Our Theme for Day Two: Food and Housing Insecurity

Food and shelter are basic human rights. JCU students work with a variety of established community partners to engage in learning about, advocating for, and serving with partners whose mission is to end food and housing insecurity in the Greater Cleveland area. 

The Statistics:

  • 1 in 6 people in the Greater Cleveland area is food insecure - meaning they do not know where their next meal will come from. 
  • About 18% of residents in Cuyahoga County live in poverty
  • In 2019 the Greater Cleveland Food Bank served more than 350,000 people in Cuyahoga, Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake, Ashland and Richland counties in 2019. During this Covid-19 crisis those seeking food assistance spiked 30%, providing 18,000 meals a week.
  • Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry (LMM) Men’s Shelter serves up to 365 men per night with an additional 30-60 beds available at partner overflow sites. 

Through voluntary one time service opportunities JCU students volunteer with the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and the Cleveland Clinic Stephanie Tubbs Jones Health Center to help sort and distribute food for members of the community.

Students travel to LMM for weekly service four times a week for activities like current events discussions, poetry group, and chess club with the shelter residents. One time service opportunities are offered to serve dinner.

With a unique partnership with Northeast Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH), the JCU in the City Summer Internship program is where a student works on an advocacy project related to homelessness in the Greater Cleveland area.

Through weekly and one-time service activities, JCU students are exposed to the issues of food insecurity and homelessness, and are encouraged to think about the systemic issues as well. The Greater Cleveland Food Bank, Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry, and the Northeast Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH) are change makers through advocacy and empowerment. These organizations recognize and honor the dignity of every human person.
Daily Service Challenge
Chose ONE or more activities below:

1. Use your voice to help your neighbors in need
Urge Congress to increase SNAP benefits in the next COVID-19 relief package. Write a letter to Congress through the Greater Cleveland Food Bank HERE! A modest increase to SNAP will help ensure that every family impacted by the current pandemic- whether it is due to lost work, lost wages, or school closures- can continue to keep food on the table. Although food banks provide meals to millions across Ohio, SNAP is still the first line of defense against hunger. For every one meal provided by food banks, SNAP provides nine. It is critical that families impacted by the current health emergency can access all the help they need to keep food on the table. Why is SNAP important? Watch a video about SNAP HERE. Email service@jcu.edu with a screenshot of your letter!
2. Make a Donation to the Arrupe food drive for the Cleveland Food Bank
The Arrupe Students in AR150 Hunger and Poverty Advocacy class have started a virtual fundraising campaign though the Greater Cleveland Food Bank as a substitute project for what they had hoped to do on campus. DONATE HERE and join the Food Bank in supporting those whose ability to work has been or will be impacted by the pandemic. You can help them reach their fundraising goal by donating to their page and sharing the information with family and friends. All Bluestreaks, past and present, along with their family, friends, and others in their social networks are challenged to consider donating $1, $2, $5, $10 or more to this cause.  $1 buys 4 meal ordinarily, but because of a generous matching gift to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, it effectively buys 8 meals. Email service@jcu.edu with a selfie of you making your online donation!
3. Tell Congress to Ensure Housing Stability During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic
Use the email template found HERE from the National Low Income Housing Coalition to contact your members of Congress and ask them to ensure that the next Congressional stimulus package further addresses the needs of our lowest-income neighbors. Access to healthcare, housing, food assistance and other services provided in response to Coronavirus should be available to everyone, regardless of income, immigration status, involvement with the criminal justice system, or insurance. Email service@jcu.edu with a screenshot of your letter!
How to participate and share your actions:

• Take photographs or videos of each of the daily challenges you choose to participate in.
• You have three options for sharing your challenge with us:

  1. On Instagram, make a post, tag @jcu_cssa and use the hashtags: #JWOS2020, #jcucssa, #servecle, and #servicechallenge. Your profile must be public for us to view your photos
  2. Direct Message @jcu_cssa on Instagram with your photos
  3. Email service@jcu.edu with your images and videos

• Look for your photos and videos in the "JWOS Showcase of Service" video on Saturday!

