From Nov. 14-16, 11 students worked with nonprofit organizations in Milwaukee on the issues of hunger and homelessness.
They worked with the Hunger Task Force, a nonprofit devoted to providing free food for those in need as well as promoting socially just policies.
“The Hunger Task Force is a year-round operation, but the holidays are there busiest time of the year,” said senior services volunteer coordinator Marie Jewell.
Jewell worked as a teacher but has been a volunteer coordinator for nine years.
“It was a tough transition, but usually the hardest work is the most rewarding,” Jewell said.
In five hours at the Hunger Task Force Warehouse, the volunteers were able to pack over 500 boxes, or 14 pallets worth, of food for local seniors.
Afterwards, the group went back to the church they were staying at to watch ‘Place at the Table,’ an award-winning film about hunger issues in America. In addition to providing students with information and statistics about hunger, it encouraged insightful reflection and stimulated debate.
“We need to shift to more local foods. You should know where your food is coming from,” said junior Katreena Powell.
While the documentary raised similar questions for everyone, students discussed how to act in ways that could ameliorate these problems.
“Every time you buy a product, you are voting with your money,” said senior arts management major Emily Huemann.
The Habitat for Humanity Restore was the next organization visited. Students split into groups and did a variety of activities, from rearranging store displays to helping customers load their purchases.
Students then went to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission, an organization dedicated to providing education, safety and stability for those in need. Their campus consisted of a cafeteria, a rehabilitation center, an elementary school and multiple rooms to house single mothers and their children.
Following a tour of the facilities, students wrapped gifts for the upcoming holiday season and took inventory for the organizations ongoing food drive.
Intercity Impact was about more than logging volunteer hours, it provided personal insight and motivation for the students in attendance.