After much deliberation, we are excited to announce the winners of our awards for the best Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Weeks of 2017!

These were difficult decisions, given the number of excellent events to choose from. We know that many of you ran amazing events last year and we wish we could do more to acknowledge everyone. In addition, some great organizations missed their chance for awards by choosing not to nominate their events for consideration.

With that said, we’re proud to recognize six events that represent the very best of Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week 2017.

Best Volunteer Event: Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County

CAPSBC’s Turkey Giveaway event provided resource boxes and 1,000 turkeys to low-income families in need. Turnout at the event was huge, with families lined up around the block to make sure they received a turkey. CAPSBC also held a resource fair at the Giveaway that was attended by 59 organizations and agencies.


Best Fundraising Event: Missouri Western State University

The MWSU Organization of Student Social Workers held a Walk for the Homeless which raised $6,000 to pay for IDs, birth certificates, and transportation vouchers for people in need. Roughly 150 people participated.


Best Advocacy Event: EscaRosa Coalition on the Homeless

ECOH organized a “Path of Light” vigil for the homeless that drew 150 attendees and helped raise awareness about local anti-homeless ordinances. They also organized the City of Pensacola, Escambia County, and Santa Rosa County to pass proclamations officially recognizing the week as Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. At the vigil, the City of Pensacola announced that they will be donating $100,000 to ECOH.


Best Awareness Week: University of California – Berkeley

The UC Berkeley Basic Needs Security Committee organized an impressive week of events on their campus. Their week involved a broad assortment of student groups, faculty members, campus staff, administrators, and local community members. Their events for the week included: a CalFresh Mega Clinic where nearly 200 students applied for SNAP benefits; a resource fair for low income students; a series of awareness events in the dining halls about food waste; a competition to develop innovative solutions to hunger and homelessness; two workshops on mental health issues and a workshop on financial aid; a community dinner; and a panel discussion including speakers from Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s office, the Berkeley Food Institute, and the student government.


Best First-Time Awareness Week: Duke University

Duke’s Coalition for Alleviating Poverty pulled together a jam-packed schedule for their first Awareness Week. They recruited 25 campus offices and organizations to participate in the week, collectively organizing more than 20 events. Events included: a food and hygiene drive; a presentation by a leading local advocate for the homeless; a documentary screening; a workshop about homelessness in the LGBTQ community; a dinner conversation with a university dean to discuss campus socioeconomic issues; a meal-packing event for a local homeless shelter; and several different fundraisers. CAP’s student leaders are confident that they have turned the Awareness Week into a new institution on campus.


Best Awareness Week Organizer: Patie M. Bartow, Southwestern College

This was the first year that the Jag Kitchen Food Pantry at Southwestern College organized Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, spearheaded by Patie M. Bartow, director of the Child Development Center at Southwestern. She planned a busy week of programs, including: daily free breakfast for students; a clothing and toiletry drive; a SNAP enrollment event; a financial literacy workshop; and a community forum with their local Assemblymember. She also engaged more than a dozen organizations in the week’s events.

Southwestern College