Hunger and Homlessness Awareness Week Kicks Off 

This week is hunger and homelessness awareness week across the country and local food pantries say they’re already busy with Thanksgiving right around the corner. Brenda Davis is the Founder and Director of the Crossroads Ministries in Old Town and she says they’ve been swamped. “We’ve had over 215 families up for Thanksgiving dinners ahead of time,” says davis, “that doesn’t address the people who are going to come in at the last minute that are emergencies and trying to do the best they can hoping they’re going to be able to provide a Thanksgiving dinner for their families.”Davis says while they’re scrambling to get ready for Thanksgiving, hunger and homelessness week does make her stop and reflect. “It’s pretty much business as usual but we do ask people to take a minute to think about people being hungry.”She says the downturn in the economy has caused a rise in people who need a little help. “We have a lot of people dropping down to poverty because of the economy,” shge says, “we have working people with families, young families working 2 jobs that just need a little help.”The folks at the University College of Bangor have come up with a creative way to help their students better understand hunger and homelessness awareness week. “It’s called the Hunger Banquet,” says Rebecca Perkins, a staff associate with the Student Life Department at UCB. “Basically the point is we wanted to give students the opportunity to sit and have a meal together and have a discussion about the topic of hunger in our country and around the world.” Here on Monday students won’t know what they’re getting to eat until it’s served to them. “There’s going to be 3 classes that people are going to be randomly assigned to so they could get something as nice as a full spaghetti dinner with all the the fixings or they could get as little as rice and beans,” says Perkins.The hope is that the experience will give students a glimpse into the world of those less fortunate. “I think it will be important for them to think outside of their own communities and think about how other people live and the challenges of other people in the bangor area and around the world,” Perkins says.Meanwhile over at the food pantry in Old Town, with a little over a week to go until Thanksgiving, Brenda Davis is confident they’ll get the things they need. “Maine is a great place to live and when people know we have a need they’ll respond.”