Students sleep out for hunger, homelessness
Two University of Wisconsin-Platteville students, Haley Jahnel and Kyle Feltes, slept outside on the west lawn of the Markee Pioneer Student Center in 20 degree temperatures on Thursday, Nov. 15 for the Sleep Out for Hunger and Homelessness Awareness event.
This is the second year that this event has been held on campus. The event is coordinated by the Pioneer Pantry student organization, which currently consists of 27 members.
"Though the sleep out event is a fun opportunity for our members to camp on the Platteville campus, it also makes one realize that many of us cannot understand what hunger or homelessness is truly like,” said Kyle Feltes, executive board member of the Pioneer Pantry student organization who has slept outside both years. “The winter months are especially daunting, as we had to prepare quite a bit to comfortably stay outside a single night, but those afflicted by hunger or homelessness often do not have the luxury to prepare."
Nationally, Sleep Out for Hunger and Homelessness is about raising awareness of the prevalence of hunger and homelessness, in general. At UW-Platteville, the event specifically focuses on hunger and homelessness among college students.
“Hunger and homelessness are much more prevalent on college campuses than people realize,” said advisor Dr. Jaclyn Esqueda. “Food security is a very fluid state; people move in and out of it frequently.” According to data gathered in Spring 2017, 45 percent of UW-Platteville students experience food insecurity at least once a semester, which is just under the national average of 48 percent. Of those students facing food insecurity, 64 percent also reported experiencing some type of housing insecurity.
Pioneer Provisions is a free pantry/grocery service for students experiencing food insecurity. It is open to all currently enrolled UW-Platteville students. For more information, visit https://www.uwplatt.edu/dining/pioneer-provisions.
For more information about hunger and homelessness, visit https://studentsagainsthunger.org/hunger-on-campus.
Written by: Kristie Chipera, Marketing Communications Writer, Communications, 608-342-1194,firstname.lastname@example.org