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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Students to draw attention to plight of homeless, hungry students

Posted: October 16, 2012

The Hearts and Hands Pantry operated by Antelope Valley College’s Associated Student Organization is using this week – Homecoming Week – to focus on the plight of homeless and needy students.

Sandra Govin, student trustee, estimates there are hundreds of AVC students that “go from couch to couch” at different homes or live in their cars.

“They’re the invisible population,” she said. “The shame connected to it is the reason that most students don’t acknowledge it.”

In response, Govin and other students have organized Camp Coming Home, Oct. 18-19. Organizers are looking to expand the reach of last year’s event, which drew approximately 100 participants, including those who slept overnight in a cardboard box village erected between the Library and Gymnasium on the Lancaster campus.

Govin helped establish the Hearts and Hands Pantry on campus in 2011 as a way to provide food to needy students.

The series of events as part of Camp Coming Home get underway at noon Thursday with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich assembly project outdoors west of the Library.

Students are encouraged to take part in a Build-a-Shelter Contest utilizing cardboard boxes and then to sleep in the makeshift shelters near the library Thursday night. Students are further urged to “come hungry” and to not bring any personal electronic devices such as cell phones and laptop computers.

At 7 p.m. Thursday, college President Dr. Jackie L. Fisher Sr. and a representative of Grace Resource Center are slated to take part in a “Faces of Hunger” panel discussion outdoors west of the Library.

On Friday morning, students and community volunteers will join with Kids Against Hunger in the Student Lounge (Student Center Building) from 8 a.m. to noon to package 10,000 meals to be distributed locally and internationally. Interested volunteers need to be on hand for the orientation at 8 a.m.

Members of the AVC Marauders football team are expected to take part in the meal assembly project Friday.

Then, at Saturday’s 7 p.m. football game at Brent Carder Marauder Stadium, people can donate five cans of food in lieu of a ticket and get into the homecoming game against West Los Angeles College. Govin asks that donors make sure the food hasn’t expired. Suggested canned goods include tuna, soup, peanut butter, chili, fruit and vegetables.

For more information, contact Govin at sgovin@avc.edu.