Aiming to bring hunger and homelessness out of the shadows, HomeFront has planned a week’s worth of activities – from volunteer opportunities to tours of its revamped headquarters in Lawrence Township.
The activities are being held in conjunction with National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, set for Nov. 11-19. HomeFront is a nonprofit organization which helps the homeless and the working poor. It has participated in the awareness campaign for several years.
Through its participation in the weeklong event, HomeFront is encouraging people to learn more about its work and to better understand the challenges some Mercer County families are facing.
Nearly 31,000 people in Mercer County are facing food insecurity, HomeFront officials said, adding they have experienced a significant increase in the number of families seeking help.
Sarah Steward, HomeFront’s CEO, said an important part of its mission is to help families that are experiencing homelessness to advocate for themselves – individually and collectively.
“During Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, HomeFront works to expand awareness of the realities of life for families living in poverty and experiencing homelessness right here in our area,” Steward said.
“We know that we live in a caring community, and we want to do our part to make sure that the community is aware of both the challenges of life for some of our neighbors and the opportunities we have as a community to do something about it,” Steward said.
That’s why HomeFront is offering several opportunities for people to learn about its mission and what it does – starting with tours of its newly expanded headquarters at 1880 Princeton Ave. in Lawrence Township. The tours will be held Nov. 11-13.
A “virtual” orientation that explains in more detail exactly what HomeFront does and how to become involved has been set for Nov. 14 via Zoom, HomeFront officials said. People can also learn more about HomeFront, its challenges and future plans at a “Lunch and Learn” session Nov. 18.
Hands-on volunteer experiences also are on tap – at the Diaper Resource Center at HomeFront’s Family Preservation Center in Ewing Township Nov. 16, and at HomeFront’s headquarters to help pack Thanksgiving baskets Nov. 19.
The Diaper Resource Center stocks diapers so it can distribute them to families in need, officials said. There are food banks and government programs that help families in need of food, but none that provide diapers.
Diapers are expensive and a young family can go through them quickly. The Diaper Resource Center enables the families to stretch out their own supply of diapers, HomeFront officials said.
HomeFront plans to cap off National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week with a panel discussion Dec. 1 at Labyrinth Books in Princeton. The panelists will talk about “the interventions that really help families to break out of the cycle of poverty,” officials said.
Learn more about HomeFront and National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week at www.homefrontnj.org.