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Andrew Merki
Indiana Public Interest Research Group

Last modified: Tuesday, November 18, 2008

IU student groups take part in hunger and homelessness awareness week

Nov. 18, 2008

BLOOMINGTON -- In honor of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week (Nov. 16-22), Indiana University student interns and volunteers from the Indiana Public Interest Research Group (INPIRG) are hoping to focus the Bloomington community's attention on the issues of hunger and homelessness.


IU sophomore student Andrew Merki, a Kelley School of Business student and an intern at INPIRG, is working to involve IU students in the week's events, which will highlight four local nonprofits: Shalom Community Center, Martha's House, Stepping Stones and Mother Hubbard's Cupboard.

Merki says the goal of this week is to offer educational and fundraising events that invite Bloomington residents to "see more, learn more, and do more" while highlighting the need in the Bloomington community and the work these agencies perform to help people transition out of poverty. "A lot of students don't realize how many people are hungry and homeless in Bloomington," he said.

Events this week include:

Bloomington Food Stamp Challenge, now through Saturday, Nov. 22

Mayor Mark Kruzan, Herald-Times editor Bob Zaltsberg, Valerie Haughton, Charlotte Zietlow, Jim Regester, Shari Woodbury and Julie Ponce this week are living on the equivalent of the average food stamp allotment of $21 per person per week (Bryan House staff will participate for three days). Participants in the Bloomington Food Stamp Challenge may spend only $21on food and beverages for the entire week.

Hunger and Homelessness Panel, Saturday, Nov. 22, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Council Chambers

Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week presents a moderated discussion with Food Stamp Challenge participants and survivors of hunger and homelessness. Free and open to the public.

Food for Thought -- A Week of Dining-out Benefits, now through Saturday, Nov. 22

Dine out at the following restaurants this week, and a portion of sales will be donated to Shalom Center, Martha's House, Stepping Stones and Mother Hubbard's Cupboard:

  • Bloomington Sandwich Company: Today-Friday, 3 p.m.-7 p.m.
  • Soma: Tuesday
  • Limestone Grille: Tuesday
  • Mother Bear's Pizza: Wednesday
  • Truffles: Wednesday, 5 p.m.-9 p.m.
  • Max's Place: Thursday
  • Anatolia: Friday

BLOOMINGTON, STAND UP!, an evening of comedy Saturday, Nov. 22, 7:30 p.m., Buskirk-Chumley

Doors open at at 6:45 p.m. for a wine reception preceding an evening of comedy with Drew Hastings, the culminating event for Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. Hastings is a raconteur with a lot of stories to tell. Before becoming a comedian at age 31, his escapades included owning a trucking business, running a document shredding company that never actually shredded any documents, leading archaeological expeditions (some would call him "looter") to South America, and playing polo with stolen horses at polo clubs in Washington, D.C., and Cincinnati.

Tickets on sale at Sunrise Box Office: $35 in advance and $40 at the door (includes two drink tickets). Doors open at 6:45 p.m. for wine, cheese and dessert tastings; show begins at 7:30 p.m. This event is a benefit for Shalom Community Center, Martha's House, Stepping Stones and Mother Hubbard's Cupboard.

For more information about National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week events in Bloomington, visit


INPIRG is an IU student group that encourages students to become "effective citizens" through social action and volunteerism. INPIRG provides students with an educational experience in democratic citizenship by giving them the opportunity to investigate a problem, develop a practical solution, and actively engage in the legislative process by working with media and decision-makers to achieve concrete goals that promote social change. For more information, see