UK Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week Activities


Info graphic for Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week Nov. 16-24, 2019. More than 42 million Americans are at risk of suffering from hunger. Nearly 1 in 5 children live in poverty.
Activities are planned in Lexington, student organizations are pitching in. A video by Curtis Franklin takes a look at the progress made by the Lexington Homelessness Task Force.

It is National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week and student groups are pitching in and planning events in Lexington, a city that has, thanks to the Homelessness Task Force created by former Mayor Jim Gray, really made strides in cutting the numbers of homeless on the streets or in transitional housing.

The link above is a bunch of events taking place in Lexington, sponsored by the Wildcats for Homes organization including a panel on homelessness stigma Tues. Nov. 19

It also links to the Web site of the group sponsoring the awareness week nationwide for more information.

The University of Kentucky Student Chapter of National Association of Black Journalists held a Winter Gear Drive from 2-4 p.m. Monday in the Gatton Student Center, according to the group’s faculty adviser, Prof. Kakie Urch. 

“UKABJ President Keyera Jackson, Public Relations Chair Jaelyn Knight and Executive Board member Tessa Howard have been very involved in making sure that the chapter is learning about journalism, developing their skills and resumes and helping the community,” Urch said. 

The group has made breakfast for the Ronald McDonald House residents once this semester and will do so again before break, Urch said.

Three young African American female college students staff the Winter Gear Drive donation table for the student chapter of National Association of Black Journalists in the Gatton Student Center. UK logo behind them in blue and white.
Members of the UK student chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists staff the “Winter Gear Drive” table they established in the Gatton Student Center to support National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. Jaelyn Knight, right, will take the gear collected to homeless shelters in Lexington, including the Salvation Army on West Main Street.

The UK student chapter of National Association of Black Journalists planned the “Winter Gear Drive” to coincide with the week to collect gently used coats, gloves, sweaters and boots for residents of area homeless shelters.

The group staffed a donation table in the Gatton Student Center from 2-4 p.m. Monday. Public Relations Chair Jaelyn Knight, sitting at the table, said the group had already collected a carful of items and planned to take them to the Salvation Army shelter on West Main Street.

Lexington has a long history of being a place concerned about addressing hunger and homelessness.

A narrative video multimedia package by Curtis Franklin looks at the progress of Lexington’s new Homelessness Task Force over its lifespan. As of last winter, the measures taken to cooperate and “braid” local, state and federal resources with a strong commitment to housing the homeless first, then addressing their other issues show great efficacy.
Video by Curtis Franklin for Bluecoastlive and the Kentucky Kernel.

Video by Curtis Franklin for Bluecoastlive and the Kentucky Kernel.

For students who are food insecure or experiencing hunger because they can’t afford food, the University of Kentucky has established the Big Blue Pantry in the basement of the Patterson Office Tower. Any student with a valid UK ID is eligible to receive non-perishable goods from the pantry. (859) 257-8867 is a contact number for the Big Blue Pantry.

Also, the university has established a Basic Needs committee, which helps students who are facing eviction or housing insecurity, food insecurity and other issues that could disrupt student success. To contact the UK Basic Needs and Services from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. M-F, visit the Dean of Students Office in 513 Patterson Office Tower, email [email protected] or call 859 218 NEED.