NORTH ADAMS, MA—Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts students and the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group (MassPIRG) co-sponsored daily events on campus throughout the fall semester to raise awareness about hunger and homelessness.
MassPIRG held a sock drive, during which students purchased socks, mittens, and hats for $1 to donate to the Louison House, a regional homeless and transitional shelter. Students also hosted a Hunger Banquet, during which students and members of the public played roles to experience various levels of poverty.
“The goal is to show that poverty does exist, but there are ways to change it,” said Melissa Bruhn, the MassPIRG organizer at MCLA.
The College also invited Louison House Director Paul Gadge to speak with students about poverty.
MCLA students volunteered with the Berkshire Food Project to prepare a free Thanksgiving dinner for the North Adams community. Several surrounding restaurants donated food for the meal.
The Zombie Walk for Hunger on Halloween, where students dressed as zombies and walked around North Adams as part of MassPIRG’s campaign against Hunger and Homelessness, was the organization’s largest event during the fall semester.
“The students who came were very enthusiastic,” said Bruhn.
Public Interest Research Groups are independent statewide student organizations that work on a variety of issues. MassPIRG volunteers devote much of their time at MCLA to hunger and homelessness and zero-waste efforts.