For the Gazette
CEDARVILLE — It’s estimated that nearly 50 million people in the United States live in a “food insecure” household. That’s why, for the eighth-straight year, students from Cedarville University’s social work program and the Phi Alpha Honor Society (Epsilon Omega) are partnering with local restaurants to “Dine Out for Hunger.”
The week-long event will raise awareness for National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. The initiative will also help the homeless as a portion of all sales from participating restaurants will go to help those in need. The initiative takes place Nov. 16-20 at selected restaurants in the Miami Valley.
“The Dine Out for Hunger event is unique because it is used to educate people about hunger and homelessness in our community, while simultaneously supporting local businesses and an area nonprofit,” said Julie Furj-Kuhn, assistant professor of social work.
This year, social work students have chosen to donate the money to the Greene County Housing Program (GCHP) in Xenia.
The program has two areas of focus: emergency housing for families who have lost their home due to an unfortunate circumstance and transitional housing to assist those who need a place to stay for an extended period following an emergency. Yearly, more than 100 families are served within the two programs through 13 handicap-accessible, family housing units.
Without transition through the GCHP, many families would be homeless. The program is one of the only in Greene County that serves families, rather than just individuals.
“Dine Out for Hunger is a beautiful ministry,” said Penny Madry-Johnson, executive director of GCHP. “It absolutely helps the community become more aware of the issues of hunger and homelessness in our surrounding vicinity.”