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Denim drive launches homelessness education week

Community Service Center to host panel discussion

Macy Delong, the founder of Solutions at Work, will speak about her experience as a homeless person on Thursday, October 6. Photo courtesy of Solutions at Work

This week, students, faculty, and staff can eat ice cream, shop for jeans, and help the hungry and homeless all in one place.

The Community Service Center is sponsoring a week of hunger and homelessness education programs, beginning on Tuesday, October 4, with Ice Cream Madness on Marsh Plaza and ending on Thursday, October 6, with a panel discussion with members of Boston’s homeless community. The weeklong program is intended to raise funds for the Student Food Rescue program while making people aware of the ways they can help on a daily basis.

“People that don’t have an opportunity to volunteer on a regular basis come out to these events,” says Sara DeRitter, a CSC program coordinator. “We’re able to get some folks involved that otherwise wouldn’t be.”

Today’s Ice Cream Madness and the Polo Jeans Denim Drive will be held on Marsh Plaza from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For $1, visitors can buy ice cream from JP Licks, Ben & Jerry’s, Cabot’s of Newtonville, or the Boston Ice Cream Factory, and learn about ways to help aid organizations such as Heifer International and Oxfam America. All proceeds from the event go to Student Food Rescue.

The Polo Jeans Denim Drive is accepting used jeans, which will be donated to Habitat for Humanity to be turned into insulation for new homes. Donors will receive a discount on a new pair of Polo jeans, which can be purchased at Marsh Plaza.

Tonight and Wednesday, October 5, the CSC will collaborate with Dining Services to tally the amount of food left on students’ trays and thrown out in the Warren Towers and West Campus dining halls each night. “It will be interesting to see what the number looks like,” DeRitter says.

On Thursday, Macy Delong will lead a panel discussion in the GSU Terrace Lounge at 6 p.m. Delong is the founder of Solutions at Work, an organization that helps people transition out of homelessness. A former biology researcher, Delong lived on the streets of Cambridge for nine months while still managing a lab at Harvard University.