Campus lobby group campaigns against hunger

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The Oregon Student Public Interest Research Group at Lane is pairing up with Food for Lane County to run the Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness. The group puts on events to raise funds and awareness for those in need.

According to the Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week Database, 43.1 million Americans live below the poverty level, 549,000 Americans are homeless on a typical night, 42 million Americans are at risk of suffering from hunger and one in five children in the U.S. live in poverty. One of OSPIRG’s missions is to fight this with donations.

First-year Lane Community College student Ciara Wyatt started volunteering for OSPIRG in January.

“OSPIRG is a student-run, student-funded, public-interest research-group,” Wyatt said. “We were created in 1971 to do a lot for the community and to advocate because we know that students need a voice, and need to think beyond self-interest.”

OSPIRG has a student board that chooses the campaigns for the group. “It’s been going for quite a while. We helped start the Rainy Day Food Pantry in 2013,” Wyatt said.

The Campaign for Homelessness and Hunger includes annual events such as the Trick-or-Can. “It’s basically can-collecting,” Wyatt said. “We got over three hundred during this one.”

The campaign is also involved in weekly events, such as volunteering at the Grass Roots Garden on Saturdays. Wyatt explained that though OSPIRG supports the event, the Grass Roots Garden is “open to the whole community.” Students can apply to OSPIRG online or with an OSPIRG member to get involved in the campaign.