• See what others are doing LIVE by scrolling to the bottom of our homepage at https://www.cssaengagecle.org/ and by following our hashtags on Instagram !
*Please note that CSSA may choose to share your photographs or videos and use your content for marketing purposes unless you specify you would not like your photographs or videos to be used*
Community Partner Spotlight:
Community Greenhouse Partners
Presented by Regina Sullivan '20 and Ryan Scello '20

Community Greenhouse Partners (CGP) is a sustainable urban farm that applies ecological design principles and engages community participation to grow wholesome food year-round. This food is then provided at low-cost to the Cleveland neighborhoods, improving personal health while generating training, mentoring, and employment opportunities.

CGP has already built one hard shell greenhouse and five soft shell hoop houses on site, as well as a new hydroponic system which they are looking to upgrade to a full aquaponic system in the near future. Clearly they are driven to continue growing on the grounds of a former Catholic parish in the heart of downtown Cleveland, where they not only hire locally, but grow and sell locally-grown organic vegetables at low cost to urban families and teach sustainability and earth science to young people.
I had the privilege of volunteering at CGP for Jesuit Day of Service last year and had a wonderful time serving. We were able to help them take care of their current greenhouses and help prepare the land for new hoop houses and harvests. They are a small, locally-run initiative that is always looking for help. If you head to their website, you can see that there is always an opportunity to volunteer your time, talents, or treasure with Community Greenhouse Partners in order to help close the gap that is created because of food insecurity in Cleveland. Check out Community Greenhouse Partners HERE!
Student Voices: Erin Kipp '23 on Food Insecurity
"Nobody is immune to the stress that comes with times like this, but it is more important now than ever that we stand for and with one another."

Watch Erin's reflection HERE!
Sustainability Suggestion: Reduce Food Waste
Our Sustainability Suggestion for day two focuses on Food Waste! 1/3 of the food that is produced on our planet goes to waste! The largest consumer of freshwater is agriculture. Food waste leaves a large carbon footprint and depletes freshwater supplies! To help curb this you can incorporate simple practices into your life:
  • Reduce the amount of food that you purchase. In these significant times, you can purchase food that you know you will consume before the expiration date. You will create great differences with a conservative mindset when you purchase food! Learn more about shopping locally HERE.
  • Your raw foods, minus meat, can go into composting!  You can either start composting for your own use or see if your waste management will take organics. Learn more about composting HERE.
Don't forget to check out CSSA's Instagram Story ( @jcu_cssa ) to see the Sustainability Interns' daily video!
Reflection: 8:00 pm on Instagram
Tune in tonight to our Instagram @jcu_cssa
for a reflection by Michael!
Invite your family and friends to join in JWOS, they can register HERE to take part in the rest of the week's activities!

How it works:
  • Register now with your name and email HERE
  • You will receive an introductory email with the schedule for the week
  • From Tuesday, April 21 through Saturday, April 25, you will receive daily emails containing activities and challenges
  • Participate in as many or as few activities and challenges as you want. Share your activities with us on social media and online
  • On Saturday, April 25, we will celebrate our communities and our collective service

Read more about JWOS HERE
Questions? Email service@jcu.edu
Sr. Katherine Feely  |  Director |    kfeely@jcu.edu    | 216.397.1966
Maryellen Callanan  |  Associate Director |    mcallanan@jcu.edu   |  216.397.2022
Heather Craigie |  Assistant Director, Student Development & Logistics| hcraigie@jcu.edu  |216.397.6233
Lisa Morde |  Assistant Director, Student Engagement & Data Mgmt |  lmorde@jcu.edu  | 216.397.6227
John Jackson  |  Assistant Director, Community Partnerships |  jnjackson@jcu.edu   |  216.397.1662
Carolina Kane |  Administrative Assistant & Marketing Specialist |   cxkane@jcu.edu  | 216.397.2024
Amy Bartter  |   Administrative Assistant |   abartter@jcu.edu   |  216.397.4698
Josefina Moreno '18, '21G  |  Graduate Assistant |   jmoreno18@jcu.edu  | 216.397.6283
Blake Yoho '22G  |  Graduate Assistant |   byoho22@jcu.edu  | 216.397.6283
Drew Kleinmann '21 |  JWOS Coordinator |   akleinmann21@jcu.edu
Michael Theis '22 |  JWOS Coordinator |   mtheis22@jcu.edu
JCU Center for Service and Social Action
Administration Building | AD-32
Monday-Thursday, 8 am - 8 pm | Friday 8 am - 5 pm
216.397.4698 |  (f) 216.397.1661

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