For the 27th year in a row, over 250 students, alumni and faculty are expected to partake in Fairfield’s award-winning community outreach program, Hunger Cleanup. The event is set to take place across 20 locations statewide on Saturday, April 18.
“Hunger Cleanup has had an illustrious history at Fairfield, starting very simply, and evolving into the single largest one-day outreach project conducted by the University without outside assistance,” stated Wylie Blake, Fairfield’s campus minister for community outreach.
The event brings together students and faculty to raise awareness for the issues of hunger and homelessness in local neighborhoods.
The event is coordinated by a student board throughout the year. The board finds over 20 non-profit agencies to assist for the one-day event. Students, alumni and faculty are recruited to make the teams that serve each location.
“We go out for three to four hours in early spring, to do the services they need done – e.g. paint, wash windows, clean the basement or attic, do outside spring cleaning, stock shelves with food. Funds are raised in a variety of ways,” stated Blake.
Fairfield has been participating in the national Hunger Cleanup Campaign for over 25 years. Beginning with a small, dedicated membership of students and staff, the event has grown into one of the most popular service events on campus.
The success of the event was clear only seven years after the campaign began in 1988, when Fairfield earned the distinction of the best overall Hunger Cleanup Campaign in the country, an award it has won many times since.
According to Blake, “This year we expect about 250-275 [participants], with a very strong showing from alumni.”
Students that participate in the event feel that Hunger Cleanup is an eye-opening event. “Many of the worksites are not 15 minutes away, yet they are vastly different from our campus,” stated committee member Napali Bridgelall ‘18.
Sophomore Kimberly Ginsberg, Hunger Cleanup co-president, has found that being a member of the Hunger Cleanup Committee has been another rewarding experience. “I have learned that planning an event like our annual spring event is not a one-man project,” Ginsberg said. “We can use all the help we can get, and it is amazing to see how many people will help for the better of the community.”
Blake agreed that the event educates students about the world around them, as well as the power of service. “There is an awareness at a school of higher education like Fairfield – we recognize that educational and service opportunities can open doors and improve lives.”
For students that are interested in participating in Hunger Cleanup, Ginsberg feels that the event can be a great way to reflect on the Jesuit education.
“It is important to be aware that you as a student at Fairfield University can make a difference even with just a small gesture by attending a worksite during our annual spring event this Saturday the 18th,” she stated.
Bridgelall agreed, stating, “You get the chance to help someone else, usually through easy things like beautification projects. It’s just a nice way to be a good person.”
If you would like to sign up as a team or individual, contact Ginsberg or Kristen Torres ‘16, HCU co-presidents or use the link available on OrgSync.