, HHAW originated at Villanova University in 1975 under the guidance of the late Father Ray Jackson, OSA, an Augustinian priest whose legacy also includes co-founding the University’s Center for Peace and Justice Education.

The awareness week includes food and clothing drives, a Habitat for Humanity housing simulation, an address by the National Coalition for the Homeless and a Hunger Run 5k with Back on My Feet—a national organization dedicated to running with and uplifting people experiencing homelessness. HHAW also includes a Solidarity Sleep Out that calls students and faculty to stay outside through the night to reflect on the experience of homelessness and stand in solidarity with impoverished members of the community.

“This year represents not only the 40th anniversary of Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week’s inception but also that it has been 40 years too many that these issues have plagued society, both locally and globally,” said William Stehl, Associate Director of Campus Ministry at Villanova. “It’s both very humbling and encouraging to see how something that started at Villanova has spread to and been embraced by hundreds of communities around the country.”

The HHAW initiative began when a group of Villanova students, recognizing the power education could play in the fight against homelessness, decided to coordinate a week of activities around the issues. In the years since, this week of coordinated activities and education expanded beyond Villanova to more than 500 campuses and communities, in the process becoming the most widely organized hunger and homelessness event of its type nationwide.

National HHAW is now an annual event held the week before Thanksgiving – jointly sponsored by the National Student Campaign against Hunger and Homelessness (NSCHH) and the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH). At Villanova, HHAW is co-sponsored by the Centers for Peace & Justice Education and Campus Ministry. Villanova also partners with numerous local and national organizations for the annual event, including Catholic Relief Services (CRS), NCH, Project HOME, Back on My Feet, Catholic Network of Volunteer Service, etc.

The week’s full schedule of events includes:

Saturday & Sunday, November 14 & 15

Student Mass
HHAW homilies and tables

5:30, 7 & 9PM
St. Thomas of Villanova Church

Monday, November 16
Careers in International Development
1:30–4:30PM
Villanova Room/Connelly Center

Food Drive (On Campus)
6PM-9PM
Second Storey Campus Market and Sparket Campus Market

Post-Graduate Volunteer Fair
6PM–9PM
Villanova Room/Connelly Center

Tuesday, November 17
Fair Trade Craft Sale
9:30AM–4PM
Connelly Center Atrium

Wednesday, November 18
CRS Helping Hands Meal Packaging Event
10:30AM-2PM
Dougherty Hall/West Lounge

Keynote Address
National Coalition for the Homeless

7PM
Villanova Room/Connelly Center

Thursday, November 19
Habitat for Humanity Housing Simulation
8PM
Oreo/Outside Connelly Center

Solidarity Sleep Out
9PM
Oreo/Outside Connelly Center

Friday, November 20
Hunger Run 5K with Back On My Feet
5PM
Oreo/Outside Connelly Center

5PM
Oreo/Outside Connelly Center