National Student Organization Works to End Hunger and Homelessness

Image of students helping a homeless man.

Flickr // Erin Nekervis

The National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness (NSCAHH) works with a coalition of students and community members across the country to end hunger and homelessness through education, service, and action 

“Students organize a variety of projects ranging from food drives, to weekly service projects, to tutoring programs, to student-run soup kitchens,” said Jennifer Hecker, the organizing director of NSCAHH’s National Organizing Officer in Amherst, Massachusetts. 

Describing NSCAHH’s inception and goals Hecker said, “The National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness was established on the belief that students are a critical force in the fight against hunger and homelessness. Today, the Student Campaign is the largest national coalition of students and community members working to address the problems of hunger and homelessness through community service, education, and advocacy. 

“We know that hunger and homelessness don’t have to exist in the richest country in the world. But as a society we haven’t prioritized addressing hunger and homelessness in any systematic way and therefore these problems continue to grow. Our goal is to increase civic involvement and create a community that demands the end of hunger and homelessness. Since our inception, we have mobilized countless volunteers and raised more than $1.5 million for hunger and homelessness relief efforts.” 

Started two decades ago by the PIRG’s [Public Interest Research Groups] and USA for Africa, NSCAHH is now the largest student network fighting hunger and homelessness in the country, with more than 600 participating campuses in 45 states. 

Among its many accomplishments in the past sixteen years, NSCAHH has helped school campuses across the country organize Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Weeks; held conferences to educate students and administrators about hunger and homelessness issues and projects; established food salvage programs that provide surplus cafeteria and restaurant food to food banks and shelters; developed Project Partnership to build community and campus coalitions; organized political efforts; and, through the Annual Hunger Cleanup, involved some 110,000 volunteers in service projects to raise more than $1 million for domestic and international relief. 

Program Goals 

The mission of the NSCAHH is to provide students with strategies to improve or create service programs that meet the needs of the hungry and homeless in their communities; promote collaborative efforts between students, educators, communities, and issue groups to share ideas and implement effective programs; and to educate and expand the anti-poverty movement through conferences, on-campus workshops and community/citywide training sessions. 

Take Action

NSCAHH makes getting involved easy. If you would like to participate in the Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, fill out the online registration form or call (800) 664-8647. Students should check with other campus organizations to find out which groups are active on the issues or want to be. 

The site also provides links to letter templates that students can customize and send to their local senators, representatives, and newspaper editors. The letters ask for support for the Section 8 Housing Voucher program, the National Housing Trust Fund Act, and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. 

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