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Norfolk State Collects Food and Personal Items for Homeless Veterans

In support of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, Norfolk State University is sponsoring a food and veterans supply drive on Saturday, November 10, from 9 a.m. to noon. The nonperishable food and personal hygiene items will be donated to the Norfolk State University Spartan Food Pantry and Veterans Affairs Medical Center’s National Coalition for Homeless Veterans’ Stand Down program, located in Hampton, Virginia.

Click here for the list of items.

According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, it is difficult to pinpoint the number of homeless veterans nationwide. However, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that 40,056 veterans are homeless on any given night. Additionally, the coalition reports that homeless veterans have served in World War II, the Korean War, Cold War, Vietnam War, Grenada, Panama, Lebanon, Persian Gulf War, Afghanistan and Iraq (OEF/OIF), and the military’s anti-drug cultivation efforts in South America. Nearly half of homeless veterans served during the Vietnam era. Two-thirds served our country for at least three years, and one-third were stationed in a war zone.

Melvin T. Stith Sr., Ph.D., Norfolk State’s interim president, is proud of the role that Norfolk State is taking in supporting homeless veterans.

“As a Vietnam veteran, I am proud to lead a university that stands with our nation’s heroes, and is committed to ensuring that NSU plays an active role in helping to eradicate veteran homelessness and hunger,” said Stith. “For more than 80 years, Norfolk State has proudly supported our nation’s military. The University was recently named the most military friendly HBCU in the nation. Each year, we graduate and commission strong cohorts of men and women into the Army and Navy through our ROTC programs,” he said. “NSU graduates are also pursuing careers in the Coast Guard through our partnership with the Coast Guard's College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative (CSPI).”

Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is an annual national program drawing attention to the problems of hunger and homelessness. This year’s week begins Saturday, Nov. 10 and ends Sunday, Nov. 18. Norfolk State is also asking those attending the NSU vs. Howard University football game to bring canned food as a donation.

The effort is sponsored by the NSU in the Community Committee, which is part of the NSU: Valuing People, Minds, and Tradition initiative.